printer icon
Peter Wren-Hilton

Agritech Unleashed 2019 – The wraps come off the NZ agritech sector roadmap

###

On Thursday 13 June, Agritech New Zealand, with the support of National Fieldays, and the generous sponsorship of the Ministry of Primary Industries, are hosting Agritech Unleashed; a major one-day event at National Fieldays which will provide visibility and insights into some of the major initiatives being planned for New Zealand’s agritech sector.

These include:

  • A preview of the New Zealand agritech story. This is a major project that Agritech New Zealand has been developing with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise over the past 6 months
  • A preview of the establishment of a New Zealand agritech venture fund. For New Zealand’s early stage agritech sector looking to scale, this has often been cited as the missing link.
  • The formal New Zealand launch of Farm2050’s Nutrient Initiative. This 3-year initiative is designed to identify nutrient-related technologies that will not only increase plant yield, but also mitigate against negative environmental impact such as run-off. A critically important opportunity for New Zealand to lead the world in sustainable farming
  • The 2019 NZ Aerospace Challenge is also addressing one of the biggest issues facing the agricultural sector – sustainability. 20 companies are developing a product or service that detects, monitors or measures water or soil pollution using the very latest satellite and unmanned aircraft (UA) technology. Learn how NZ is leading the world in this space.
  • The Government has launched an ‘all of government’ agritech taskforce. At this session, the taskforce lead will focus on the initiatives under discussion and how they are being designed to support and scale New Zealand’s agritech sector.

Five ground-breaking sessions designed to truly unleash the potential of New Zealand’s agritech sector. Like any set of new initiatives however, there is a significant back story to these.

The story began three years ago when it became apparent that whilst global investment into the agritech sector was accelerating very rapidly, very little was finding its way to New Zealand. Industry and government sat down together to understand the ‘why’ and the answer became quickly apparent. Whilst the core individual components necessary to build a dynamic agritech ecosystem were in place, fragmentation and silos within government & industry meant that huge commercial opportunity was being lost. New Zealand did not have a coherent & compelling story to share.

One year ago this month, Agritech New Zealand was established to help address this challenge. It was a case of industry, government, research & investor stakeholders coming together and working through the issues. Since then, we have signed global partnership agreements with major players including Farm2050 & Western Growers. Globally connected capital has begun to find its way into New Zealand to the likes of Robotics Plus, Biolumic, Halter and most recently, Invert Robotics.

Agritech Unleashed 2019 is the culmination of this three year’s work. As well as providing a platform for industry and government to announce some major new long-term initiatives for New Zealand’s agritech sector, it is also providing a unique opportunity to showcase some of our great companies and their technology to a global audience.

Delegates from over 40 countries will be attending National Fieldays this year. The Agritech Unleashed event is enabling New Zealand companies to reach out, connect and engage with this audience. Keynote speakers, including the Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture and Minister for Biosecurity, Food Safety, and Rural Communities, will talk about New Zealand’s competitive advantage in this space and how our agritech sector is today addressing key global challenges. These include developing more sustainable farming practices to improve food production whilst at the same time reducing negative environmental impact.

To support the event, Agritech New Zealand has published a landing page on our website that will be updated over the coming days with the names of our speakers, panellists and how to apply for tickets.

Agritech Unleashed marks the beginning of the next chapter of the sector’s exciting journey. We hope you can join us.

Peter Wren-Hilton Peter is Executive Director of Agritech New Zealand and founder of Wharf42 in Tauranga. Peter helps organise major agritech conferences in New Zealand and offshore and connects early stage New Zealand agritech companies with international markets.