Australia leads the way in ag-tech innovation

By Jonathan Jackson. Published at Feb 7, 2019, in Features

Ag-tech is booming.

In 2017 investment in the sector topped $10 billion and that number has continued to grow as a new generation of start-ups leads the way in solving agriculture’s most pressing problems.

It is an opportune time because as McKinsay and Company reports, agriculture is the world’s oldest and least digitally mature industry.

Australia looks to be leading the way in ag-tech development, so it is no surprise that evokeAG. Australia’s largest international agrifood tech event is just days away from selling out as leading scientists, researchers, farmers and innovators converge in Melbourne to discuss what future generations will eat and how this food will be produced.

The event has been themed “Food, Farm, Future,” and will feature more than 100 international and national speakers and cover cutting-edge developments across the agricultural spectrum.

AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey says the interest and support for evolving technologies within the region is not unsurprising.

“The diversity of the agricultural climate in Australia and the innovations being pioneered to grow the sector is rapidly capturing the attention of international investors and innovators. They can see the unique opportunity to create another epicentre for agrifood tech outside of already prospering hubs in North America, Europe, and Israel,” said Harvey.

Interest has come from all corners of the globe with delegates travelling from countries including Uganda, Chile, Senegal, India, Israel, USA, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom to name a few.

According to evokeAG. speaker and CEO of Goterra, Olympia Yarger agrees the event is a timely opportunity for innovative thinkers and investors.

Goterra is a leading-edge startup that provides a sustainable solution for food waste management and an alternative livestock feed compound for primary producers.

“evokeAG. will provide entrepreneurs and the tech industry an opportunity to get to know the agrifood industry better, which will, in turn, change the course of how we view tech in agriculture. Australians are innovative, none more so than our agricultural communities and industry. Those of us in this space and certainly the industries and stakeholders that are part of the agtech ecosystem, have been waiting for an opportunity to discuss, collaborate and interact.” said Yarger.

Leading industry experts presenting at evokeAG. include:

Future: Professor Oded Shoseyov, a world-renowned nanotech pioneer from Israel, who has founded 12 companies. He has authored and co-authored more than 180 scientific publications and his TED talk has been translated into 21 languages with more than 1.4 million views.

Food: Joseph Zhou, investment partner from Shanghai-based Bits x Bites, will discuss opportunities for food tech start-ups within the lucrative Chinese market. He will also share cultural nuances that are often overlooked in the success and failures of breaking into Asia.

Farm: Automation is rapidly advancing with new robotic perception systems, autonomous harvesting and industrial warehouse automation changing the face of the industry. Fiona Simson is the President of the National Farmers’ Federation and is the first woman to hold the post. She will take part in a panel discussion on automation, AI and farmers of the future.

For full details of the evokeAG. 2019 program including key national and international speakers and to purchase tickets online, please head to

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