AgTech industry experts will meet in South Australia next month to explore how AI, big data, biotech, robotics and other emerging technologies can drive efficiency and combat climate change.
The November 20 gathering at the Adelaide Convention Centre is part of the 8-day southstart festival, where attendees can connect with more than 1000 entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, creative and industry experts from a range of fields
Agriculture is among the least digitised industries in the world but with demand for agricultural products expected to double by 2050 to feed a global population of 9.5 billion Australia is poised to become leader.
The National Farmers’ Federation has stated its aim to lift production by $40 billion to $100 billion by 2030. Alternative business models and production processes supported by AgTech will be crucial in achieving this.
The South Australian government has also recently entered a partnership with the University of Adelaide to help the state become a global leader in AgTech and dryland agriculture. The university also last month launched ThincLab Waite, a business incubator aimed specifically at startups in the AgTech, food and wine sectors.
Southstart’s AgTech stream is presented by BDO Australia and ThincLab Waite. Industry experts speaking at the event include AgriFutures Australia Chair Kay Hull, SoilCQuest CEO Guy Hudson and Accelerating Asia’s Nesh Sooriyan. They will be joined by AgTech investment experts Robert Williams, the Director at Artesian Venture Partners, and Kilara Capital Principal and CEO Andrew Cosh.
GOTERRA CEO Olympia Yarger and the founder of cultivated meat company VOW, George Peppou, will be part of an alternative agriculture panel while Swarm Farm founder Andrew Bate will speak about robotic farming.
AgThentic Founder and CEO Sarah Nolet will facilitate the day with BDO Australia AgTech Lead Michael Macolino.
Nolet said southstart would be an opportunity to share stories of leading producers and entrepreneurs revolutionising agriculture.
Combatting climate change
“The agrifood tech space is exploding in Australia, with innovators working on everything from driving on-farm efficiencies through analytics and robotics, to business model innovations that unlock regenerative practices to combat climate change,” she said.
Macolino said AgTech was a key enabler in solving many of the challenges across the agricultural supply chain.
“However, solving these challenges requires a whole of ecosystem approach, bringing together technologists, investors and food producers,” he said
More than 70 leading scientists, virtual technologists, winemakers, entrepreneurs, ecosystem champions will present at southstart, exploring the intersection of technology and humanity in a range of workshops, keynotes, panels, masterclasses, dinners and parties across Adelaide.
Andrew Spence is a senior writer with The Lead, South Australia