Home ANTBITES (Media Releases) Agtech in Toowoomba – Building Australia’s next frontier

Agtech in Toowoomba – Building Australia’s next frontier

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Mark Gustowski & Phil Ceulen from Innovation Architects

QLD based Advisory Group Innovation Architects will partner with the Toowoomba Agtech and Logistics Hub (ATLH) to deliver a series of open innovation and acceleration programs that will fast-track the development and adoption of agriculture technology (AgTech). 

The ATLH has been established to bridge the gap between industry challenges and problem solvers by fast-tracking the deployment of innovative solutions that will make the industry more resilient, competitive while creating high value jobs. The Hub’s focus is to grow the agricultural value chain through the development and adoption of innovation and technology. 

The Innovation Architects team, who have previously delivered Australian first programs including the Collider Accelerator and the Global Accelerator Program, worked with partners including Sainsbury’s, YouTube, the National Innovation Agency of Thailand, and Advance Queensland, will begin activities in August 2021.  The team also includes Open2Innovate, a Canberra-based specialist innovation strategy firm and Mandalay Ventures, an agrifood tech focused venture fund.  Open2Innovate brings nearly 15 years of global best practice experience in open innovation, including with blue chip clients/partners NASA, IDEO and Nike, among many others. 

Innovation Architects Managing Director Mark Gustowski said, “We are excited about working with the ATLH and partners including Advance Queensland, the FKG Group, the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), University of Southern Queensland and University of Queensland. We recognise the importance for industry groups to actively participate in our innovation ecosystem and collaborate with universities, government, and startups to increase commercial opportunities and outcomes to focus our innovation efforts on areas of competitive advantage such as agriculture. 

Unlike traditional accelerators, this forward-thinking program will seek to match innovative solutions to industry challenges that we’ve identified in the agriculture business community, and then drive those solutions in markets nationally and internationally”. 

Hub Manager Owen Williams said identifying issues within the sector gives a clearer picture of what problems need solving.

“Using this as inspiration, we’re able to be on the lookout for teams and individuals who will collaborate, interact with industry, then develop, test and grow new business ideas, products and services.”

“This open innovation concept is a major focus of the hub to allow us to further grow the industry,” he said.

The program uses an open and collaborative approach to source and work with agtech businesses from across Australia, and provide local pathways to market, connect with agriculture innovation and commercialisation expertise and finally open channels to funders and strategic partners.

“Agriculture represents a significant part of the Australian economy with farm gate output to exceed $100 billion by 2030, and programs supporting new technologies in the sector will go a long way towards achieving that goal.” Gustowski said. 

Businesses and individuals interested in connecting with the Open Innovation and Acceleration initiatives can visit www.agtechlogisticshub.com.au for further information.

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