Food Agility Summit 2020 - The Wrap Up

Big questions and even BIGGER ideas. Here's what you missed at the Food Agility Summit 2020
Annual Report 2017-18.pdf

Food Agility Summit 2020

Food Agility CRC were delighted to welcome over 200 delegates from across the agrifood sector to our inaugural summit at the aerial function centre at UTS for three days in February. Representatives from many different parts of the agrifood innovation system took to the stage to explore  the future of food: the challenges, the opportunities and the constraints.

On Monday 10th February we hosted our Higher Degree by Research students for a day of thesis presentations and workshops, before being joined by delegates from across the sector for the full Summit day on Tuesday. Following the welcome the chair of the Food Agility Board, DR Anne M Astin AM PSM, our CEO Dr Mike Briers took to the stage to challenge the audience to change our thinking and #FlipTheResearch. Watch Mike's address below, or read it here.

An expert panel featuring Shane Quinn (Mulgowie), Jacqui Wilson-Smith (Sustainable Innovation Co), Hon Niall Blair (Charles Sturt University), and Tim Neale (Data Farming) gave their perspective on Mike's call for deliberate innovation, with fascinating perspectives from the industry, regulatory, and research perspectives. Barely a few hours in, and already we were seeing ambitious ideas beginning to emerge. Noting that putting a man on the moon led to spectacular innovations with wide-ranging real-world impacts, Jacqui Wilson-Smith asked the audience "Here's a crazy idea for Australia. How do we build a farm on Mars?"

Throughout the rest of the day delegates enjoyed Food Agility project presentations from our industry partners, were blown away by incredible Three Minute Thesis snapshots from our Food Agility Higher Degree by Research scholarship holders, found a kindred spirit in keynote speaker Belinda Clarke (Agri-TechE UK), and looked ahead to 2030 to explore 'The Decade for Digital - A Digital Food System by 2030' with an expert panel.

Then, on Wednesday, we finished off the with site visits to the UTS Research Labs at Botany, and a roundtable of 40 innovation leaders to identify practical steps forward for the agrifood sector.

We would like to extend a huge and heartfelt 'thank you' to all our speakers, project partners, and panelists. And special thanks is due to Belinda Clarke from Agri-TechE in the UK for her compelling keynote address. Belinda remarked that she had ‘found her tribe’ and we feel the same way!

Thank you to everyone who attended! We hope to see you next year.

Highlights from the Food Agility Summit 2020. From Top Left: Dr Mike Briers AO give his keynote address. Ros Harvey (The Yield) and Belinda Clarke (Agri-TechE) explore the world in 2030 as part of our expert panel. Chris Mendes (The Yield) with As. Prof Shauna Murray (UTS) and As. Prof Daniel Ramp (UTS) Michael Crebar (AgTech Finder) take the stage for the Project Showcase. Kristen Fernandes (Curtin University) presents her Three Minute Thesis. Mara Bun (Food Agility), Hon. Niall Blair (Charles Sturt University), Tim Neale (Data Farming), Shane Quinn (Mulgowie) and Jacqui Wilson-Smith (Sustainable Innovation Co) respond to Mike Briers' 'Impact By Design' Keynote. PhD scholar Emma Leonard presents her Three Minute Thesis. PhD Scholar Imran Mahkdoom presents his thesis. Gavin Smith (Bosch Australia) explores the future in our 2030 panel. Dr Mardi Longbottom (AWRI) presents the Valuing the Environment in Viticulture project.

Keynote Speaker: Belinda Clarke

Director, Agri-TechE UK

"The Holy Grail of a unified, inter-operable, integrated data platform for agriculture appears as highly sought after in Australia as it is everywhere else. The potential of such a platform isn’t in dispute, but the complexity of the challenge isn’t to be under-estimated."

Read Belinda's roundup of her experience at Food Agility Summit 2020.

Keynote Address: Why We Need to 'Flip' the Research

Dr Mike Briers AO, CEO Food Agility CRC

"Validation of research outcomes by other scientists is critical to traditional knowledge creation. But iterative validation of research and technology outcomes with problem owners and beneficiaries is critical for practice change and adoption  - and ultimately industry impact."

Watch Mike's address, or read the transcript here, to find out why we need to #FlipTheResearch.

Expert Panel

Our panel of experts explored the opportunities and challenges of the digital revolution currently underway across the agrifood sector. Which emerging technologies will be ubiquitous in 2030? What skills will be needed across the agrifood value chain 10 years down the road? How could we make the Australian agrifood sector climate resilient?

FEATURING: Gavin Smith (President, Bosch Australia) Ros Harvey (Founder and Managing Director, The Yield) Belinda Clarke (Director, Agri-TechE), Dr Mary Retallack (Viticulturist and Director, Wine Australia)

Watch it Again

Couldn't make it to the summit? No worries! Here is a taste of what the audience experienced. The first two videos feature producers, researchers, and  partners involved in a wide variety of Food Agility projects across Australia. 'The World in 2030' set the scene for the final expert panel of the day 'The Decade for Digital: A Digital Food System by 2030'.

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