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LBS Innovation Series: Robotics and AI are coming your way

Watch Professor Peter Corke give a presentation about robotics, AI and computer vision technologies with examples of what they mean for food production, and how they are changing the business environment.

About Peter

Peter Corke is Professor of Robotic Vision at Queensland University of Technology (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. He is well known for his robotics toolbox software for MATLAB, the best-selling textbook “Robotics, Vision, and Control”, massive open online courses (MOOC) and the online Robot Academy. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Peter also has held several editorial board positions and held various visiting positions.

Agbots

Robotics technology is almost 60 years old. Artificial intelligence, particularly computer vision, has dramatically increased the fields into which robots can be employed. Peter’s talk covers examples of recent work, at QUT and elsewhere, will be used to illustrate what the near future entails. For example, pointing out that farm machinery control is largely a visual task, Peter suggests that with vison assisted robotics there can be an alternative future where multiple small (low land pressure) unmanned ground ‘agbots’ take the place of very large manned farm machinery (high land pressure).

Please enjoy Peter’s presentation.

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems
- Innovation Series: Innovation and the Victorian Chamber’s Agribusiness Taskforce
- LBS Innovation Series: Supply challenges and consumer expectations

LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems

Over the last years, the agtech sector has taken off with a proliferation of agtech and foodtech accelerators and incubators across the country. Agtech will become increasingly important in driving Australia’s agricultural innovation but is the sector ready? Andrea Koch discusses how Australia can grow its own agriculture innovation ecosystem.

About Andrea

Andrea Koch is the Principal of Andrea Koch Agtech, an agricultural technology strategy, marketing and product development consultancy. Andrea is also a director with the National Farmers Federation Board and SproutX, Austalia’s first agtech accelerator.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and a Master of Sustainable Development and is from a fifth-generation Australian farming family. Her family background and varied career allow her to bring together farming and digital technology. She sees a future where digital technology underpins our farming sector being the most competitive and innovative in the world.

The rural versus the urban world

Australia has a unique agricultural research, development and extension system and Andrea sees a divide between what she describes as the ‘rural world’ and the ‘urban world’. On the one side there are users of on-farm technology – that is the farmers and the ‘ecosystem’ of rural suppliers, advisors and consultants. On the other side, are the investment and finance community, tech developers, urban based research institutions and the agri-political groups. These worlds are somewhat disconnected, and Andrea presents some of the changes that are required.

Please enjoy Andrea’s presentation.



This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School.

More blogs in the 2019 LBS Innovation Series:

LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?

Disruptive technology is changing our daily lives and agriculture is not immune from this digital wave. Allan McCallum discusses whether we should see this new technology as a threat or embrace it as an opportunity.

About Allan

Allan is Chairman of Cann Group Limited, Australia’s first licensed/permitted grower of medicinal cannabis in Australia. Allan has led and been part of the team that instituted privatisation of the grain industry storage, handling and transport sector, (Vicgrain/ Graincorp) and the merging of regional based fertiliser businesses that became a global leader in explosives (Incitec Pivot). Via his work with Tassal, which is now a world leader in sustainable salmon production, Allan has been active in the restructure of the Tasmanian salmon industry.

Agtech

Agtech is an often used definition for various technology used in the agricultural industry. According to Start Up Australia, Agtech refers to the collection of digital technologies that provide the agricultural industry with the tools, data and knowledge to make more informed and timely on-farm decisions and improve productivity and sustainability.

Allan uses Cann Group Limited as a case study that shows that embracing agtech set then on a path to building a world-class Australian business in the emerging medicinal cannabis industry. He also focuses on the challenge of how to bring an agribusiness concept to market from a start-up to listing on the ASX in a period of rapid disruption.

Please enjoy Allan’s presentation.



This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School.

More blogs in the 2019 LBS Innovation Series:

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:

Students working together with industry on real-world issues

Every semester, students enrolled in LBS’ Master of Business Information Management and Systems (MBIMS) get the chance to work on live projects for the subject Business Intelligence Project Analysis and Design (BUS5BPD). This semester the students are undertaking a Digital Twin Inspection Tool project for the Australian Marine and Ship Services in collaboration with Deloitte.

What is digital twin technology?

A digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. These ‘digital twins’ are applied to accelerate design, optimise performance and enable predictive maintenance. When delivered effectively, the results are improved product reliability, availability, safety and a reduction in the cost of delivery. Thus, a digital twin could be seen as a bridge between the physical and digital world.

Digital Twin Inspection Tool

Together with Deloitte, a fictional scenario is created; An Australian shipping company is having trouble aligning their digital twin to the physical asset, and they need an improved toolset to enhance their existing audit processes. Even though the Australian shipping company is a fictional company, the HMAS Castlemaine is used as a physical case study. The HMAS Castlemaine is one of the 60 Australian-built Bathurst Class corvettes to serve throughout World War II and is the last such vessel still afloat. The ship provides students with the opportunity to collect data and test their application. Ultimately, students are expected to capture/validate the physical state of the HMAS Castlemaine in a yet to be developed inspection application for Deloitte, compatible with Apple technology.

Students in front of the HMAS Castlemaine

Guest lectures by Deloitte and Apple

Throughout the semester, a series of guest lectures is provided by Deloitte and Apple. These guest lectures help students develop the digital twin inspection tool while using the philosophy of ‘Design Thinking’. Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. Besides design thinking, these lectures also cover relevant topics such as the digital twins’ concept and designing the  inspection application architecture of digital twins.

Industry-University collaboration

This project is a great example of how university and industry can collaborate to provide students with the opportunity to apply the skills they learn throughout their degree in the real world. Besides developing an actual prototype, this project enhances students’ academic, career, and personal development, increases their understanding of the work place and makes them career ready.

LBS and Deloitte arranged a site visit to the HMAS Castlemaine to give students the opportunity to visualise the challenge.

National innovation forum: Innovate or Perish?

In a world that is more connected than ever, how can we create sustainable bonds between universities, business and not for profits? All with a view towards creating a more mature innovation culture and ecosystem.

The missing ingredient to growth is the ability to think outside the box – to innovate. For many businesses’ it’s safer inside the box. But when you’re constricted by the four walls of a box you can’t truly grow.

The demands of day to day operations of many SMEs and not-for-profits exclude them from maximising the benefits of innovative. Most are doing everything they can to maximise profits or fundraising, and minimise costs.

Universities, on the other hand, exist outside the normal parameters that can inhibit business growth. As such Universities have the potential to break the walls of the box, let in the light and build the links to create innovative businesses.

This is why, as a nation, Australia must get better at creating meaningful collaboration between universities and business. Such is the need for stronger connections the Federal Government flagged innovation in Australia as a major policy focus with its $1.1 billion National Science and Innovation Agenda in November 2015.

The core principle of the government’s agenda is to make a substantial difference in the numbers of university-industry collaborations. The reason is simple; such alliances have become a prominent feature of the knowledge-based economy, dealing with the speed of transformation, and economic and technological disruption.

These partnerships allow a business to break free of the confines of everyday operation, and to work with universities to translate ideas into commercial realities.

While Australia lags behind the world in translating research into commercial outcomes university-industry partnerships internationally are being exploited to great effect.

While Australian universities are among the world’s best, when it comes to innovation it’s important to make sure that research, innovation and business are connected. If research is irrelevant to startups, SMEs and not-for-profits it becomes a purely academic exercise.

At the forum international and national business and academic speakers will present case studies of successful university-industry collaboration including examples of business innovation, incubators and accelerators.

Attendees will not only learn what has worked but they will also discover what can be done to improve university-industry interactions and engagement, particularly for startups and SMEs in the Australian context.

A multitude of speakers with wide ranging backgrounds and experience will speak at the conference.

Major themes

  • The role of incubators, accelerators and TTOs (Technology Transfer Offices) in engaging startups and SMEs while at the same time connecting those start up and SMEs with university-industry innovation.
  • Global forces shaping opportunities for business (including startups and SMEs) over the coming decade
  • Business perspectives on the opportunities and barriers to university-industry collaboration.
  • Developing environments where innovation can thrive.
  • Regulation and legal framework (patent law, licensing, federal and state jurisdictions and university policies).
  • The economic, political and societal framework in which business and/or universities operate (incentives, competitiveness, regulation, competition policy, innovation and technology policy).

Sessions include

  • Conference evening event with a key note speaker and networking opportunities.
  • International and national academic speakers and case studies on successful approaches to university –industry collaboration with a focus on startups and SMEs. Questions answered will include; what has worked and why? What can be learned from mistakes? What needs to change?
  • Australian business leaders’ perspectives on global challenges and opportunities for innovation and improving industry-university collaboration.
  • The state of Australia’s national innovation system – Australian government perspective, frameworks, opportunities, incentives and challenges.
  • Master Classes on frugal innovation; design thinking and lean start-up principles; and, data analytics and business transformation.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday 27 (afternoon) and all-day Thursday 28 September 2017

Where: La Trobe Business School, located at the Donald Whitehead Building, La Trobe Melbourne Campus, Bundoora Victoria

Register: Please register via this link.

La Trobe Business School Professor shares SeniorPreneur insights on Studio 10 National TV

Professor of Entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz

Recently, La Trobe Business School’s Professor of Entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz, appeared on Channel 10’s morning show. He shared research outcomes from the recent nbn Silver Economy Report, where he collaborated on research and analysis on a national SeniorPreneur research project.

SeniorPreneurs emerge from retirement

The Silver Economy Report reveals that tech-savvy baby boomers are expected to contribute an additional $ 11.9billion to the Australian GDP in new ventures each year, Insights reveal that SeniorPreneurs are expected to start 14,000 new businesses each year; representing the fastest growing sector of entrepreneurship. 34% of all small businesses are lead by senior entrepreneurs. More than half (54%) of them claim they employ a predominantly online model in their businesses, with 61% of them preferring to upskill online. Be it motivation to create or supplement income (67%), pursue passion projects (58%) or keep mentally stimulated (55%), these tech-savvy boomers are undergoing a new renaissance.

The Silver Economy Report is available online, here.

The Studio 10 TV in-studio interview is available here (Professor Alex Maritz speaks at 1:48).

La Trobe Business School is at the cutting edge of innovation and technology when it comes to offering tech-savvy Entrepreneurship Education courses online. For more information, click here.

LBS’s Mark Morris: “What is the future of accounting?”

MM_Future

Recently, LBS Professor of Practice Mark Morris gave a presentation on the Future of Accounting at the Australian Tax Office. In the presentation, Mark speaks about how the ATO has adapted themselves to a changing world in the past, and how he thinks they can adapt themselves to new technology in the future. Mark looks at what the key drivers are of the profession changing in the framework of a globalised world, and where tax firms are and need to be now. He addresses questions like ‘How can firms stay ahead of the curve?’, ‘What skillset do they need?’ and ‘What strategies do tax firms need to develop for a market in 2020?’

To know what his answers to these questions are, watch Mark Morris’s presentation in full, below:

 

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