National Australia Bank (NAB) has welcomed today’s federal government announcement of the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).
Aimed at empowering Australia’s food industry to grow its comparative advantage through the use of digital technology, the Food Agility consortium brings together the food industry, big technology and service providers, researchers along with state and federal governments. It will be funded with $50m over ten years through the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres program.
Commenting on the announcement, General Manager NAB Agribusiness, Khan Horne, said the investment will empower Australia’s food industry to grow its comparative advantage through digital transformation.
“The role AgTech plays in the global Agricultural sector will continue to grow in importance as the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimate that food production capacity needs to increase by 70% to meet projected global population growth over the next 20 years,” he said.
“As Australia’s largest agribusiness bank we are thrilled to be supporting technologies that will solve practical challenges and enhance the sustainability and productivity of Australia’s farmers.”
NAB is the only bank in Australia in the consortium of 54 partners who have committed over $160million toward the development and commercialisation of technologies that solve problems for farmers.
“We want to make it easier for our customers to access new trials and experiments, and the latest technological developments to accelerate the adoption of strategies that best mitigate risk and enhance productivity,” Mr Horne said.
“This is an opportunity to ensure the future of the industry as well as high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable food for all Australians.”
The bid consortium was led by the Knowledge Economy Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), together with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Curtin University. Dr Anne Astin will be the inaugural Chair.