Richard Heath is the General Manager of Research at the Australian Farm Institute, and has a background as a farmer, associate professor, and founder, so who better to give us a look at the "so what" of agtech for Australian ag.
In this episode, we cover:
- Why agtech is in the "trough of disillusionment" on the Gartner Hype Cycle
- Four barriers for agtech in Australia to overcome
- Connectivity- still a huge challenge, though it's increasingly being solved by small/local consulting businesses or individuals taking matters into their own hands, rather than large corporations
- Accelerating speed of technology development and new innovation models putting pressure on incumbents, who are struggling to determine if/how to take risks
- There just aren't that many farmers in Australia. The small market lends itself to imported solutions, and startups that must focus on going global (i.e., leaving, or developing solutions for other, larger markets)
- Data standards- a key focus for Richard under the P2D project alongside all of the RDCs, data standards are emerging as a hot topic for Australian- and global- agriculture and agtech. Richard believes there are two possible solutions, with very different implications for the future of the industry.
- Why the Australian R&D system is coming under pressure to fundamentally shift how it views research, risk, and the timelines for innovation. And why farmers, who make decisions in a year long agile process, already get this better than most.