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Kia ora,

We are on the home straight! Yesterday, David Downs and I delivered the final Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) workshop.

Over 200 people have attended the three workshops focused on ITP delivery in Auckland, Hamilton and Lincoln. After almost nine months of consultation with industry, research and support service stakeholders we are now less than four weeks away from the official launch of the ITP.

At MobileTECH Ag 2020 on 7 April in Rotorua, Ministers Twyford and O’Connor will release the full Plan. Two Ministers. One Plan. I think this confirms the priority the Government is placing on this significant initiative.

During the workshops, I outlined the role that industry would play in the delivery of the six workstreams and three High Impact Projects identified in the Plan. Agritech New Zealand will be establishing formal working groups to map each workstream and High Impact Project. Our members will be able to participate in as many working groups as appropriate. To date, the focus of our work has been on Government consultation however, from April our focus will be on delivery.

Workstream One in the ITP is simply called Global. One of its key actions is ‘Connecting the New Zealand agritech ecosystem to global opportunities’. Last month, we practiced what we preach in Australia during the evokeAG 2020 conference. Over 100 kiwis attended and it’s fair to say that New Zealand’s agritech sector is highly regarded on the other side of the Tasman. This is not hearsay, it’s supported by research! The United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney published a report prior to the conference, Isolated Agtech in Australia? A social network analysis of an innovative sector. It compares the connectivity of New Zealand’s agritech sector with that of Australia and makes an interesting read!

Following the conference, an Australia New Zealand Agritech Council breakfast was held in Melbourne. We were joined by Dame Annette King, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia, together with other New Zealand diplomats based in Australia, including representatives from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), Callaghan Innovation, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). The New Zealand team was mapped with a similar representative group from Australia Inc.

The meeting was designed to identify opportunities for the two countries to collaborate on the global stage. Promoting the region as a significant global agritech hub is a key strategy to attract inward investment and offshore interest. Expect more updates on the Council’s important work in future editions of this newsletter.

Returning to the ITP, Workstream Four is focused on Data Interoperability and Regulations. This is a hugely important topic for the sector to address. Immediately following MobileTECH Ag 2020 on 9 April, a free half-day workshop is being held, Ag Data – Insights and Applications. There are a limited number of seats left, so please reserve your ticket.

As Agritech New Zealand gears up to address some of the significant opportunities now facing the country’s agritech sector, we are beginning the process of holding new elections for our Executive Council. With the recent integration of the Precision Agriculture Association of New Zealand (PAANZ), every member can take part in the election process. Details of how to engage in the process will be sent to all members soon.

Finally, as we prepare to support the delivery of the ITP we are keen to fully engage the widest representation of the sector. Opportunities like this one do not come around too often. If you have not already signed up, membership details can be found here.

I hope you can join us on this journey.

Ngā mihi,

Peter Wren-Hilton
Executive Director
AgriTech New Zealand


Register for the NZ Hi-Tech Awards finalist events on 25 March. Save the date for the awards gala dinner on 22 May in Wellington.

Meet The Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand. Register for Future Government 2020 on 25 March in Wellington.

Interested in FinTech? Join FinTechNZ at Opportunities for New Zealand and the United Kingdom on 23 March in Auckland.

Techweek2020 is still 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. Check out the first #Techweek2020 events

Meet Hayes Raffle on 19 May in Auckland for Adventures in Tech. Attend Where’s my Jetpack on 21 May in Auckland. Join the Christchurch Startup Weekend, 22-24 May. This year’s Code Camp Christchurch is 23 May.

The 2020 Diversity Awards celebrate the organisations championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Enter now.

Join the Edmund Hilary Fellowship’s New Frontiers 2020: Weaving Visions for a New Economy on 11-13 October in Auckland.

Have you seen the AI Forum’s report on AI for Agriculture in New Zealand?

Applications for the 2020 National Fieldays Innovations Awards close 30 April.

How connected are you? Techweek 2020 wants to know how you use tech in your everyday life.