Agritech Logo

Kia ora Readers,

After several months of planning, I’m delighted to be able to finally reveal Agritech Unleashed; a day of major presentations being delivered at National Fieldays on 13 June. The five ground breaking sessions are designed to truly unleash the potential of New Zealand’s agritech sector, including:

  • A preview of the New Zealand Agritech Story. This is a major project that Agritech New Zealand has been developing with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) over the past six 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 three 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 NZ Aerospace Challenge 2019 is also addressing one of the biggest issues facing the agricultural sector – sustainability. Twenty 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 New Zealand 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.

Agritech Unleashed is brought to you by Agritech New Zealand, with the valued support of National Fieldays and the generous sponsorship of the Ministry for Primary Industries. Agritech Unleashed will provide visibility and insights into some of the major initiatives being planned for New Zealand’s agritech sector.

Supporting this initiative, some of the biggest names in global agritech are travelling to New Zealand to attend the event. Several have already agreed to take part in panel discussions, bringing global context to some of the opportunities and challenges being addressed by Agritech New Zealand. Agritech Unleashed is an invite only event. Details will be published on our website on Monday, including how to apply for a ticket.

Before then, the team are gearing up for Techweek19, 20–24 May. The intention behind Techweek is simple – to amplify New Zealand’s unique and inspiring innovation stories to the world. New Zealand’s tech and innovation sectors are growing rapidly and Techweek fosters growth by providing the national ecosystem with a week long opportunity for connection and cross-pollination.

Throughout New Zealand, a number of agritech events are taking place including the annual LandWISE conference in Havelock North. I will be travelling across the country supporting a number of Techweek19 events. They include an inaugural agritech workshop I will be leading in Wanganui, the ‘All You Can Eat’ event in New Plymouth, the launch of the PlantTech regional research centre in Tauranga, the Rezare agritech bootcamp in Hamilton and Techweek TV in Auckland. Check out some of the other great events below.

Meanwhile, interest from global players in New Zealand’s agritech sector continues to grow. Congratulations then to the Invert Robotics team who picked up $13 million of investment from a global syndicate of investors led by Finistere Ventures and Yamaha Motor Ventures last week. It was great to see existing New Zealand investors, including New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF), take part in this funding round. This follows similar recent multi million dollar investments into the likes of BiolumicRobotics Plus and Halter. Expect more investment activity in this space in the coming months.

Beyond Techweek19 and Fieldays, the ‘All of Government’ Agritech Taskforce is ramping up its activity and we are fully engaged as an industry partner. Over the coming weeks the opportunity for our members to actively connect and help influence both policy and regulation settings will become more evident.

In the meantime, I very much hope you have the opportunity to attend some of the great agritech events during Techweek19. It truly is a great time to be involved in New Zealand’s agritech sector.

Ngā mihi

Peter Wren-Hilton
Executive Director
Agritech New Zealand


Join Peter Wren-Hilton for Major New Zealand Agritech Initiatives in 2019 and how the Whanganui region can be involved on 20 May in Whanganui.

Watch Techweek TV:When Aerospace and AgriTech combines on 22 May. Plus Techweek TV: Automation in Agritech – where to from here? on 24 May.

Join the Waikato Ag Innovations Bootcamp, 23–24 May in Hamilton. Attend the PlantTech Research Institute: Official Interactive Launchon 23 May in Tauranga.

What will the AgriFood sector look like in the future? Register for All You Can Eat on 20 and 21 May in New Plymouth. Attend LandWISE 2019: Rethinking Best Practice on 22 May in Hawkes Bay.

Save the date for evokeAg, 18–19 February, 2020 in Melbourne. In case you missed this year’s event, watch the highlights of day one and day two.

Join Agritech New Zealand at the Primary Industries New Zealand Summit and Awards, 1–2 July in Wellington. 

Don’t forget, time is running out to sign up as ShadowTech 2019 mentor. We need more tech professionals throughout New Zealand to inspire girls to consider tech careers. Everything you need to know is here.

Entries for the Fieldays Innovation Awards close on 10 May. Entries for the 2019 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards close 31 May.

Join EdTechNZ and TechWomen on 13 June in Wellington20 June in Auckland and 26 June in Christchurch to discuss how to achieve diversity in the tech sector. Registrations opening soon.

Attend Automation for Business on 23 May in Auckland. The New Zealand Esri User Conference is 12–14 August in Auckland. The Canterbury Tech Summit is 12 September.

Join Agritech New Zealand today. We are 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.

Be part of Scale-Up New Zealand, a free online platform for New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem.