By Ashley Rootsey, Leader of the AI & Robotics Pillar
Food Agility joined forces with three fellow CRCs at EvokeAg 2023, with a combined stand in ‘The Hive’ showcasing the innovation and research transforming Australia’s agrifood sector.
The EvokeAg agenda was jam-packed with high-level discussions about pressing issues for the industry: the need for sustainability beyond green washing; Australia’s evolving role in global food supply chains; the transition from farm data to farm decisions, and more.
Alongside the CRC stand were tech and software companies at the cutting edge of R&D, all aiming to createa more efficient, profitable, and sustainable agrifood future. In Startup Alley, demonstrations of emerging and scaling agtech offered insights into the future direction of on-farm technology. And it wasn’t just the tech that has improved with time. Our team were pleased to see a clearer focus on presenting benefits to farmers as well as stronger whole-of-life tech servicing arrangements.
Meanwhile, discussion at the CRC stand focused on the role that we play as brokers of ideas and managers of innovation among diverse industry players. We also found a strong interest in some of our flagship projects such as Rangelands Carbon, Robotics-ready AI in Viticulture, and Protecting Data in Digital Agriculture; with exciting opportunities identified to scale research outcomes into other industries and supply chains.
Ultimately, it was collaboration that proved to be the common thread of this year’s event, both on and off the stage. Everyone we spoke to agreed thateffective collaboration is the key to realising the ‘research-innovation-commercialisation’ future the agrifood sector is aimingto create.
But what comes after collaboration? The next practical step will be the seamless integration of various agtech products to generate whole-of-farm solutions. While there will be initial challenges (such as shared business models and pricing structures) we believe integrationwill solidify Australia’s leading role in agrifood innovation on the world stage. In fact, Food Agility is already putting this into practice, partnering with leading agtech providers for shared solutions in projects such as Sensors for Summerfruit and our collaboration with the Global Digital Farm, led by our Chief Scientist Professor David Lamb.
We extend our congratulations to the Agrifutures team on another exceptional EvokeAg. Making connections across the agrifood sector has never been more important. We’ll be back next year for EvokeAg Melbourne and, in the meantime, we invite you to join us in Wagga this October for the Digital Agrifood Summit.
Ashley Rootsey is the Leader of the AI & Robotics Pillar. If you are looking to discuss high-impact innovation and research programs for your business or sector, please get in touch Ashley.firstname.lastname@example.org