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Our most recent tour of the country, discussing the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) elicited some shared discussion and responses. The common themes included: data interoperability, commercialisation (including business support, investment and international opportunity links) and technology adoption.  We’re taking a lead from those sessions and facilitating further activities.

There are a lot of drivers that bring something as boring as data interoperability to the fore. It is part of a broader data sharing and access discussion, with plenty of initiatives underway. However, an industry focus on farm environmental plans highlights the need to ease the process of sharing data once access and use considerations are agreed. For this reason, we are proposing an Agritech Data Forum that will provide input to data interoperability initiatives. We are also collaborating with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Rezare Systems to formalise specifications for interoperable farm spatial data. You can learn more about both of these initiatives at our online workshop on 21 May.

The recent launch of the $42 million Finistere Aotearoa Fund has dramatically changed the local investment landscape. The venture capital fund targets agritech companies requiring Series A and B investment, but what does investability look like? Join us on 9 June when we host investees and investors, to share their experiences. We will be asking agritech business leaders to share their journeys and insights as we discuss the most desirable qualities of investing.

We’ve also reached a milestone with our work on creating a Baseline of Digital Adoption in Primary Industries. Initial funding has now been secured and selection of our research provider is underway.  This research will be an independent, pan-sector review of current practice and technology adoption drivers in New Zealand primary production. We’re grateful for the support of our early partners: Zespri International, The Foundation for Arable Research, The Fertiliser Association, DairyNZ and MPI. This valuable research will inform the sector in the coming years and further position Aotearoa as a leader in farming practice.

Later this month, we’re looking forward to joining our friends at LandWISE 21 for their Working Smarter Conference on 19-20 May in Havelock North. We’re also looking forward to Techweek2021 which includes Computer vision AI in horticulture – swipe right for a career in horton 26 May in Auckland and Data Driven Farming on 27 May in Auckland. More events are being added regularly, so remember to keep checking back.

If you enjoy audio insights, be sure to check out these podcasts; Sarah Nolet from AgThentic in Australia recently hosted a show on AgTech so what… exploring changes in New Zealand Dairy. Mark Ferguson from NextGen Agri also hosts regular sessions with industry leaders and commentators on the Head Shepherd Podcast.

It’s also worth noting we have our Annual Meeting and Executive Council elections (three positions available for election) coming up in June… so please make sure your membership is current and consider getting directly involved in driving our shared initiatives.

If you missed our Cultivating Fertile Futures in Japan webinar, you can watch it here.

Ngā mihi

AgriTech New Zealand

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