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International engagement helps drive AgriFutures growAG. investment deals

Driving the investment and commercialisation of Australian innovation and technology transfer is a top priority for strategic partners, Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia and AgriFutures growAG., on the quest to solve global agrifood challenges. 

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Words by Judy Kennedy

Collaboration is our greatest advantage in seeking solutions to global challenges. Harnessing this shared knowledge from fellow innovators and global investors to accelerate high-impact solutions – with cross-sector purposes – are key to bringing these solutions to life.   

Showcasing Australia’s treasure trove of agrifood innovation opportunities with the world is a top priority of the AgriFutures growAG. platform, and it’s making headway in this domain. 

Since launch in April 2021, growAG. has attracted over 70,000 users from 180 countries – with global users attributing one third of engagement, from key markets including the US, Singapore, UK, India, Germany, Canada and Ireland. 

AgriFutures growAG. Senior Manager, Arianna Sippel said, “In terms of traction, we’ve had 140 opportunities and more than 2,600 research projects listed on growAG., made 600 connections, 88 early-stage discussions, 12 negotiations and 10 deals confirmed, and these are just the enquiries directly facilitated through growAG.. Anecdotally we know people are typically receiving at least as many inquiries directly that are generated by growAG..”

Free to access, growAG. is unique in that it is curated and supported by a live concierge team that maintains data and continually updates information.

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Related organisations

Logo for Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA)
Multiple industries

Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA)

Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) is the non-profit, peak body leading best practice in industry engagement, technology transfer and entrepreneurship for research organisations since 1978. KCA is a founding member of the global Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals.
  • Location

    Australia & New Zealand

  • Organisation type

    Industry body, Other

“We support commercialisation and the transfer of technology by amplifying the opportunities, whether that be in licensing, research or capital raises. We have a number of venture funds on site as well that are seeking investees and are open to partners,” said Arianna.

When the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) posted an opportunity requesting proposals for exclusive negotiation rights to commercialise a biopesticide on growAG., it attracted queries from five continents. The partners signed NDAs with seven groups before committing to a sole negotiation agreement with one of the groups.

“We created the opportunity for them to find a whole lot of novel partners and to reinvigorate some of the existing conversations that they’d had previously,” Arianna recalled.

Another driver for growAG. is to work with Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) to build awareness of technology transfer and how commercialisation, in other sectors, such as mining, the medical sector and energy, can translate into agriculture.

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Partnership with KCA expands opportunities

KCA is the peak body for professionals working in technology transfer and commercialisation, formed 20 years ago to bring together those experienced in Intellectual Property (IP), legal and commercial concepts and distribution channels. 

To support the progress of industry commercialisation and collaboration, growAG. is a gold sponsor of KCA’s Annual Conference in Melbourne on 1-2 September 2022.

“We see KCA as a great resource for peer-to-peer sharing of commercialisation strategies and opportunities, what works and what doesn’t,” said Arianna.

“And we see great potential for translation of innovation from other industries into agriculture. We can make those opportunities easier to identify and share.”

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“For example, the mining sector has done a lot of work around water use and robotics that could be applied to agriculture, there are solutions from the medical industry that can be applied to livestock, and the energy sector has outcomes that could translate for remote and regional areas.

“The conference is a great way to build awareness of how KCA professionals and growAG. can work together to increase the impact of the investment in R&D, to translate into better value for producers.”

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Revenue doubles as investors and collaborators ‘hungry’ for solutions

KCA Director, Amanda McAlpine is also Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Manager, Knowledge & IP Transfer, focused on engaging a global audience and reaching networks and potential partners beyond the meat and livestock sector and traditional partners in Australia.

Amanda said the value proposition for growAG. is that it offers tech transfer professionals the linkages to access networks in one simple location.

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“We have a worldwide audience of hungry investors and collaborators who are very keen to find solutions and finance. KCA’s Annual Survey of Commercialisation on Outcomes from Public Research (SCOPR) shows commercialisation revenue has more than doubled over the past two years, and Australia is tracking very well for tech transfer,” said Amanda.

“But we have to get more creative, and growAG. can help with cross-pollination. Climate change and agricultural productivity are big ticket items at the moment and if professionals can showcase their technologies and access a global audience via growAG. it improves the likelihood of collaboration, investment and adoption.”

The findings of SCOPR 2021 will be presented at the KCA Annual Conference in Melbourne on 1 September 2022. The one-page Highlights and a Summary Report will also be accessible on the KCA website after the KCA Conference.

Learn more about KCA’s Annual Conference in Melbourne on 1-2 September 2022, here. Explore, find and connect with world leading agricultural research, innovative technologies and commercialisation opportunities via the growAG. platform here.

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