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Kia Ora Readers

It’s been a very busy few weeks with a number of major agritech initiatives and events taking place. These include:

  • the formal preview of the New Zealand Agritech story, Powered by Place.  View it here
  • the establishment of a new agritech venture fund, bringing international connected capital into New Zealand
  • the successful delivery of the Agritech Unleashed event at National Fieldays
  • the creation of deeper ties with Western Growers, the largest producers of fresh produce in North America, following a major New Zealand agritech delegation visit to California at the end of June.

However, the most significant news of the past few weeks was Minister David Parker’s announcement on 2 July of a new sector led approach to grow industry innovation and boost productivity, with an early focus on agritech.  You can download the strategy document here.

Previously, I have written about the establishment of the All of Government (AOG) agritech taskforce. This is bringing together several Ministries and government agencies to work on an agreed set of initiatives and actions. They include Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), Callaghan Innovation and New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF).  Agritech New Zealand is partnering with this AOG taskforce to develop a range of industry led initiatives designed to scale the sector, lift export earnings and provide more innovation to enable New Zealand farmers and growers to produce higher value product, sustainably.

In the coming weeks, Agritech New Zealand and the AOG taskforce are organising a series of regional workshops to gain industry feedback and input on the strategy document.  This is your opportunity to help develop a major platform to make New Zealand a significant global agritech hub and we want you to attend!

The first four venues and dates have been confirmed, so please reserve your free seat.  Join the Agritech Strategy Consultation Workshop on 2 August in Palmerston North8 August in Auckland26 August in Hamilton29 August in Lincoln and 2 September in Tauranga.

I will join the AOG agritech taskforce lead, David Downs and together we will facilitate the workshops. Following the workshops, we will report back to all participants with the conclusions and outcomes.  This content will lead to the creation of a set of initiatives and actions which both industry and Government will support.

These developments are not going unnoticed offshore. I am in regular contact with global partners who are looking to collaborate with New Zealand agritech researchers and businesses. Minister Parker’s formal release of the strategy document has set in train a number of opportunities for the country’s agritech community.  At Agritech New Zealand, we are delighted to be taking the industry lead to turn that opportunity into deliverable activity.

David and I look forward to meeting you at one of the upcoming workshops.

Ngā mihi

Peter Wren-Hilton
Executive Director
Agritech New Zealand


Following our recent delegation to Salinas Valley, California, read what happens next.  Farm2050’s Ideation Day is 4 September in Palo Alto, California. 

The 2019 Irish Ploughing Championships and UK Dairy Day are being held in September.  Learn more.

Are you interested in New Zealand’s transition towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly future? Join Blinc Innovation’s Sustainability Challenge on 3–4 August in Canterbury. 

Register to attend The Future of Arable Land use in New Zealandworkshop on 14 August at Blinc Innovation, Lincoln.  Featuring the Foundation for Arable Research’s CEO Alison Stewart.

Missed Techweek19?  Watch Techweek TV highlights on demand, including automation in agritech, combining aerospace and agritech, plus more.

The Indo-Pacific Dialogue: Beyond 2020  is 15 August in Auckland.  Attend the Canterbury Tech Summiton 12 September.  The annual Asia Agri-Tech Expo & Forum is 31 October to 1 November in Taiwan.

Attend evokeAg, 18-19 February, 2020 in Melbourne.  The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit returns to San Francisco March 17-18, 2020.

Applications for the Callaghan Innovation R&D Experience Grantsclose 31 August.  Callaghan’s RFP for incubators with deep tech commercialisation experience closes 4 October.

Entries for the Deloitte Fast 50 close on 2 August.  NZSA is seeking entries for the pitching event, An Angel at my Table on 13 August.  The 2019 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards is 23 August in Auckland.

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