February 24, 2024

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Rural Innovation Lab to boost NZ digital farm opportunities

Credit: Massey University

A NZ$ 400,000 from the New Zealand Government’s Provincial Growth Fund was granted to Massey University to help establish a Rural Innovation Lab in the Manawatū-Whanganui region.

According to a recent press release, the Lab will engage farmers and growers across Manawatū-Whanganui to drive new thinking in the primary sector, particularly digital farm opportunities.

In addition, it will serve as a pilot initiative for the development of similar programmes across the country.

Rural Innovation Lab

Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau explained that this initiative will help develop and potentially support the commercialisation of new ideas and technologies, which will improve land use in the primary sector.

The Rural Innovation Lab is a model example of local people, businesses and the community, developing a project that aligns with their economic aspirations.

For Manawatū-Whanganui in particular, land use optimisation is a central plank in the region’s economic action plan.  This project will help to unlock new economic opportunities across the region.

The Government is proud to support this work. Aside from them, there are other organisations that are also supporting the Lab.

These organisations include the University, the Palmerston North City Council, a multinational technology company, and local economic development agencies, among others.

The University will contribute funding, administrative support and research expertise to the ongoing evaluation of the project.

Project Selection

The Rural Innovation Lab will start by identifying at least three major ‘on-farm’ innovation projects based on technologies such as cloud, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).

The projects will be chosen through a competitive process with proposals assessed by an independent panel.

The criteria will include:

  1. Increasing economic output
  2. Enhancing returns for Māori assets
  3. Contributing to the mitigation of, or adapting to, climate change
  4. Fostering the sustainable use of natural assets

Moreover, a research team from the University’s Business School is already working on an aligned research project.

It will use its agri-tech expertise to examine the technology adoption decisions of farmers and growers, as well as the actual and potential impact of technology on sustainability within the agricultural sector.

The research findings will no doubt provide valuable insights for the Rural Innovation Lab projects.

Provincial Growth Fund

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is administered by the Provincial Development Unit, which is a part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).

The New Zealand Government has allocated NZ$ 3 billion dollars over a three-year term to invest in regional economic development through the PGF.

Much of New Zealand’s economy rests on the successes of the regions, with tourism, forestry and the primary industries all strong contributors to the country’s export economy.

However, some regions are challenged with higher unemployment, lower productivity, finding skilled workers, and people who are struggling economically.

Through the PGF, the Government seeks to ensure that people living all over New Zealand can reach their full potential by helping build a regional economy that is sustainable, inclusive and productive.

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

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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.

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