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Welcome to the first AgriTech New Zealand newsletter of 2020 and what a start to the year!

Yesterday, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) published the final draft of the ITP document to their website. You can view and download it here. The recommendations contained in the final draft were due in part to the extensive feedback received from a number of regional industry workshops organised through 2019. This matters. Transformation of the country’s agritech sector will only happen if industry, the research community and the Government work together.

The ITP taskforce and AgriTech New Zealand are now planning three new workshops to share details of the actions and initiatives. Taskforce lead, David Downs, will facilitate the workshops, seeking industry input into how best to deliver the recommendations. I will share some insights of the next phase of the plan’s delivery and how AgriTech New Zealand will be supporting it.

If you want to be part of the Agritech ITP and engage directly, I strongly urge you to register for one of the three FREE workshops on 3 March in Auckland9 March in Hamilton and 10 March in Lincoln

Over the past month, the team has been working hard to build on 2019’s major achievements. The integration of the Precision Agriculture Association of New Zealand (PAANZ) into AgriTech New Zealand is well underway. We have also been developing significant new initiatives to help scale and promote the sector.

Later this month, we will publish our calendar of monthly member events which AgriTech New Zealand will be hosting across the country. In April, we will be releasing a major research report, New Zealand Agritech’s Competitive Advantage. We will also be attending the MobileTECH 2020 conference from 7-8 April in Rotorua as the key Strategic Partner.

Next week, I will be joining over 100 Kiwis travelling to Melbourne for the 2020 evokeAG conference. Building international connections is one of the key themes identified in the ITP document and as a member of the evokeAG steering committee, we have worked hard to build a significant trans-Tasman flavour. Special thanks to AgriFutures Australia for helping facilitate this. It’s also significant that four government agencies have come together to support the New Zealand delegation; Callaghan InnovationNew Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and MBIE.

The evokeAG conference also provides a unique platform for the recently formed Australia New Zealand Agritech Council to bring together industry and government representatives to identify joint opportunities to collaborate on the global stage. 

Next month, I am attending the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco. This is a key event on the international agritech calendar. I will be joining our partners from Farm2050 and taking the opportunity to meet senior representatives from another key global partner, Western Growers. Deepening these relationships not only provides New Zealand agritech companies with better access to globally connected capital and new market entry channels, they also position our sector as a global thought leader. 

It’s been quite a start then to 2020. The team is working to not only accelerate our mission to build on the purpose and opportunity provided by the ITP programme, but also to support New Zealand farmers and growers adopt the agri-technology that will help drive productivity, profitability and sustainability.

We look forward to working with you on this journey.

Wishing you a happy and relaxing festive season.

Ngā mihi,
Peter Wren-Hilton
Executive Director
AgriTech New Zealand


Techweek2020 is now accepting event submissions. TW20 runs 18-24 May and this year’s theme is connecting our future. Techweek is a nationwide series of events, showcasing and celebrating our tech innovation.

Local tech companies are forecast to rapidly expand in 2020. Learn how FinTech can help tackle climate change. In case you missed it, read the AI Forum’s report on AI for Agriculture in New Zealand.

Entries for the NZ Hi-Tech Awards close 2 March. Save the date for the awards gala dinner on 22 May in Wellington. Applications for the 2020 National Fieldays Innovations Awards close 30 April.

Join FinTechNZ and BlockchainNZ on 26 February in Auckland and 27 February in Wellington. Connect with BioTechNZ on 28 February in Auckland.

Save the date for RegTechNZ’s State of the Nation event on 11 March in Auckland. The IoT Alliance meets on 12 March in Wellington.

Apply for Lighting Lab Tourism 2020 by 14 February. Entries for the 2020 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards close 28 February.

Join the Edmund Hilary Fellowship’s New Frontiers Summit, 24-26 February in Auckland. Register for Future Government 2020 on 25 March in Wellington.