New South Wales is rich with natural resources and its counter-seasonality makes it ideal for growing fresh produce during the northern hemisphere’s winter months. The sector is worth A$13.1 billion a year, generating a third of the state’s economy and is growing. The state’s food and beverage manufacturers turn over $33.4 billion of product each year and employ over 63,000 people
Supporting agtech innovation
The state has many precincts and centres of innovation:
- The Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct and technology hub focuses on agribusiness, freight and logistics and includes access to educational facilities such as Agrifutures Australia, the Graham Centre and Charles Sturt University.
- Based around a 1800m2 glasshouse facility, the National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre is designed with world-class infrastructure and controller systems, to house research, education and training opportunities in cropping horticulture.
- InAg.tech is an innovation cluster designed to support start-ups and scale-ups. InAg.tech engages with industry leaders, investors, universities, government organisations, and agricultural innovators to cultivate growth in agribusiness and agtech.
- The Central Coast Food Alliance aims to foster the development of a thriving and diverse food, agriculture and beverage industry that contributes to the social and economic development of the NSW Central Coast. The region is home to high quality primary food producers, global and national scale food and beverage manufacturers, smaller artisan food producers and food service companies.
- The Parkes Special Activation Precinct is focused around the Inland Rail and the National Logistics Hub. It will become an inland port, transferring export-ready goods to every major city and freight centre in Australia. It will provide for advanced agribusiness and manufacturing industries to value-add to food and fibre.
- The Moree Special Activation Precinct will specialise in agribusiness, logistics and food processing. It capitalises on the region's existing agricultural industry and its access to the Inland Rail and major highways.
Incentives, grants and support
The Global Agri-Tech Ecosystem (GATE) can assist with project development from ideation to investor funding and commercialisation.
Funds and grants are available through programs such as:
- the A$250 million Jobs Plus Program supports companies who want to relocate their head offices to NSW or expand their employment footprint
- the Regional Job Creation Fund, which offers up to A$10 million in co-funding to activate or bring forward regional projects
Tenacious is Australia's first and only dedicated agrifood tech venture capital firm, leading early-stage investments with high-conviction and hands-on support.
SparkLabs Cultiv8 provides agricultural innovators with both capital investment and access to mentors, research hubs and venture capitalists and investors. It’s a program and test bed environment supporting start-ups in the agtech industry to boost commercial growth.
Flavourtech began selling technology to help winemakers remove sulphur from grape juice from their New South Wales base in 1987. Today, Flavourtech exports to more than 60 countries and provides cutting-edge technology to companies across the food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries worldwide.