11 October 2021

Opening the GATE for Ag-Tech Innovation

Innovation is a hot buzzword in business but how does it apply to an age-old industry like agriculture?

he fact is that agriculture and farming have been at the forefront of innovation throughout history, owing to the increasing demands of an ever-growing world population.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) was looking for ways to update and refresh their GATE (Global Ag-Tech Ecosystem) program. Never afraid of a challenge, The Growth Drivers (TGD) dived headlong into reviewing, refreshing and supporting DPI to deliver the incubator program, winning an Australian Good Design Award for their valuable efforts.

“Innovation and accelerator programs generally focus on tech-based solutions for the general population,” TGD Chief Design Officer Dr Laura Kostanski says.

“This program is unique in its offering to the agricultural sector - with innovations ranging from general farm production and management techniques, through to specific solutions for the cattle industry, soil quality, veterinary practices, crop production and quality assurance of produce.”

Hosted at the DPI Orange Agricultural Institute, the GATE facility provides access to DPI, the largest agricultural Research and Development provider in Australia, including the expertise of over 600 scientific and technical staff.

The GATE program is an initiative designed to fast-track the development of agricultural technologies to increase productivity for Australian farms and farmers. The GATE program is enabled by a joint venture through which DPI has partnered with major Australian agricultural R&D organisations Horticulture Innovation Australia, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and Cotton Research and Development Corporation along with Sparklabs Cultiv8, an accelerator and venture capital provider.

Through a deep investigation of stakeholder requirements and leading-edge agricultural business models, TGD were able to deliver training sessions along with toolkits to help participants engage with relevant innovation methods.

The refreshed design of GATE has allowed teams to identify new ways of delivering positive outcomes to the public.

“The real impact has been in how researchers and entrepreneurs can make their research and technology more accessible to customers, attracting a more diverse array of investors, partners and clients – more effectively cultivating and developing ag-tech ideas to increase productivity for NSW farmers and primary producers, “ — DPI Deputy Director General Infrastructure and Business, Brett Fifield.

With increased return on investment for farmers, solidified connections with stakeholders and greater benefits delivered to society, industry and the global agricultural sector, the updated GATE program promises a better future for a growing world.

The GATE2021 program will be having the DemoDay, a pitch event for teams, on Tuesday 26 October; it is an open event and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Visit the GATE program at thegate.org.au/

See the Good Design Awards information at https://good-design.org/projec...

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