Despite its superpower status as a producer and exporter of agricultural goods and services, up until now Australia has had only one accelerator program – SproutX – that has focused on AgTech, writes Aimee Chanthadavong on InnovationAUS.com.
Until now that is. Cicada Innovations has partnered with Meat and Livestock Association subsidiary MLA Donor Company (MDC) to launch the GrowLab “super incubator” program.
The GrowLab project will support the accelerated commercialisation of AgTech ideas and innovations in areas ranging from robotics, animal health, remote sensing, food technologies and decision support systems.
Cicada Innovations chief executive Petra Andrén believes that while ideas for AgTech have been around, there has been a lack of understanding about how startups can commercialize their technologies.
“Agtech is something where Australia should be global leaders,” Andren said. “But we haven’t really been very good at commercialising those ideas so far, and that is the reason why we have set up this program, because we want to change that.”
“In the last six month there’s been an absolute wave in AgTech. It is one of those areas where we have leading researching, we have got all the ideas, and we just need the vehicle to commercialize those ideas and nurture them all the way through.”