Accelerating trans-Tasman collaboration as ‘Senior Advisor’ to the Australian Agritech Association

Accelerating trans-Tasman collaboration as ‘Senior Advisor’ to the Australian Agritech Association

Last week, I was offered and accepted the role of ‘Senior Advisor’ to the Australian Agritech Association.

It’s a hugely exciting opportunity to work with a bunch of passionate people I know well on the other side of the Tasman. I’ve said for some time that the global landscape will look quite different post-COVID. As borders slowly re-open, there will be a much more significant focus on developing trans-Tasman regional capability. This will not only secure improved ‘local’ supply chains; it will position the region as a significant agritech player in the global market.

Over the past few weeks, a number of significant initiatives have been announced by the Federal government in Canberra aimed at expanding Australia’s agri-innovation capabilities. Many of these have focused on accelerating the commercialisation of research being undertaken by the country’s 15 RDCs (Research & Development Corporations). This is important. As we have learnt in New Zealand however, an effective national agritech ecosystem cannot be built without the active engagement, and often the leadership of industry. The successful launch of New Zealand’s Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) in July was testament to that.

The Board of the Australian Agritech Association are doing a fantastic job in promoting the sector. The announcements out of Canberra have added a sense of urgency to their task and I’m delighted to be able to share some of the experiences we developed in the creation of Agritech New Zealand. As Kenneth Irons, Chair of Agritech New Zealand said in the organisation’s October newsletter, ‘Agritech New Zealand and AusAgritech are forging deeper and better relations at both association and individual member level’.

Last September, I helped launch the Australia New Zealand Agritech Council. Little did we know then what the next 12 months would bring. Timing though, as they say, is everything. COVID has changed the global landscape beyond recognition and the opportunity to build an effective and collaborative trans-Tasman agritech sector is real.

You can learn more about the Australian Agritech Association and its mission here.