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David Lamb

David Lamb

Chief Scientist, Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre, Australia
Taking the SMART Road to Agtech Innovation

With ever-increasing pressures of climate change (are we going back into another drought already?), geo-political market antics, the cost of labour, more discerning consumers, the rise and rise of ESG reporting, emerging biosecurity challenges, oh, and subterranean price points, producers have to innovate. But the road to innovation is not so simple. The detritus of an investor-led agtech bubble from 5 years ago litters the roadside with some good, some not-so-good and some woeful solutions. Producers seeking to innovate should not go bare-foot. Heavy-soled boots fortified with sound advice, a commitment to taking small, incremental steps and in keeping your horizon open will set you up for a sound journey. Yet you also need to be agile, responding to whatever jumps out of the bushes at you. This presentation will unpack some of the hype, pitfalls and easy steps on the road to agtech innovation, and help keep you on the SMART road.

About David: 

David is a producer and physicist and has worked in precision agriculture for more than 25 years. He is presently the Chief Scientist of Food Agility, an AU$330M+, Australian Cooperative Research Centre focussed on transforming the agrifood sector using the power of data and digital. He has co-designed/led more than 90 industry-funded R&D projects and established Australia’s first tertiary course in Precision Agriculture. Passionate about ‘reality-fuelled’ agtech innovation on farms, he established the University of New England's internationally renowned SMART Farm in 2007, and recently the Charles Sturt University Global Digital Farm initiative. In 2018 he also co-created of the ‘Farm of the Future’ Pavilion at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. 
 
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