New vi­sion for ag in­no­va­tion

Central and North Rural Weekly - - DROUGHT FEA­TURE - DAVID THOM­SON Grow­com CEO

GROW­COM is com­mit­ted to help­ing the hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try se­cure a shared strat­egy for the fu­ture af­ter Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud an­nounced plans to de­velop a new vi­sion for Aus­tralia’s ru­ral in­no­va­tion sys­tem.

De­liv­er­ing a uni­fied vi­sion will re­quire in-depth per­spec­tives from sev­eral in­dus­try stake­hold­ers and as Queens­land’s peak body for hor­ti­cul­ture, Grow­com is ea­ger to be at the fore­front of these con­ver­sa­tions as a vo­cal ad­vo­cate for grow­ers.

The new study will be un­der­taken by Ernst & Young and will in­volve more than 450 in­ter­views and 10 work­shops to gar­ner a broad snap­shot of the lat­est in­dus­try in­no­va­tions and lead­ing re­search in agtech devel­op­ment.

Aus­tralia’s ru­ral in­no­va­tion sys­tem, which has helped farm­ers in­crease their pro­duc­tiv­ity over the past 30 years, could ben­e­fit from look­ing over­seas to at­tract cap­i­tal and de­velop new re­search ideas re­lat­ing to in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy.

Through our ad­vo­cacy and projects, Grow­com aims to im­prove grow­ers’ path­ways to com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion so they can at­tract in­vest­ments, new ex­port mar­kets and more con­sumers of their pro­duce.

Our in­no­va­tion coach, funded by Hort In­no­va­tion, is a good ex­am­ple of a re­search and devel­op­ment pro­ject that helps to guide and men­tor grow­ers and em­ploy­ees along their in­no­va­tion jour­ney.

An in­de­pen­dent fa­cil­i­ta­tor or ‘coach’ works one on one with grow­ers to un­der­stand their busi­ness needs and vi­sion.

They then pro­vide grow­ers with the right re­sources to ad­vise, iden­tify, and ap­ply for grants and pro­grams to im­prove their prac­tices.

To advance these prac­tices even fur­ther, we en­cour­age our mem­bers to have their say be­fore the gov­ern­ment’s new vi­sion of Aus­tralia’s ru­ral in­no­va­tion sys­tem is fi­nalised.

The study does not in­tend to re­struc­ture Aus­tralia’s Ru­ral Re­search and Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tions (RDCs) but aims to help con­trib­ute to NFF’s tar­get of an agri­cul­ture sec­tor worth a $100 bil­lion by 2030.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

FU­TURE THINK­ING: Ru­ral in­no­va­tion has been given a boost.

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