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During the last few months, I’ve been travelling the country hosting the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) update roadshow with David Downs from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). In total, we’ve hosted over 600 attendees and received valuable feedback on what is most important to our agritech community. The touring has also enabled me to visit with local innovators across the regions.

Throughout Aotearoa, there is great work being done by a diverse range of people, all translating the potential of technology for the benefit of agriculture. I’m reminded of the phrase coined by John Deere, “Feet on the ground, eyes on the horizon” and think of the role we play in enabling innovative technology solutions. It’s an interesting combination of inspiring possibilities and realising opportunities. Each of us is part of this technology community, with shared interests in the wider primary industry sector. We are agritech!

The roadshow has also highlighted the importance of links to global opportunities, support and approaches to enabling commercialisation of great ideas, plus the sector demands for greater levels of data interoperability. These topics are too vast to detail here, but remain a key focus as we work with our agency partners to benefit from the ITP.

Meanwhile, AgriTechNZ members and participants are well represented at this year’s Hi-Tech Awards. Bluelab, Hectre, AgriSea, Levno and Way Beyond are all 2021 finalists. Congratulations on the recognition and the growing role of agritech in our national tech ecosystem.

We are delighted to partner with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) to host an insightful webinar, Cultivating Fertile Futures in Japan on 27 April. This session will explore new agritech opportunities in the world’s third biggest economy.

Looking ahead to next month, Techweek2021 includes the 2021 Rural Connectivity Symposium on 25 May in Hamilton and Computer vision AI in horticulture – swipe right for a career in hort on 26 May in Auckland. More events are being added regularly, so remember to keep checking back.

However, before Techweek2021 we have the final two ITP sessions in Tauranga on 28 April and Tairāwhiti Gisborne on 30 April.

I’m also looking forward to E-Tipu 2021 – The BOMA NZ Agri Summit on 11-12 May in Christchurch. It’s an exciting lineup of speakers and events. We still have exclusive member discounts available, so please contact us for your promo code.

Ngā mihi

AgriTech New Zealand

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