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As we approach the home straight for 2021, there are several important activities to wrap up and planning for 2022.

Next week, we are taking what was supposed to be a national roadshow online.  Join the Agritech Connect Seminar as we reflect on the progress made with the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP). This will be an informative session highlighting key project progress and sets the scene for the continuing shared work to build our sector. This event is a precursor to our physical  tour around the country in 2022, starting in late February.  It’s not too late to register, so please, join us Tuesday 30 November from 1:00pm-2:30 pm.  

Last week, we began surveying our membership to better understand their needs, preferences, their sector and community interests.  Insights from this survey will be used to plan member activities and representation. Your participation will impact our work so if you are a member and missed the email, please contact us

What makes our agritech unique?
Earlier this month, the #PoweredbyPlace campaign launched in the print edition of the Farmers Guardian, Climate change  solutions from the other side of the worldThe first video showcasing how New Zealand agritech is helping United Kingdom (UK) farmers improve their environmental footprint, is also live.  View it here and then watch our hero video here

In collaboration with Government agencies and agritech businesses, we are piloting offshore agritech campaigns, initially targeting the UK.  The learnings from this will then provide a blueprint for activation in other markets.     

If you haven’t already, please check out the Powered by Place toolkit with insights, messaging, images and videos to help you share the New Zealand Agritech story in your market.  You can also leverage the campaign by using the ready-to-share social tiles in your marketing with #NZAgritech or #PoweredbyPlace hashtags on social media.  The campaign toolkit includes all the assets (yes, it’s free!) and guidance on how they can be used.

Explore the toolkit

Data interoperability update 

We recently held the third session of the Agritech Leaders Data Reference Group and reviewed industry concepts for a ‘data definitions registry’ and industry statement of intent regarding data sharing.  Our Chair, Kenneth Irons, was also recently appointed by Stats NZ as the New Zealand Representative on the International Standards Organisation (ISO) Advisory Group on Smart Farming. There is a lot of activity in the domain of ‘data interoperability’ and we are forming views on what some of the ‘common ground’ activities should be for an independent organisation working in an interdependent space. We know that this is not just a local challenge and we need to connect with global systems and build on the work of others.

Read more >

Championing data collaboration
The proof is in the carcass! It was great to see the integration of ANZCO’s kill sheet data with FarmIQ systems. Every step that links insights across the sector is a step closer to a more complete data ecosystem for New Zealand. Our vision is for a digitally enabled primary sector that protects and amplifies what is best of New Zealand and adds further credibility to all our products: food, fibre and tech.

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Fastest growing agribusiness

In further member news, we congratulate Levno for being named the fastest growing Agribusiness and placing among the top 20 fastest growing businesses in New Zealand over the previous two years in the #Deloitte #NZFast50 index.

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Open innovation 

It’s also great to see open innovation and collaboration in the Sievwright Investment Entity’s investment in Machines at Work. This is first external investment in Machines at Work, and the Sievwright’s are the drivers behind global equipment business Trimax. The funds will be used to accelerate development of the company’s core technology which enables the autonomous operation of existing machinery — helping address some of the biggest challenges faced by the horticulture sector today. It’s a great partnership and example of continued confidence and investment across the sector.

Read more >

Award winning aquatech innovation 

Congratulations to FlipFarm Systems, a New Zealand company that has developed a semi-automated method for turning oyster-growing cages over with little human effort, has won the Global Seafood Alliance’s annual Global Aquaculture Innovation Award.

Read more >

Our partners at AusAgritech recently appointed Tracey Martin as their new CEO and we look forward to working together on the promotion of regional agritech strengths and opportunities.

Thank you to all members who have provided input to the recent NZTech submission on the Ministry for the Environment’s Te hau marohi ki anamata, Transitioning to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future. Your voice was heard and has joined the voices of those who  support the effective application of technology to enable our shared future. You can view further submission activity here and we will continue to highlight topics of particular interest to the AgriTechNZ community.  Given the Industry Transformation Plan’s focus on Commercialisation of Research Intellectual Property (IP), we will focus on the Te Ara Paerangi – Future pathways – Green Paper and encourage you to submit feedback as well as participate in industry discussion on the future of science and innovation.Please let us know if you would like to join a working group on this topic

Finally, when it comes to looking to the future we are strong advocates for the development of skills in identifying and processing signals of change. We all do a version of this as we can news and topics of interest to our sector.  Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of joining a training session with KPMG where it became apparent that there is a discipline and methodology to capturing and analysing signals that together can inform more rich assessments of possible future scenarios for our sector and business. Callaghan Innovation are continuing this and I highly recommend checking out this first newsletter, subscribing for future issues versions and joining events like this in Christchurch on Dec 9th when possible. The Global Signals newsletter and workshops are another part of the Agritech ITP and it’s exactly what our agritech companies should be seeing in their inbox on a monthly basis.

Keep well as we come to the end of what was another very strange year. We’re looking forward to an even brighter future.

Ngā mihi

Chief Executive, on behalf of the Executive Council of AgriTech New Zealand