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EMERGING INDUSTRIES / Monday, 3 July 2023
Buzz-worthy team takes flight: meet the Emerging Insect Technology Hub’s new swarm of committee members
A knowledge-sharing initiative aimed at accelerating insect farming as an emerging industry in Africa and Australia is being spearheaded by an accomplished group of scientists, farmers and business professionals.
The Emerging Insect Technology Hub will serve as a focal point for collaboration, focusing on how insects can contribute as food, animal feed, and fertiliser to propel a global transition to a greener environment and circular economy.
The program will bring together industry stakeholders, scientists, and investors to address topics related to advancing insect technologies.
The Hub is a joint venture between AgriFutures Australia, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya.
AgriFutures Australia Senior Manager, Emerging Industries, Dr Olivia Reynolds is excited about the collaboration opportunities between Africa and Australia to be gained from the new EIT-Hub.
“The EIT-Hub will provide a forum to bring together industry stakeholders, scientists and investors for a collaborative discussion and support on issues linked to emerging insect technologies,” she said.
“Rather than duplicating these efforts in Australia and Africa, the EIT-Hub will bring together stakeholders to maximise sharing opportunities. This is an exciting prospect for the industry.”
EIT Hub Chair Duncan Rowland also emphasised his enthusiasm for the program and its far-reaching capacities.
“It’s a first for the insect research space, and it strongly complements the policy work being undertaken by the Global Roundtable for Insect Associations (GRIA),” he said.
“An important step will be to ensure the direction and strategic imperatives will need to be ground truthed and consultation with stakeholders will need to take place.”
Already buzzing with ideas, the hub has proposed an initial activity for the team – developing a gold standard technical manual for black soldier fly rearing that is adaptable to any country looking to develop insect-based feed, food and fertiliser.
The second focus will be to develop a strategic plan of research areas that need to be addressed for the further development of the two country’s insect industries.
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