Global collaboration plays a vital role in developing solutions for our farming industries – so in September we were delighted to receive 20+ visitors from New Zealand on an innovation-led agri-tech mission. The visit followed our own expert mission to New Zealand in March this year: our nations have many farming similarities, so agri-tech innovators are uniquely placed to share challenges and opportunities.
Farmers across the UK and Ireland already use technology from New Zealand companies like LIC, Gallagher, Waikato and Tru-Test, and there is plenty that our own innovators can do to help farmers across the globe. The challenges are the same whether you farm in New Zealand or the UK: achieving greater productivity and efficiencies, labour availability, environmental pressures and changing consumer preferences. Smart technological solutions can help answer those challenges.
With the help of the Department of International Trade, Innovate UK, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, the Callaghan Innovation-led mission visited the Irish National Ploughing Championships and UK Dairy Day, as well as our Agri-EPI hub in the Midlands and the South West Dairy Development Centre in Somerset.
Les Hurdiss, Operations Manager at the Midlands Agri-Tech Innovation Hub, explains:
“Agriculture is New Zealand’s number one industry, so their government really promotes innovation. But the domestic market is small, so they need to expand globally.”
By creating ‘landing pads’ in the UK, employing British staff, receiving British investment and developing new innovations for the British market, everyone stands to benefit.
In addition, having a straightforward entry to the New Zealand market helps our own investors and innovators, while having a presence on opposite sides of the world speeds up technological advances due to the ability to squeeze two seasons of testing into one 12-month period.
Having returned to New Zealand, Peter Wren-Hilton, Executive Director of Agritech New Zealand, has already drafted actions and initiatives to submit to Government ministers. Times are moving rapidly ahead: watch this space.
Earlier this year, Agri-EPI Centre took part in Agri-Tech Expert Missions to Australia and New Zealand respectively. KTN has delivered two separate publications that summarise the opportunities for UK organisations in both areas and insights gathered during the delegation’s time. Don’t miss out on these insightful documents and download them here.
Innovate UK’s Global Expert Missions, led by Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network, play an important role in building strategic partnerships, providing deep insight into the opportunities for UK innovation and shaping future programmes.