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LBS Innovation Series: Join experts in a discussion about the future of food production and agribusiness

How often do you get to hear from world leading robotics and autonomous systems, cereal biology, food quality and crop productivity, and nutrition, digestion and nutrient bioavailability experts talking about the implications of their research for the future of food production and agribusiness? Not very often is the short answer.

This is the opportunity being offered at the 2018 LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum at La Trobe University on the 15th and 16th of November.

Internationally recognised experts

There are presentations from Professor Peter Corke from Queensland University of Technology, Professor Harsharn Gill from RMIT University, and Professor Tony Bacic from La Trobe University, each internationally recognised experts in their field.

  • Professor Peter Corke is a distinguished professor of robotic vision at QUT, and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision. His research is concerned with enabling robots to see, and the application of robots to mining, agriculture and environmental monitoring. Peter is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, a fellow of the IEEE, founding and associate editor of the Journal of Field Robotics, founding multi-media editor and editorial board member of the International Journal of Robotics Research, member of the editorial advisory board of the Springer Tracts on Advanced Robotics series.
  • Professor Harsharn Gill is Head of the Food Research & Innovation Centre at RMIT University. He has over 25 years experience in leading and managing food, nutrition and health R&D in private and public sectors. Prior to joining RMIT, he held senior R&D leadership roles in Australia and New Zealand, including Research Director at the Department of Primary Industries Victoria; Chair of Functional Foods & Human Health at Massey University, and Director of Milk & Health Research Centre at Fonterra, New Zealand.
  • Professor Tony Bacic is Director of the La Trobe Institute for Agriculture & Food (LIAF). He is an internationally recognized leader in plant biotechnology, with research focused on the structure, function and biosynthesis of plant cell walls and their biotechnological application as well as the application of functional genomics tools in biological systems. Prior to joining La Trobe (1996 to 2017) Tony was Personal Chair in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne and leader of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls team (2011-2017). His other leadership roles include Director Bio21 Molecular Sciences & Biotechnology Institute, Chair ARC Biological Sciences and Biotechnology & LIEF (infrastructure) Panels and Chair Biological Sciences and Biotechnology Panel of the ERA (Excellence in Research Australia).

Besides these three, the forum presents many industry heavyweights as well such as Allan McCallum, Chair of Cann Group, James Fazzino, former CEO Incitec Pivot, and Andrea Koch from Principle Agtech.

Agricultural technology and science revolution

The agriculture industry is on the edge of a technology and science revolution and each of these outstanding individuals will share their research and discuss its application as a driver for the changing dynamics of the global food production and agribusiness.

However, more than a range of presentations, the 2018 LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum promotes two-way knowledge transfer and dialogue, interactive panels, case studies, opportunities for networking, masterclasses, and direct access to cutting edge science and technology experts.

 

Why not be part of this rare opportunity? You can learn more about the Forum and register by following this link:

www.latrobe.edu.au/events/all/innovation-in-food-and-agribusiness

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

LBS Innovation Series – Is Australia prepared?

Professor of Practice in economics at LBS, Dr Mark Cloney, asks: what are the key drivers of innovation, disruption and opportunity in the global food production and agribusiness sectors? And why have the Dutch got it so right?

Changing consumer demand, particularly in Asia, corporatisation of farming, automation on farms and in processing, agtech and advances in the Internet of Things (IoT), digitalisation of supply chains, agricultural science advances, and the emergence of vertical farming are just some of the drivers changing the dynamics of the global food production and agribusiness[1].

The Netherlands

Are Australia’s food producers and agribusiness well-informed and placed to understand these challenges and to gain from the opportunities they offer? Countries like The Netherlands certainly are[2]. Despite its relative size, the Dutch are the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products at $158 billion, or three times Australia’s exports[3]. Together with the USA and Spain, The Netherlands is one of the world’s three leading producers of vegetables and fruit supplying a quarter of the vegetables that are exported from Europe. Why? The Dutch are forward-looking, highly innovative and collaborative and have achieved worldwide recognition for their research, infrastructure and innovation systems. For example, Wageningen University and Research (WUR) is the number 1 agricultural university in the world for the third year in a row according to The National Taiwan Ranking of over 300 universities; while, 5 of the top 26 global agri-food companies have R&D facilities in The Netherlands[4].

Australia

So where does Australia stand in comparison? Nationally, the food and agribusiness sector employed approximately 522,000 persons and there were approximately 178,500 businesses trading in the sector (as at June 2015). According to the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda[5], food production and agribusiness are areas of competitive strength for Australia. Australia’s food and agribusiness sector includes food-related agricultural production, food processing and the major inputs to these activities. This includes: food products, processing and beverage manufacturing as well as key inputs; and, agribusiness that relates directly to food production and their supply chains.

La Trobe’s AgriBio Centre

La Trobe University has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping Australia create a vibrant future for those involved in the production of food, fibre and agribusiness. La Trobe plays its role in building human capital and undertaking R&D and scientific research that supports the food and agribusiness innovation system. For example, La Trobe’s AgriBio Centre brings together world-class research in the largest agricultural R&D organisation in Victoria. La Trobe recently announced funding of $50 million for its new La Trobe Institute for Agriculture and Food focused on solutions for global food security.  La Trobe is also a founding member and financial contributor to Melbourne’s Northern Food Group a partnership with the Victorian government, 5 local governments, 4 tertiary institutes, Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne Innovation Centre, and the Melbourne Market Authority among others.

LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum

So how can Australia’s food producers and agribusiness prepare themselves against ever increasing disruption, and better collaborate with world class researchers and scientists in this field? These are some of the questions being explored at the Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum organised by LBS in partnership with NORTHLink. The focus of the Forum is on hearing from industry speakers of successful innovation in the food production and agribusiness sector. It will present industry and government perspectives on how we can continue to improve innovation in this sector, particularly for SMEs and start-ups operating in a global context.

In particular, the Forum offers an opportunity to explore how we create the right collaborative partnerships and environment for food production and agribusiness to succeed globally in an era of increased disruption. Maybe we just need some Dutch courage!

 

References:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

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