This year’s Agricultural Bioscience International Conference found a welcoming home in Melbourne, Australia. Multinationals such as Bayer CropScience, Monsanto, Syngenta, and Pepsi, mingled with research groups and businesses from Australasia including CSIRO, AgResearch, and a full complement of universities. The three-day conference explored the thorny issues around innovation in agritech, its global applications, and public perception.
Our co-CEO, Dr Andrew Kelly, spoke in three different sessions covering “Pathways to market for plant innovation”, “Global investment strategies”, and a snapshot session on the NZ and Australian agricultural R&D landscape.
Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia has a quick run-down of some of the key presentations, including Andrew’s, here.
NZBIO is New Zealand’s pre-eminent life science conference, bringing together innovative food, health and agricultural companies along with others involved in the industry to share updates and opportunities. BioPacific Partners uses the annual NZBIO conference to catch up with the industry and discover new innovations under development in the region. Wellington played host to this conference last week and three of our team were invited to present.
Andrew delivered a provoking keynote presentation championing NZ biotech. He described how New Zealand’s niche is its reputation for quality and reliability in life sciences, but that innovators also need to be better than global competition to attract multinational attention.
Tim presented and spoke in a panel discussion entitled “New Innovations in Capital Raising”. Tim discussed how New Zealand and Australian companies can benefit from partnering with multinationals in order to expedite product development and market reach. Partnerships can take a variety of forms, from a joint venture, R&D collaboration, licensing or acquisition.
Margot spoke to the value of “data, data, data” as part of a panel on innovation. In this session the panel expressed that, in order to be globally competitive, NZ companies need to know their global competition and support their unique value proposition with strong evidence.
“NZBIO provides a great opportunity for the industry to come together and share their progress over the past year,” says Tim.”It’s a superb reminder that there is no shortage of innovation in our region.”
While the NZBIO conference was in full swing in Wellington, Auckland played host to the 5th annual New Zealand Angel Investment Showcase. This annual event is New Zealand’s largest gathering of investors and features presentations by prominent startups. In the preceding four years, 55 startups have presented to a collective audience of more than 1300 investors and have raised over $16.7m. It has been described as “one of the most effective events of its kind outside of Silicon Valley.”
This year the 11 companies pitching ranged a full spectrum from agtech and mineral extraction, to SaaS and plug-and-play technology. Two of our team attended, Avantika Gupta and Emma Armitage, and were impressed by the strength of the pitches and the range of companies presenting. One of the key messages from here was that investors should pose themselves these questions before making a commitment to a startup: does the business have passion, do the team have integrity, is the timing right, and is it a disruptive technology? We foresee that the answer will be yes for a high number of the evening’s pitchers.