The Victorian food and ag-tech sector: What do universities have to offer?


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Advances in digital and engineering technologies are increasingly important for maintaining a competitive agriculture industry. Ag-tech promises to reduce input costs, increase product quality, make connections across supply chains, account for environmental services, detect disease and pests more quickly, and much more.

Australia has the opportunity for a strong home-grown ag-tech sector that exports solutions overseas and create new jobs in rural areas. While there is great promise in ag-tech, the reality is there’s a long-way to go for Australian ag-tech to reach its potential.

Watch a panel session discussing the role of universities in supporting ag-tech innovation and contribute to growing the Australian ag-tech sector. Universities are a powerhouse of new ideas and technologies, but it isn’t clear how these ideas are translated into practice in the agriculture sector. Similarly, farmers and growers are often unable to justify the time and cost to engage in early-stage technologies emerging from research. The panel will explore what does and does not work, and what might be needed for universities to contribute to growing an Australian Ag-tech industry.


Greg Harper
Lead, NorVicFoods

Rebecca Wells
Inaugural CEO, Mallee Regional Innovation Centre

Peter Moller
Business Development Manager, Rubicon Water

Dr Margaret Ayre
Rural Innovation Research Group, the University of Melbourne

Professor Mike Stewardson
Program Lead, Water, Agriculture and Environment, the University of Melbourne (Chair)

First published on 27 April 2023.

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