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.
"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.
"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.
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)
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'.