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Kia ora Readers,

Last month, I outlined some of the major initiatives that Agritech New Zealand is undertaking during the first half of 2019. This month, I can provide further detail.

The New Zealand Agritech Story

Last week, I visited Hamilton, Palmerston North and Lincoln as part of the New Zealand Agritech Story workshop programme. We are organising these workshops with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) to gain insights into some of the sector’s perceptions of this country’s competitive agritech advantage. Simultaneously, the project team is gathering insights about New Zealand’s perceived position from significant global players. This activity culminates with the formal launch of the New Zealand Agritech story on Thursday 13 June at National Fieldays.

Building a compelling and cohesive New Zealand agritech story will provide the sector with huge value going forward, but it is not being developed in isolation.

The New Zealand Government Agritech Taskforce

This week, I am meeting senior officials from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE), NZTE, Callaghan Innovation and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to discuss the programme of initiatives being developed by the new all of government agritech taskforce. Agritech New Zealand is working with the taskforce as its sector interface. Personally, I’m delighted that David Downs has been seconded from NZTE to MBIE to lead this taskforce. I’ve known David for a number of years and look forward to working with him as we collectively develop programmes that have real impact.

National Fieldays 2019

We are also delighted to be formally partnering with National Fieldays, with exclusive use of the Bledisloe Building on day two of this year’s event at Mystery Creek. We will launch three additional new initiatives at Fieldays. During the week, we will be hosting a number of international venture funds and agribusiness leaders looking to do business with New Zealand. It provides a unique opportunity to showcase our sector’s problem solving tech to a highly influential global audience.

International Agritech Missions

Last month, I joined over 100 Kiwi agritech professionals at the evokeAG conference in Melbourne. It was great to see New Zealand startup CertusBio win the Pitch Tent Investment Ready competition. Congratulations to Matthew and the team! evokeAG will be held in Melbourne next year and we are once again planning to attend. Read our conference review here.

In June, we are supporting a delegation attend the Forbes Live conference in Salinas, Northern California. In September, we are planning to support a delegation to attend the Irish Ploughing Championships. We are working with Callaghan Innovation and NZTE to help make this happen.

IoT in Agriculture April Event Series

Next month, we are co-hosting a series of workshops to discuss How the Future of AgriTech and BioTech will be enabled by IoT. Join us on 9 April in Christchurch10 April in Wellington and 11 April in Auckland. Our event partners are the New Zealand IoT Alliance and BIOTechNZ. Watch your inbox for your invitation landing soon.

From my desk, I see real momentum building. The increased engagement with Government is being matched by a significant increase in activity in the startup and early stage space. I can evidence this from the increasing number of enquiries we are receiving from offshore capital and an exponential increase in interest from potential agribusiness collaborators.

For Agritech New Zealand and our members, this is certainly a great time to be involved in New Zealand agritech.

Ngā mihi

Peter Wren-Hilton
Executive Director
Agritech New Zealand

NZ HI-TECH AWARDS: Attend the finalist announcements

AI FORUM: Join AI-Day this month!


Join Leveraging Blockchain for your Digital Identity on tomorrow in Wellington and 21 March in Auckland. Attend Central District Fieldays, this week in Feilding. Save the date for Fieldays, 12-15 June in Hamilton.

Secure your seat at Grow 2019 on 10-11 April in Christchurch. Early bird tickets close on Friday. Join Peter-Wren Hilton at MobileTECH 2019 on 3-4 April in Rotorua, showcasing agricultural, horticultural and forestry tech.

Considering expansion in Asia? Check out details of the Future Foods Asia 2019 conference on 3-4 June in Singapore. This year’s themes include smallholder solutions, rising middle class and food 4.0.

AI-DAY is 27 and 28 March, in Auckland. Check out this preview featured in IdealogRegister to attend now! Following the conference there is also a workshop series on 3 and 4 April. Workshop passes are available here.

Be part of Scale-Up New Zealand, a free online platform for New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem. Everything you need to know is here.

World changing ideas are born in New Zealand! Meet the UpStarters and learn more about New Zealand’s tech and innovation story.

Register for the New Zealand Digital Skills Hui on 27 March in Wellington. Curious about Blockchain? BlockchainNZ is the newest member of the Tech Alliance. Stay informed about this emerging tech and subscribe to their newsletter for regular updates.

Create connections, increase knowledge and support the growth of women in tech. Apply for TechWomen’s 2019 Mentoring Circles programme in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Registrations for mentors and mentees close 15 March.

Finalists for the 2019 Hi-Tech Awards will be announced on 27 March and winners awarded on 24 May in Auckland, during Techweek19Lightning Lab Tourism and the Edmund Hillary Fellowship are now accepting applications.

Agritech New Zealand is a membership funded organisation. If you are not already a member, please consider joining us. Have you been forwarded this newsletter? Receive your own copy each month, simply subscribe here.

Thinking of getting involved in Techweek19?  Event submissions close soon.