New website fills missing link between ag 'research' and 'development'

GrowAg website fills missing link between ag 'research' and 'development'

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NEW TOOL: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and AgriFutures managing director John Harvey.

NEW TOOL: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and AgriFutures managing director John Harvey.

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The new website will allow researchers, farmers and investors - both local and international - to connect and collaborate.

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A NEW one stop-shop has been launched to turn rural research into commercial opportunities.

The GrowAg website is a centralised platform that showcases Australia's agrifood innovation opportunities, success stories, and a comprehensive database of Australia's current agrifood research projects.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said when it came to ag "research and development", the industry was leading the world in the "research" but needed to step up the "development".

"This window is open now for the rest of the world to see the range of agricultural innovations Australia has on offer today and into the future," Mr Littleproud said.

"Investors, researchers and farmers from Australia and the rest of the world can now easily locate information and opportunities to further deliver innovation back to the farm and the food supply-chain.

All the information on the platform is free to access and allows farmers, investors, corporates, start-ups, researchers, industries - both local and international - to locate information and opportunities to deliver innovation back to the farm and the food supply-chain.

Agrifutures Australia developed the new platform, with the support of the 14 other Research and Development Corporations, through $2 million in federal funding.

AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey said GrowAg was an important step in Australia's bid to attract global investment.

"Often the Australian market for agricultural innovation is too small to justify the costs of commercialisation - this results in technology remaining on the shelf, available to no one," Mr Harvey said.

"Australian researchers are highly innovative. It is time to catapult them into a global market as many of their technologies are highly scalable.

"This way Australian farmers get the benefit of the technology they have paid for, being commercialised."

Meat & Livestock Corporation managing director Jason Strong said Research and Development Corporations had invested in a massive number of projects over the past couple of decades, but they were not easy enough to find.

"GrowAG is going to fundamentally change that," Mr Strong said.

"It provides a central spot where people can actually go search and find the investments and opportunities for commercialisation in Australian agriculture."

Mr Littleproud said GrowAg would make research and development outcomes more transparent for levy payers and the community.

"Farmers can now see their levy-funded research projects from across our 15 Research and Development Corporations in one location using filters to search across different commodities," Mr Littleproud said.

"Our farmers will be just a few clicks away from learning more about the latest research on how to manage aggressive weeds and understand the known impact of the recent bushfires on disease, pests and beneficial organisms.

"Companies and investors can also see commercial opportunities from the research and development in areas such as automatic harvesting of mangoes and yield prediction of grapevines."

Sarah Nolet, co-founder of Agrifood tech firm Tenacious Ventures, said the Australian ag industry had an amazing innovation ecosystem, but it was difficult to navigate.

"We get asked all the time about what is happening in Australian agtech - whether it's research opportunities, projects being commercialised or start-ups to work with who's doing," Ms Nolet said.

"It's really hard to figure out who's doing robotics, who's doing plant breeding and where these hubs of activity are.

"GrowAg is a way to highlight that research and help different parties across the research and industry divide to connect."

To find out more, visit growag.com.

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