For 200 years, Australia’s economic prosperity has been built on the back of food, fibre and resources. Australian agriculture’s willingness to adapt and to innovate has allowed it to consistently and profitably generate world-class produce in one of the harshest and most resource-constrained environments on Earth.
However, for Australian agriculture to reach its ambition of becoming a $100 billion industry by 2030, it needs a paradigm shift. As ABARES Executive Director Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds told the 2020 Outlook Conference, “The future will not be like the past. We will need to anticipate, innovate and collaborate to stay ahead of the curve” (Department of Agriculture, 2020). While operational and incremental pre-farmgate improvements will continue to play a role in agriculture innovation, they won’t deliver the step-changes necessary for a $100 billion industry.
In commissioning this work, AgriFutures Australia has asked an elegantly simple question: How might we design a collaborative open innovation model that leverages the unique strengths of different types of organisations to take ideas through to value and impact? Answering this question is the focus of this report.