UPDATED: 14 October 2021; Following the postponement of the the original AdvanceAg conference in July because of COVID, I’m delighted that it has been rescheduled to take place on Monday. I had planned to deliver the keynote in person, but will now be dialing in from New Zealand.

With almost 500 delegates attending the Adelaide Convention Centre in-person, it will be a great opportunity to share some of the collaborative opportunities that exist in the trans-Tasman partnership. Monday offers a fantastic opportunity to share this with an important group of South Australian agritech stakeholders.

You can learn more at AdvanceAg SA

The original post that was published on 3 May below:

I was delighted to receive an invitation from the Hon David Basham, the South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, to keynote at the upcoming AdvanceAg Conference in Adelaide. You can learn more about the conference here.

Back in October 2020, the Government of South Australia released the ‘South Australia AgTech Strategic Plan’. It’s a significant piece of work and a number of its recommendations resonated. I recognised that it had brought together different stakeholders including producers, government, research, industry and startups. The AdvanceAg conference is an important part of this Plan.

It’s interesting to see how the landscape in Australia (Federal v States) is taking shape. From an agritech rather than agricultural production perspective, the states seem to be accelerating activity and planning in this space. Much of the Federal focus appears to be on the performance of the Research & Development Corporations (RDCs). GrowAG (I sat on its Establishment Steering Committee) is one manifestation of that focus. As many of us know however, innovation and technology advancement is not only to be found in the publicly-funded research domain. Building a cohort of agritech businesses capable of scaling and creating impact is very often a private sector endeavour. Those businesses require the ongoing support of the wider agritech ecosystem – agribusinesses, government, investors, incubators, accelerators, as well as research. It’s building that broader ‘coalition of the willing’ that I recognised in South Australia’s AgTech Strategic Plan.

For anyone familiar with my work in New Zealand over the past 6 years, building collaborative agritech frameworks and partnerships has been a key focus. Today, that model has taken on a global lens. The Government of South Australia recognises the advances made in New Zealand and my quest is to identify opportunities for increased collaboration between the two respective sectors. AdvanceAg provides the platform to discuss this.