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Aussie farmers to help identify real-life challenges for Global Demo Day

Australia’s agrifood industry is being invited to help shape the program for evokeAG.’s first online Global Demo Day, with a call to nominate everyday problems not already addressed by local tech providers.

Harvesting vineyard

A virtual event designed to create connections between local farmers and global startups is on the agenda for the 2022 evokeAG. Startup Program, with an online pitching and Q&A session offering international solutions to local challenges.

The Global Demo Day will highlight six key issues being faced by Australia’s agrifood industry, and provide a platform for agrifood tech startups from around the world to explain how their innovations can solve producers’ problems.

But rather than deciding on behalf of the industry what’s important to them, evokeAG. Manager Dallas Pearce is keen to see the public set the agenda for this event.

“We don’t want to make assumptions about what the technology gaps are for farmers or industry, but we want to use a global network to help source solutions,” says Dallas.

“Farmers, food processors, exporters, and retailers are facing many of the same challenges globally, we will be supported by global stakeholders and leverage Austrade’s terrific networks to identify relevant global innovation.”

“It’s really important we engage the entire supply chain on what challenges they’re facing on a day-to-day basis so we find the right solutions, whether the issue is as general as labour shortages or something really specific to a particular industry.

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livestock supply chain

“We are also really aware that we’re not always going to find local solutions to all the challenges that our producers or supply chain are facing here in Australia.

“We have some really great Australian startups in agritech, but it’s important to look at the global ecosystem and the new innovations that can’t be found here on the ground.”

“The online Global Demo Day is a way to ensure that, despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19, we’re still engaging our internationals and still offering them a chance to be a part of the Australian ecosystem.”

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Help needed to identify key obstacles

People involved in Australia’s agricultural industry are being asked to nominate their greatest challenges by 18 November 2021. Challenges can be submitted here.

Six key themes will be chosen as challenges that global agritech startups need to be providing a solution for, with applications opening for international agritech startups on Thursday, 6 December 2021. Successful applicants will join the evokeAG. alumni, and will receive curated networking sessions with key stakeholders and investors in the Australian supply chain, and will pitch their solutions directly to an online audience of investors, producers and the Australian agrifood community at the evokeAG. Global Demo Day on Wednesday, 30 March 2022.

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Dallas says the event will create pathways for participants that can open doors to new markets and new solutions while also helping to generate an increase of agritech innovation locally.

“I think whenever you bring like-minded people together, it creates new networks, new connections, new pathways for anyone in the ecosystem and especially in innovation,” says Dallas.

  • Learn more about who can apply here.

Global innovation is key to boosting our advantage

AgriFutures Australia Managing Director John Harvey says it’s crucial Australia continues to adopt international technology alongside our home-grown advancements.

“Providing high quality startups is vital to building the agrifood tech ecosystem in Australia and making it sustainable,” says John.

“It is critical that our farmers have access to the best technology from around the world, otherwise we will lose our competitive advantage and get left behind.

“We need to make sure Australia is an early adopter of technology. The Global Solutions Demo Day will support this vision by showcasing some of the tech that is being developed in Australia and around other parts of the world.”

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Nominate now to find a solution

As the CEO of Riverine Plains, which specialises in farmer-driven research and extension that delivers on-the-ground benefits to farmers, Catherine Marriott understands the competitive advantage that comes with identifying challenges to find solutions.

“Anything that is going to advance somebody’s business, make it easier, make it more efficient – is a good thing,” says Catherine.

“Obviously we would love to use Australian technologies, but the reality is we live in a global community and there are amazing technologies being developed in continents that are drier than ours, continents that are more saline than ours, continents that have colder temperatures, hotter temperatures … why would we not use that technology to enhance our businesses, agribusinesses and farms in Australia?

Catherine Marriott

“It’s about actually growing the entire agtech environment by bringing in things that are new and innovative, and then building capacity in our local people.”

Catherine says asking the industry to identify their own challenges, rather than telling them what you think they are, was a fantastic decision by evokeAG..

“It is really important to work with farmers to understand what they need, whether it’s an on-farm abattoir that repurposes waste into fertilizer, or a single tech platform that brings together all the data that is being captured on the farm every day into one central place,” explains Catherine.

“To be going out to the farmers first and asking, ‘What are your choke points? What are your pain points? What are your problems?’ Then getting the world’s best brains to solve that problem is the most extraordinary gift.”

evokeAG. 2022 will take place Tuesday, 15 March 2022 in Sydney, NSW at The Grounds of Alexandria, followed by the Global Demo Day held online on 30 March.

Find out more about Global Demo Day or nominate a challenge that needs to be solved here.

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