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While New Zealand is still living with various restrictions, it isn’t stopping significant agritech activity. We’re seeing great progress in new global partnerships, collaborations, investments and team growth. It feels like fertile ground for a burst of growth in 2022 and beyond.

AbacusBio have just announced their deepening relationship with Bayer Crop Science. It’s a powerful partnership and an excellent example of New Zealand research and technology strengths having global impact. Read more.
This week, the software powerhouses of FarmIQ and Farmax have joined forces with AgResearch. The strategic partnership represents a promising combination of research and commercial skills with both domestic and international potential. Read more.
Global agritech business Bluelab, headquartered in Tauranga, have brought on new shareholders (Pioneer Capital and New Zealand Superannuation Fund) to fund further growth of their business. We wish them well in the next phase of their journey to empower the controlled agriculture growers of the future to create a healthier world for all.
New Zealand electric utility bike company UBCO are seeking interest in their Series B round through Snowball Effect. Already strong globally, they are looking to accelerate their sales growth strategies through both direct to consumer and business to business models.
Meanwhile, agritech startup Hectre is positioning for global growth after attracting $3.5m in new capital. The team is already trading in global markets and this vote of confidence will further empower them to build the team and bring new capabilities to fruit growers and packers around the world. 
Congratulations to our member WayBeyond for continuing their growth and taking home-grown agritech to empower growers in Latin America! Read more.
In other news, Tauranga based Trimax Mowing Systems celebrates 40 years in business, proving agritech success isn’t limited to startups. Trimax is operating globally and after four decades continues to innovate. Currently, Trimax is investigating emerging technologies with the aim to make even smarter and more responsive systems. If electrical propulsion and control is your game, you may want to give them a call!
Opportunities to engage
There is so much happening in agritech and we would like to share further company news plus an array of new tools and supports. Since we can’t yet travel the country, we’ve postponed the physical Agritech Connect Tour and will instead host an online Agritech Connect Seminar. We’ll cover key topics including:

  • The latest industry news and innovations you should know about
  • New tools and support available to you
  • An update on the latest from the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (AITP)
  • Discussion on topics that shape our sector: global connections, agritech business supports, industry collaborations and technology adoption.

We’re looking forward to seeing you online and are seeking your input to guide the emphasis we put on presentation topics and breakout sessions. Please complete this survey and register to join us on 30 November. We’ll continue the discussions and look forward to visiting your city in early 2022.

Digital adoption in New Zealand Primary Industries
Data collection has begun in our research into digital adoption of technology in New Zealand Primary Industries. We have completed a pilot to test the survey across a geographically spread cohort of dairy, dry stock, arable and horticultural businesses. Over the coming months we’ll gather more data on factors relating to adoption or acceptance of new technology. This work will build on other studies and deliver insights on current and forecast use of technology, reasons and barriers for uptake, intentions to invest and the drivers of those intentions. Given the importance of the topic, we’ve also included some inquiry on the attitudes of producers/growers to data sharing. For example, what technologies do you think are on the shopping list of our farmers and growers? What would you expect to be the greater motivators:

  • Affordability or Potential value?
  • Ease of use or Availability of support?
  • Towards new capabilities or Away from breaching regulations?
  • Seeing evidence of benefits or Seeing the potential to reduce workload?

We are Powered by Place
Last month, I joined workshops with United Kingdom (UK) based, New Zealand agritech companies who are part of a pilot marketing campaign to activate our Agritech Story, Powered by Place. 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.

So, what truly makes New Zealand agritech unique? Watch the video here. Please view 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.

Global insights and opportunities
This month we began our Global Agritech Futures Series in partnership with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), and Callaghan Innovation. The series is designed to bring together global thought leaders, innovation experts and industry leaders to explore new trends, opportunities, challenges and ways to solve them.

Last week, we hosted a team from Bayer Crop Science and they shared their Technology Focus Areas in a bid to identify potential partners. Next week, we are hosting an international team from Plug and Play Tech Center who connect blue chip corporations with the brightest agritech startups around the world. They sing our tune in terms of the importance of making connections through engaging with supported ecosystems. Join this second event in the series and learn why being part of an ecosystem is key to growth.

Ngā mihi,

Chief Executive
AgriTech New Zealand 

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