The six part series of ‘Horizon Scans’, developed by Brisbane-based university QUT and funded by AgriFutures Australia highlights futuristic technologies, trends, innovations and new industry opportunities, all with strong potential to expand and grow Australian agriculture.
The latest watchlist of 24 potential emerging agricultural industries that provide opportunities for development include medicinal marijuana, hemp milk, and hydroponic berries, Asian vegetables, hydroponic hops, Australian edible natives, insect farming, wild camel and goat harvesting. While emerging technologies were identified in robotics and artificial intelligence, data, biotechnology, genomics, business models, renewable energy, and advanced materials.
AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey highlighted the importance of emerging technologies and industries in helping the sector achieve the National Farmer’s Federation’s $100 billion target.
“Spotting emerging technologies early and identifying their role in helping grow new industries is exciting for the sector and key to maximising the Australian agricultural sector’s competitive advantage,” said Mr Harvey.
“For Australia to remain at the forefront of innovation and to meet our ambitious targets we need to seek out these opportunities and commit to pursuing new ways of doing things. I see these scans as critical in contributing to that,” said Mr Harvey.
QUT researcher, Dr Grant Hamilton and his team , used a world-first approach to match futuristic technologies with new industry opportunities that can be applied in Australia.
“Many of the technologies and new industries identified through the scans have obvious application, others may require a leap of faith to understand the potential impact they can have on individual farm businesses or agricultural industries.
They also present an opportunity for growth, and the capacity to do so in an environmentally sustainable way by using new technologies.
“It takes a highly innovative business or individual to realise those opportunities but the payoff can definitely be worth it,” said Dr Hamilton.
AgriFutures Australia Senior Manager, Business Development Jennifer Medway encouraged Australian producers to be open to new possibilities.