Ag tech entrepreneurs look to Israel

Grain Central, July 24, 2017

Australian ag-tech entrepreneurs in two states are forging closer ties with their counterparts in Israel.

The Queensland Government today announced the 11 Ag Tech start ups that will travel to Tel Aviv next month to learn from innovative Israeli companies revolutionising the agricultural sector.

The trip is being funded through the Queensland Government’s $420 million Advance Queensland initiative.

Meanwhile the Victorian Government has announced a new partnership between Agriculture Victoria and Israeli agtech company AgriTask, which it says is set to boost Victoria’s technological capabilities and improve the state’s farming systems.

Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford met with AgriTask representatives in Tel Aviv last week to announce a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to develop a new farm management and decision support tool for Victorian farmers.

AgriTask’s agronomists and software experts have developed a versatile agriculture business intelligence and decision support platform to enable farmers to immediately benefit from precision agronomy while continuing to use their present work methods.

“This world leading technology integrates data from a number of sources into a comprehensive mobile and web solution to enable better decision-making on farms and along the supply chain from paddock to plate,”a Victorian Government statement said.

“The new technology allows agronomists and managers to easily manage large and remote areas of diverse crops in varying growth conditions, react in real time and help farmers secure the yield, while saving on resources and the environment.

“Based on comprehensive agronomic data analysis, AgriTask assists farmers by providing key advice and support on irrigation, pest and disease detection, crop nutrition, and tactical decision making in response to weather.

“The new collaboration will enable the sharing of information between Agriculture Victoria and AgriTask and will help to adapt the agronomic platform to suit Australian farming systems.”

Queensland Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said next month’s tour to Israel will give local ag entrepreneurs the chance to rub shoulders with the best and to gain exposure in well developed innovation ecosystems.

“Israel consistently ranks highly on innovation and entrepreneurship, and is frequently referred to as the ‘startup nation’,” she said.

“We want to expose our businesses to their practices and learn as much as we can from them.”

Israel is home to more than 300 multinational corporations with innovation operations in the region. It is ranked as the number two startup ecosystem in the world, after the United States’ Silicon Valley, and boasts the highest amount of startups per capita in the world.

Queensland’s startups participating on the trade mission are Agrihive, Bioproton, BlockGrain, Ceres Tag Pty, Hydrox Technologies, IoT Australasia, Movus, Nexgen Plants, Scout Aerial Media and Surveying, Sustainable Organic Solutions, and V-Tol Aerospace.

Brisbane’s Hydrox Technologies General Manager Mark Trenchard welcomed the opportunity.

“Israel is world renowned for their innovative and advanced agricultural technologies, especially in the field of dry land irrigation for horticulture,” he said.

“Having the opportunity to meet with Israeli businesses in the AgTech field and to network with investors and potential partners will broaden the horizons of not only our own business but of the Queensland AgTech industry as a whole.”

The Palaszczuk Government is partnering with Startup Catalyst to deliver the mission, and will fund flights and accommodation costs. Austrade will provide and fund the curated program through the Austrade’s Tel Aviv Landing Pad, an Australian Government initiative to open markets for Australian startup businesses.

The delegation will spend a week in Israel from 5-14 August 2017. They will be based at the Tel Aviv Landing Pad in SOSA (South of Salame), which is a community of prominent venture capital investors.

Source: Queensland and Victorian Governments


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