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Partnership in full flow for Rubicon and The University of Melbourne

By Chloe MacKenzie and Peter Binks (BHERT)


Photography Michael Kai

Established in 1995, Rubicon is an Australian privately held company headquartered in Melbourne. Rubicon is built on R&D developed with the University of Melbourne over the last 18 years. The partners have approximately 67 jointly held patents, have shared research grant applications, and jointly supported the development of water researchers and engineers.

The collaboration has resulted in a number of awards – including the prestigious ATSE Clunies Ross Award, won by Professor Iven Mareels in 2008 – and has contributed to the growth and international leadership position of Rubicon.

Rubicon’s solutions automate the supply and application of irrigation water, reducing distribution losses and improving on-farm productivity. It has sold over 20,000 automated water measurement and control devices to more than 50 customers in 10 countries.

Rubicon has over 200 employees across multiple locations (including the US and China, Spain, Chile, New Zealand), and has an annual revenue between $50-70m. Approximately a third of this revenue is generated internationally, and Rubicon expects international business to be well over half of its revenue by 2020, mainly in developing markets like China and India.

Rubicon’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and research and development facility in Shepparton, Victoria, includes the largest hydraulic flow and testing laboratory of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. In Australia, Rubicon’s technology is used by all of the major irrigation authorities.

Rubicon and the University of Melbourne’s pioneering research into the hydraulic control of channels in has led to many important breakthroughs in flow measurement and control theory. Also Rubicon has recently developed the Low Energy Pipeline (LEP): a gravity-fed shared pipeline system that distributes water to multiple farms. The original joint IP has grown through the partnership into a suite of patents and new Rubicon products.

Through their partnership with the University of Melbourne, Rubicon have also developed a relationship with Tsinghua University in Beijing. Rubicon recently signed a joint venture with Tsinghua and Gansu Province in China, to implement existing technologies in the region and develop new solutions to China’s water supply issues.

For more information on Rubicon Water, visit:

Rubicon Water

Established in 1995 Rubicon Water is an Australian privately held company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Rubicon has designed, built and installed over 20,000 control and measurement devices in their TCC and FarmConnect® systems, and sold to more than 50 customers in 10 countries.Rubicon has over 200 employees across multiple locations (including the US and China, Spain, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand), and has an annual revenue of approximately $50-70m.

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