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Join leading New Zealand agritech businesses, researchers and capability providers at the 2019 Irish National Ploughing Championships and UK Dairy Day.

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

Callaghan Innovation, in partnership with Agritech New Zealand and NZTE, is coordinating a mission around the 2019 Irish National Ploughing Championships and UK Dairy Day.

If you think National Fieldays is big, think again. The Irish National Ploughing Championships attracts over 300,000 visitors. With similar pastoral farming systems to New Zealand, I believe that Ireland offers huge commercial opportunity to kiwi agritech firms. I recognised this when I attended the Agtech Nexus Europe conference in Dublin in December. The same opportunity applies in the UK. Our comparative pastoral farming systems and yet different northern & southern hemispheres, provide a great platform for NZ agritech firms to conduct 12 month R&D and field trials across two growing seasons.

In September, this mission of New Zealand mid to late stage start-ups and mature businesses along with researchers and capability providers, will get a deep insight into both the UK and Ireland’s agri industries, research, innovation systems and channel partners.

This trip will also offer New Zealand companies and agencies a chance to showcase our abilities and technology.

As well as in-market visits and meetings, the mission will attend the 2019 Irish National Ploughing Championships – one of the largest agricultural exhibitions in Europe – and UK Dairy Day, a dedicated annual one-day event for the dairy industry featuring over 300 exhibitors demonstrations and seminars.

Those participating in the mission will benefit from the opportunity to:

  • Gain insights into the UK and Ireland’s agri industries, research, innovation systems and channel partners. 
  • Take part in UK in-market visits to the AgriEPI Centre and CIEL, and Hands Free Hectare, among others.
  • Take part in Ireland in-market visits to Origin Green, UCD Lyons Farm, and Teagasc, among others.
  • Network with Irish and UK agritech organisations and businesses.
  • Attend a pre-mission workshop in Auckland to prepare for the mission.
  • Gain specific advice and support on event, accommodation and flight bookings to ensure the mission stays connected, as well as transportation and logistics arrangements over the two weeks.
  • Enter the Ploughing International Innovation Awards.

To register for the mission, please complete this form by Friday 19 July.

Callaghan Innovation will co-fund a limited number of companies based on stage, strategy and suitability. Co-funding criteria is available on the registration form. 

Confirmation of your place on the mission is subject to Callaghan Innovation approval and availability. The mission will begin the evening of Sunday 8 September in London, UK and conclude on the evening of Friday 20 September in Dublin, Ireland.

For any questions prior to application or to discuss funding opportunities please contact: 

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

The importance of sharing New Zealand’s compelling agritech story offshore

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Since I returned from San Jose last week, there has been quite a bit of talk about the impact that New Zealand’s delegation made during this year’s Silicon Valley AgTech Immersion Program.

Some of it came from partners in NZ. This year however, I’ve received emails and invitations to connect from a wide range of countries including Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Brazil, the US and Canada. It’s clear from the content of those messages that the New Zealand delegation delivered.

Where to next? As those of you who might have read these blog posts before will know, Agritech New Zealand signed two important Strategic Partnership Agreements last week; one with North America’s largest growers of fresh produce, Western Growers and one with Farm2050, the global consortium of leading agri-focused venture firms and major agribusinesses.

Presenting the New Zealand agritech story in a compelling and coherent way was an important backdrop to those discussions. As a country renowned for its high quality agricultural produce and wide-ranging and sophisticated farming systems, it’s important that we understand how to tell and share our agritech story.

As New Zealand’s agritech sector continues to reach out to international markets, it’s therefore great to acknowledge that this work has been recognised by government. Right now, NZTech is working with the team at NZTE and New Zealand Story to help curate the message. Agritech New Zealand is aligning itself to this work and we are encouraging others in the sector to do the same.

In San Jose, the theme of the New Zealand panel presentation at last Thursday’s conference was ‘How can NZ agritech help feed the world’. So much of our domestic focus is on producing high quality food to feed 40 million people around the world, we sometimes forget that this accounts for only around 0.5% of the global population. Our tech however can help other nations increase the production of their food needs in much more sustainable ways. By doing so, not only do we increase New Zealand’s agritech export sales, we also help the world feed the remaining 99.5%.

This was the message that resonated at the conference. By focusing on the really big picture, the delegates from many countries recognised our point of difference. Nicky Molloy from Callaghan Innovation talked about Kaitiaki, ‘we are guardians of people, place & planet’. The kiwi panel talked about Ingenuity, ‘Challenging the status quo with original and bold solutions’ and Integrity, ‘We come from a good place. We say what we do’. New Zealand’s delegation stood tall and proud in San Jose. The world saw and understood. It’s now time to press ahead with Āwhina ki te whangai i te ao.  

It’s time for our tech to ‘help feed the world’.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

NZ Agritech Creating Global Solutions

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Over thirty kiwi agriculture innovators have touched down in Silicon Valley ready to test their solutions among some of the most competitive global growers and farming leaders. Their powerful weapon: New Zealand’s unique recipe to feed the planet sustainably.

The delegation will join an internationally subscribed agritech immersion programme and visit large US growers and producers, connect with local trends, while scoping investment and export opportunities. Led by Callaghan Innovation and Agritech New Zealand, the group includes a diverse talent pool of early and late stage agritech businesses as well as researchers and innovation leaders.

The global agriculture industry has been slow in its uptake of technology, but this is changing as it looks to innovate and solve significant problems. These include rising labour shortages, environmental pressures, more adverse weather events, and feeding a global 10 billion population by 2050.

Callaghan Innovation’s Nicky Molloy says New Zealand has an incredible recipe to help solve these problems. “Our genuine relationships with farmers and growers, our kaitiakitanga (care for the environment), our natural innovation flair, and our strong national integrity measures are a unique value proposition,” says Nicky, an agritech innovation expert.

“Feedback from Silicon Valley tells us our agritech is world class, we are generally a step ahead. But we struggle with thinking globally and adapting to different markets soon enough. Programmes like this make a huge difference where innovators experience the very real and different conditions here out in the field, while connecting them with partnership and investment opportunities.”

The conference will feature a panel session about New Zealand’s unique ability to help feed the world, run by both Nicky and Agritech New Zealand’s CEO, Peter Wren-Hilton. Peter says the trip is expected to produce some significant international deals that will improve kiwi access to the US agritech ecosystem.

“This team is part of a growing body of global experts who are passionate about connecting, mentoring, and investing in agritech firms,” says Peter.

“When we first embarked on developing the program back in 2015, we could not have envisaged just how significant the long-term impact would be on our emerging agritech sector. These are exciting times for New Zealand. What happens over the next few months could well determine just where we sit in this global industry in the years ahead.”

Peter says the economic return of last year’s mission through increased cross-border trade is now being measured in the $US multi-millions. Alumni of the programme include kiwi firms like Robotics Plus and Autogrow who now have bases in Silicon Valley with significant international customers.

A list of the delegates, key mission info, updates and resources are available via this link.

About Callaghan Innovation 

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency. We activate innovation and help businesses grow faster through the power of science, technology and process transformation. Our staff of business innovation experts – including more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists and engineers – connect people, opportunities and networks, providing technical solutions, business innovation programmes, incubator programmes, and R&D co-funding. 

About Agritech New Zealand 

Agritech New Zealand connects innovators, investors, regulators, researchers and interested public.  It promotes opportunities and challenges raised by agritechAgritech New Zealand advances the ecosystem through advocacy, collaboration, innovation, talent and economic growth through international connections and missions.  

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

Meet the 30+ New Zealand agritech delegates about to make history

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

In less than 3 weeks, 30+ New Zealand agritech delegates will be joining the 2018 Silicon Valley AgTech Immersion Program & Conference. This will be the third year that Wharf42 has helped facilitate the event, together with our partners Silicon Valley Forum, Callaghan Innovation & NZTE.

When we first embarked on developing the program back in 2015, we could not have envisaged just how significant the long-term impact would be on New Zealand’s emerging agritech sector. The economic ($$’s) return through increased cross-border trade is now being measured in the US$ multi-millions, with at least five of the original cohort of early stage companies now having an established presence in North America.

Later this month, a host of new faces and companies will be joining this journey. Welcome then: AgFirst Consultants, AGMARDT, AgResearch, AgriSmart, Agritech New Zealand, Autogrow, Blinc, Blockbit, Callaghan Innovation, Giltrap Engineering, Hop Revolution, IXOM, Jenkins Freshpac Systems, Marlborough Garlic, Miro Trading, Next Farm, NZTE, NZ Tech, NZVIF, Paysource, Plant & Food Research, Robotics Plus, Seeka, Sprout, Thelning Design, Trimax and Zespri. What an amazing cross-section of New Zealand’s world-leading agritech science & research capability joining forces with a number of the country’s most exciting, emerging agritech businesses, to meet and engage with Silicon Valley’s vast agtech ecosystem. We are absolutely stoked.

Last week, the delegation spent a day at the Waikato Innovation Park for a pre-program briefing. We heard from past delegates including Steve Saunders (Robotics Plus), Matt Flowerday (GPS-it) & Darryn Keiller (Autogrow) about their experiences of previous programs and where this experience has taken them since. We were also joined by representatives from NZ Story & NZVIF as we prepped the team on what to expect from, and how to prepare for, the week ahead. I think its fair to say that the delegation is pretty well pumped, locked and ready to go.

For me personally, this will be another opportunity to connect with a number of now established friends in the wider San Francisco Bay area’s agritech community. And this provides some glimpse to where history is about to be made. To build on the value that these successive programs have developed, we need to establish a more permanent set of bridges that connect New Zealand’s agritech businesses with the capital, networks and in-market farm access necessary to help scale our sector. Building those bridges and developing these connections has been a priority of several folk over the past 12 months and I expect to be able to share some of the results of that work when I report back from San Francisco later this month.

These are exciting times for New Zealand agritech. As the global demand for more food grows, we are well placed to provide the knowledge, the products and the services to help make that happen. This month’s Silicon Valley Immersion Program and Conference is just one more step in that direction. What happens over the next few months could well determine just where New Zealand sits in this global industry in the years ahead.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News