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Does tech really have the answers to the pressures of our growing population?

evokeAG. 2020 speaker Ayala Domani, AGL’s General Manager, Future Business, insists that it’s not all just hype – technology will lead to bottom-line efficiencies, growth and new opportunities. She explains the approach companies should be taking when engaging with start-ups, innovation and technology.

When Ayala Domani joined AGL in August 2019, she was tasked with establishing a team to identify, validate and incubate growth opportunities for the business and its customers.

It’s something companies are increasingly looking to do.

There’s no question technology is transforming industries. We are becoming more connected and automated, and it’s the driving force behind making core functions more efficient.

While it’s easy to get distracted by new technology, Ms Domani insists businesses need to focus on an area to improve the business, and then find the tech that will help them do that.

“Some trends we are seeing at the moment, and ones AGL has their eye on, include de-carbonisation, connectivity and circular economy. We are looking for technologies that will open up opportunities and we are engaging in a two-way dialogue where we are able to work with start-ups. It has to be collaborative.”

AGL, as the largest electricity generator in Australia, and with a history as the country’s leading private investor in renewable energy, has a big part to play in transforming the industry.

That’s why last year AGL created the Future Business and Technology group, to unlock growth opportunities and create that step change.

“There are various models for organisations to engage with start-ups. While you need to choose the engagement model that best fits your organisation’s objectives, aspirations and capabilities, a critical success factor in any model is the ability to leverage the strategic benefits and insights from these engagements, and translate them into tangible outcomes for the organisation and its customers,” says Ms Domani.

“It’s about establishing the ‘engine’ within the organisation that can effectively connect the insights and opportunities to deliver new trials, products, services or enhancements to optimise existing operations.”

Speaking at evokeAG. 2020, Ms Domani said there is no doubt that technology and innovation will help us overcome the resource shortages stemming from a growing population and evolving consumer demands. But her message was clear.

“Technology is an amazing enabler and can unlock so much value in the agricultural and other sectors. I encourage people to reach out and adopt technology to help their core business and look for new business opportunities.

“My advice for corporates wanting to engage with startups is to be clear about the why. Why do you want to engage and what do you want to get out of the relationship? Be targeted with engagements. Rather than do big programs and projects – be focussed on things that have mutual benefits.”

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See you at evokeAG. 2021. Tuesday, 16 February – Wednesday, 17 February 2021, Perth, Western Australia

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