We are delighted to announce that the Federal Government has given the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) the green light today.
The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO today announced that the program will be funded with $50m over ten years, through the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres program.
As a Food Agility lead partner, and as passionate advocates for AgTech innovation in Australia, we are excited by the wealth of opportunities this landmark program will bring to local industry – from growers through to consumers – and we look forward to playing our role.
A breeding ground for Ag-Tech innovation
The Food Agility consortium has a mandate to fast-track the digital transformation of Australia’s food industry, and will unite industry bodies with major technology and service providers, government and financial institutions.
Food Agility CEO and The Yield Co-founder Dr Mike Briers AO said: “Global food production needs to increase by more than 50% by 2050 and the opportunity that presents to the Australian food industry is enormous. Yet we are currently lagging behind our international competitors."
"Australia is a world leader in agricultural productivity, and as early technology adopters. We now need to put these capabilities together to transform food and agriculture, and to create the knowledge exports of the future.” Dr Briers said.
Delivering benefits across the food chain
The Food Agility bid raised over $160m in commitments for the proposal and has 54 partners across the food value chain – including 15 technology providers, 11 food production companies, 7 service providers, 7 research providers, 6 regional development agencies, 5 government agencies and 3 industry networks.
Projects will be led by industry partners like The Yield, and will range from creating digital tools to help food producers understand market trends; new technology and analytics models for optimising animal welfare and food safety; new finance and insurance products based on real-time risk data; and, using data to helps growers make better decisions, and to prove their clean green credentials.
Ros Harvey, Founder and Managing Director of consortium lead partner The Yield, said the ability to aggregate data and apply it across the food value chain will create exciting new opportunities for growers and entrepreneurs alike.
“Using data to measure things like sustainability performance will allow us tell a comprehensive story of food provenance, one that banks and insurers can use to better develop financial services and opportunities.”
“This will allow our food producers and the industry to get the best possible return, whether it’s on farm, in delivering new products, or by having a better understanding of consumer preferences.”
The bid consortium was led by the Knowledge Economy Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), together with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Curtin University. Dr Anne Astin will be the inaugural Chair.
In addition to jointly founding the Food Agility consortium, Dr Briers and Ros Harvey previously co-founded the Knowledge Economy Institute in 2015.
 Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Agriculture Towards 2030/2050: The 2012 Revision.