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Four innovative projects will help solve NZ’s agriculture issues

New Zealand’s Massey University is a key partner of the Rural Innovation Lab, which will support four rural innovation projects.

As reported, the projects came from a wide call-out for people to submit ideas that will help solve burning issues in the rural sector, as identified by farmers and growers.

Supporting farmers via innovation

The Lab Chairman explained that farmers are facing a myriad of challenges and the best way to get ahead of disruption is to innovate.

The four innovation projects were selected from a pool of 50 applications.

These projects exemplify the sort of enterprise and innovation that they want to see in the rural communities.

The food and fibre industries are the backbone of New Zealand’s economy, delivering more than NZ$ 45 billion in export revenue last year.

The four Rural Innovation Lab projects are:

  1. WombatNET

A 14-year-old entrepreneur from Whanganui is using the latest rural networking technologies to provide broadband connection to rural communities at an affordable cost.

He has already run a small-scale trial on a rural property in Okoia where he beamed a farmer’s home broadband connection down to his woolshed, making high-speed Wi-Fi available on every corner of his farm.

The Lab will provide support in purchasing critical infrastructure, engage with the smart farm network to expand its reach, and gather user feedback.

  1. AbacusBio

AbacusBio will design a calculator to estimate on-farm carbon emissions.

The project will bring together Manawatū-Whanganui farmers and AbacusBio’s data scientists and software developers to co-design the calculator.

The Lab will provide support by connecting the initiative with its extensive farmer network and support farmer input into the design.

  1. A peer-to-peer lending platform

This platform will create financial opportunity for farmers.

The website and app-based platform will allow farmers to list their unused machinery and generate income from it.

All machinery will be covered by insurance, protecting both owners and users. It will allow farm jobs to be carried out without the wait time and costs associated with hiring contractors.

The Lab will support the initiative in getting the idea off the ground, including concept validation and business model development.

  1. Māori Agribusiness Collective

The project aims to develop a Māori Agribusiness Collective, which will support greater participation of Māori landowners in the economic growth of the Manawatū/Whanganui agribusiness sector.

The project will develop an engagement programme to support whānau to develop their land in a sustainable way for future generations.

The Lab will support relationship engagement and co-ordination, as well as the development of ongoing communications channels.

Addressing key challenges in the rural sector

The Rural Innovation Lab was launched in Palmerston North in February 2019.

Since then, it has engaged with over 150 farmers, growers and Māori landowners to identify the key challenges they face, and develop solutions.

The four key projects will receive a package of support from the lab. This includes:

  1. Project facilitation from start-up experts
  2. Access to partners within the lab’s collaborative network
  3. Mentoring by leading farmers and growers in the Manawatū/Whanganui region
  4. A contribution to project costs.

The Lab will support the four project teams as they engage with farmers and growers to help shape their ideas, facilitating their development over the next few months and providing them with mentoring from leading farmers in the region.

The Lab received NZ$ 400,000 of funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.