MLA to grow agtech grassroots

Industry body launches start-up incubator


National Issues
MLA and Cicada Innovations are betting on the next game changing innovation being just over the next rise.

MLA and Cicada Innovations are betting on the next game changing innovation being just over the next rise.

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Industry body launches start-up incubator

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Meat and Livestock Australia is calling for applicants to its new GrowLab initiative to help agtech entrepreneurs commercialise beneficial technology for red meat industries.

GrowLab aims to develop selected innovations in areas such as robotics, animal health, remote sensing, food technologies and decision support tools.

MLA will partner with Cicada Innovations to deliver training in business development through GrowLab.

Cicada Innovations, a body dedicated to bringing new innovations to market, was founded by four major Australian Universities in 2000.

GrowLab is the only agtech program in Australia focused on advanced technologies that go beyond simple mobile applications, according to MLA.

It involves one day a week of training over 12 weeks, and ends with a public showcase and investor pitch for business to prospect for funding. The program starts in September and runs to November.

GrowLab will comprise eight to 10 individuals or teams with ideas capable of “completely transforming agricultural practices and food production”, according to MLA.

Chief executive of Cicada Innovatins Petra Andrén said her group can help the “great deal” of talented researchers and scientists who are finding solutions in the farm sector.

“Through GrowLab we can assist in taking their research or discovery to the next level of commercialisation,” she said.

“The opportunities in agricultural technology are absolutely huge in Australia at the moment, and are expected to contribute over $189 billion between 2013 and 2022.”

“Ultimately, we are looking for eligible projects that are pre-farmgate, post-farmgate, food technologies or food innovations.”

GrowLab is offered free of charge to participants.

It was designed to replicate Cicada Innovation’s highly successful Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program, which has so far produced nine new medtech companies that have raised a collective $15 million in public and private funding, and resulted in six career changes from academia to industry.

For more information: www.cicadainnovations.com/growlab/  

Applications are open now. They close on 21 July: www.cicadainnovations.com/growlab-applications/

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