It is a great time to be in rural research and innovation.
There is a landslide of activity across agriculture, fisheries and forestries, all designed to deliver new technologies and opportunities to Australian farmers.
Each day there is a new announcement, initiative, funding opportunity or open call – there are big goals that are bringing innovators together. The Australian Government is investing $86million in Adoption and Innovation Hubs to bring together research providers and research users, Agricultural Innovation Australia has been established to facilitate joint investment to solve agricultures’ big problems, the Australian Agritech Association was formed to advocate for Australian agritech as a standalone industry and now growag.com has launched (!) – collating research projects and commercial opportunities to drive collaboration and attract capital investment
EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE
Each year, the Australian government, universities and industry invest billions of dollars in research to support agriculture, fisheries and forestry. There are 15 Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), 43 universities and hundreds of industry organisations and peak bodies, that currently house thousands of research projects. But, in order to find them, you need to know what you are looking for and where to look. Until now.
growag.com has launched with all 15 RDCs current research projects and commercial opportunities, with the next step to expand to all research providers and innovators. Never before has it been so easy for farmers to find what research has been conducted across multiple industries.
Access to information is not the only way that rural industries are going to benefit. Increasing transparency across Australian R&D, along with highlighting existing commercial opportunities, will mean increased collaboration, investment and improved solutions.
FARMERS WILL BENEFIT FROM A GLOBAL INNOVATION SYSTEM
The development of the COVID-19 vaccine has shown what a lot of money and a sense of urgency can achieve, along with a global innovation effort. For each vaccine, there were multi-disciplinary and multi-national teams pulling together to produce a viable solution. Why not take the same approach for solving challenges such as the impact of climate on food production, sustainability across the supply-chain or increasing farmgate output?
The saying is ‘two heads are better than one’, and it is true. Australian farmers are not the only ones experiencing drought conditions, changing consumer trends, sustainability pressure and the increased need for traceability along the supply-chain. Global corporations and innovators are already investing time and significant capital in developing solutions, and we need to ensure Australian farmers are getting access to the results.
Bringing research to market is expensive. The cost of bringing technology and solutions to farmers can run well past $50million, and often this level of investment is not available (or viable) in Australia alone. The fact is, we need global investment to get Australian R&D off the shelf and into the hands of farmers.
How will farmers benefit from growAG.?
- Access to current and completed research projects across all rural industries, on one platform
- Increased opportunities to learn more about research and technology that is currently being developed, and participate by testing these in real-world conditions (on their own farms)
- Increased investment in Australian research and commercial opportunities by local and global investors, means that Australian farmers retain access to intellectual property and innovation that may otherwise never have made it on-farm or to the Australian market
- Attracting global investment and innovation to Australian R&D exponentially increases the total investment into rural research
- Investors are actively looking for viable commercial opportunities – if they can’t see the industry need, they can’t provide a solution.
INCREASED TRANSPARENCY TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT IN COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES
The objective now is to accelerate investment and commercial pathways that can deliver innovative solutions and a market advantage to Australian farmers. We can do this by opening the book on our agricultural research and development (R&D) and launching an online gateway that connects the world to Australia’s agrifood innovation opportunities. That gateway is growAG. and it means we’re open for business.
Traditionally, we haven’t made it easy for international investors to get a feel for what it is that we do and what we’re good at. Australia’s unique model of Rural Research & Development Corporations (RDCs), which are partnerships between government and industries has given us an exceptional global reputation for research, are not seen anywhere else globally
Now, growAG. is a one-stop shop where users can find all our R&D and all the commercial opportunities available and connect with the people they need to know.
We’ve designed the growAG platform to be a single point of contact for people to find out what we’re working on in Australia, what investment opportunities exist and who they can collaborate with. It’s an open book of all of Australia’s agricultural R&D and the people who make it happen.
growAG is currently a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and Australia’s 15 Research & Development Corporations. Over time we hope to add projects from universities and other research organisations, like the CSIRO, to the database. It’s a platform that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world and we’re excited about the possibility of growAG becoming a global marketplace for agrifood innovation.
Watch this space.