Since the National Innovation and Science Agenda was released last week, several agencies and departments have been gleaming with good news and new funding.
The National Farmer’s Federation welcomed the Agenda, while also urging that the Government take further steps to recognise the potential for digital startups within the agricultural sector.
“Agribusiness is at the beginning of an exciting growth period with surging demand for quality Australian produce in key export markets,” stated Simon Talbot, CEO, National Farmer’s Federation,
“The innovation developed within Australia is also considered to be world-leading and is adopted by agribusiness across the globe further reinforcing the need for continued and strong investment in this area.”
This Saturday, Mr. Talbot’s demands were heard and together with PM Turnbull, Sprout was launched.
Sprout is the National Farmer’s Federation innovation hub for agricultural technologies. It is backed by ‘tens of millions of dollars’ and is already looking to form an expert panel that will assess the startup projects.
Sprout will work to identify, foster, and support new ideas for food and agribusiness, giving some entrepreneurs the chance to get paired with companies that will either fund or help develop their technologies.
The first round of applications to the Sprout innovation hub will commence early next year. The fund is estimated to support 10 businesses through, after which, Sprout will resort to new capital.
“The agriculture industry is teeming with entrepreneurs with ideas for new products, services and business models but we need to ensure that the best and most innovative new business ventures in the agricultural sector have access to the incentives announced,” stated Mr. Talbot.
This new project is feeding the desire for opportunities from Australian innovative agri-entrepreneurs.
It is hoped that technological solutions supported by Sprout may bring $5 to $6 billion in new revenue to Australian farmers.