The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and McDonald’s Corporation revealed the three poultry welfare technologies that will move onto phase II of the SMART Broiler initiative.

“Given the size of the poultry industry, the potential impact of this program cannot be measured,” Nikki Dutta, scientific program officer, advanced animal systems, FFAR, said. “This phase was designed to specifically designed to build on the progress of phase I.”

The finalists were announced at the 2022 Poultry Tech Summit. 

  • AudioT developed a scalable, low-cost audio monitoring tools to track bird vocalizations and alert farmers to changes in broiler welfare and behavior. The technology, established at Georgia Tech University, can be a complimentary tools to video based systems. 
  • OpticFlock, created by Marian Dawkins with the University of Oxford, is a camera system that compares and evaluates key welfare outcomes, including hockburn, foot pad lesions and lameness.
  • FlockFocus integrates machine learning and intelligent surveillance techniques currently used to track humans to provide real time monitoring of individual birds within a flock. The technology was originally developed at Queen’s University Belfast.

The three finalists will receive a total of $1.61 million to optimize hardware and software configurations, advance data management and processing tools and justify commercial investment for the potential poultry welfare tools.


Tests will occur at two of McDonald’s suppliers, the Tyson Foods Broiler Research Barn in Arkansas and Master Good in Kisvárda, Hungary. Accenture is providing program management, cloud services and technical consulting support to the Phase II awardees. 

The SMART Broiler program leads the search for automated Sensors, Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technologies (SMART) that could enhance bird welfare and improve efficiencies for producers.

Attend the 2023 Poultry Tech Summit

The Poultry Tech Summit is the only event of its kind that connects researchers and entrepreneurs with poultry sector technology experts, financiers, venture capitalists and producers looking for new projects and investments to fund. Since its 2018 inception, this unique conference has facilitated and fast-tracked many pioneering ideas into adoption for the benefit of the poultry supply chain.

Details on the 2023 Poultry Tech Summit will be released in Spring 2023.