30 July 2018
CropLogic Limited (ASX:CLI) is pleased to announce that as part of its expansion across Australia the Company has secured space in Mildura, Australia, in collaboration with SproutX, Mildura Regional Development and the Victorian Government as part of the Mildura Regional Development – Smart Farm project.
CropLogic’s future growth strategy for Australia (as announced 30 April 2018 and further on 9 July 2018) has highlighted a specified region in South-East Australia that includes Mildura (Figure 1). This is based on market data that confirms that this area represents approximately 74% of Australia’s horticulture acres with a gross product at the farm gate of $3.4 billion p/a.
The Victorian Government has classified Agri-Business as a prime strategic industry for Mildura with the region’s horticulture being key to this. Viticulture and wineries have also been identified by the Victorian Government as vital tourism assets for Mildura.
Daryl Buckingham, CEO of Mildura Regional Development, said:
“The core focus of the Mildura Regional Development Strategic Plan is to support and grow the region’s economy by capitalising on assets we already have here and to attract new investment, innovation and business to Mildura.
“This partnership with CropLogic fits perfectly within this framework and I am excited by all the possibilities it opens up for the region.”
Australia has long been a stated key revenue target region for CropLogic. The Company has identified growth and interest within regional Australia, with an initial concentration on the Riverina in NSW, Sunraysia/Mallee regions of Victoria/NSW, the North West Slopes of Northern NSW and Northern Tasmania.
James Cooper-Jones, CEO of CropLogic, said:
“The response and uptake of CropLogic realTime in the Columbia Basin, USA could not have been better this season. A big part of this success was the expertise and local knowledge developed through CropLogic’s regional partnerships there.
“CropLogic values these partnerships in its global growth strategy and it’s why we were eager to take this opportunity when approached by SproutX and Mildura Regional Development.
“A lot of the tree and viticulture crops that are seeing a resurgence and boom in the Mallee / Riverina are crops CropLogic has been servicing in the USA. We’re getting great feedback from these growers and we’re eager to bring this technology to Mildura and contribute to grower’s optimum yield rates there too.”
Andrew Lai, Director of SproutX, said:
“The Mallee region is a leading horticultural area, supported by irrigation infrastructure that was installed 130 years ago and it has shown an ability to embrace and evolve with emerging technology. We’re thrilled to have the support of CropLogic in the Mallee and to partner with a company that shares our view that regional engagement is critical to agtech development and investment.”
About Mildura Regional Development – Smart Farm
The Smart Farm project, based in Mildura and initiated by Mildura Regional Development, is being developed to foster further growth of the region’s horticultural and agriculture sector, through the uptake of advancing technology. It will use industry leading research and development and education and training to ensure farmers are equipped to seize opportunities. The Smart Farm will provide vocational education and training that unites experience with knowledge through links between universities, horticultural experts and technology companies, growers, robotic specialists and IIoT from around the world.
The Smart Farm’s goal is to develop, test and commercialise IIoT solutions and combine them with robotics to increase productivity and sustainability on farms. The Smart Farm will be a world recognised centre of excellence in applied education, tech research and commercial development. It will provide pathways from product concept to market, VET and higher education training and will help bring life to new and innovative ideas.
SproutX is a joint venture between Findex and the National Farmers’ Federation and has worked with more than 30 agtech startups in the past two years. The 2017 SproutX Accelerator cohort consisted of 19 startups who finished the six-month intensive program. A number of those businesses now have revenue, and several have increased their initial valuation by five times since leaving the program. After launching the first agtech focused accelerator program in the Asia Pacific, and with a $10 million Venture Capital fund to fuel the startups in its programs, SproutX has been a leading force in the creation of agtech in Australia’s $60 billion agricultural industry.
SproutX is also closely affiliated with Crowe Horwath (part of Findex) and Ruralco, which both have a significant presence in the Mildura region.
CropLogic is an award winning New Zealand agricultural technology company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). After launching its product into Washington State, USA in 2017 CropLogic is currently servicing a significant portion of horticultural growers there, in some crops having a market share as high as 30%. CropLogic offers large scale crop growers with digital agricultural technology expertise based upon scientific research and delivered with cutting edge technology – science, agronomy and technology interwoven into an expert system for decision support.
For more information please visit: http://www.croplogic.com/
Mildura – a Smart City
MRD is partnering with SuniTafe and Mildura Rural City Council to provide a new education program based around IOT technology and sensor development and management. Complementing this, we will also provide a dedicated Smart Farm as an experience , training and R&D facility and working together, we will form links to a larger innovation ecosystem that will promote and assist local community and business to reduce their environmental footprint through precision technology and the LoRaWAN network, to reduce water, energy, nutrient and herbicide usage domestically and commercially.
The project will see the installation of a low power, long range, open standards data network, supporting applications for smart sensor devices, which will help with precision management of water, crops, solar, waste, emissions and air quality.
This project will help us identify, implement, monitor and evaluate solutions to assist not only our region, but Victoria, Australia and the world, with Climate Change issues. We will actively seek out opportunities that will expand educational activities, provide practical benefits to our region and provide our community with the tools to monitor and reduce waste and energy; deliver a Smart Farm (see more about the Smart Farm here) that is a Centre of Excellence, providing an opportunity for an international standard education and a pathway for businesses to access a Low Range Wide Area Data Network (LoRaWAN). This will mean businesses can connect to global technology, to utilise smart technology and IOT.
This project is part of our holistic approach to solution based thinking on how the agriculture and horticulture industries need to adopt new and innovative practices given the ongoing climate change challenges. By addressing identified issues and supported by our partnership with SproutX and SuniTAFE and through our Smart Farm initiative, we will also establish an accelerator program in Mildura, to provide actionable opportunities for networking, growth, innovation and new technology.
By being proactive rather than reactive, we see a bright future for the residents of our region.
Education Mildura is a project designed to attract students, particularly international students, to Mildura. Working in partnership with educators, trainers and industry, MRD will develop exportable education and training products, using the offerings out of Armidale NSW, as a benchmark. We will grow an international student cohort, based on contemporary, targeted and bespoke training and education products with a digital/ IIOT transition focus.
Over the past decade many of Australia’s job losses have come from big industry while job growth has come from start-ups and SMEs – the service and education sectors feature prominently in this growth. Education Mildura is a contemporary education product designed to capitalise on this growth. Education is a major contributor in terms of export dollars, jobs and the visitor economy and can also go some way to addressing the loss of talent to larger metropolitan centres, by expanding opportunities for our young people to explore education and employment options in Mildura. When combined with research, technology development and targeted market needs you have a game changer in terms of investment and jobs creation.
Our objectives are:
1. To position Mildura as a pre-eminently ‘connected’ university town in the vocational education and training (VET) and higher education sector to become the unrivalled partner of choice in terms of agriculture/ horticulture, applied research and IIOT/ precision farming related education & training.
2. To transform the experience of our students and improve their satisfaction by taking a student-first approach to everything we do.
3. To attract new students from non-traditional backgrounds, including those from Indigenous, first-in-family and low-social economic backgrounds.
4. To attract more international students.
5. In a world where credentials tend to have shorter shelf-lives, we will offer trusted new, career-specific credentials to attract those already in the workforce needing to upgrade their skills to keep up with technological and workforce trends.
6. To create a better consumer experience for digitally-connected and time-challenged students, through flexible course structures and blended modes of delivery and by providing a smooth and efficient balance between digitally-delivered and face-to-face courses.
7. We will build Mildura’s reputation for the employability of its trainees and graduates by ensuring our qualifications and training meet industry standards, provide the skills and personal attributes employers demand and that our education and training product maintains relevancy in a rapidly changing world.
8. Our Smart Farm and IOT, projects will offer co-location opportunities with industry partners to support innovation, business creation and employment opportunities for our students and the industries that partner with and support us.
9. We will transform Mildura into a global example of a best practice digitally connected hort/ag-tech education and training city of the future.
10. We will continue to strengthen the financial position of Mildura as a learning hub and future proof the revenues with our education partners, by investing in new educational technologies to position Mildura and our partners to take advantage of the disruption of the university/ education/ training business model in general.
Tuesday, 24th July 2018
MILDURA’S SMALL BUSINESS FESTIVAL READY TO IGNITE IDEAS
For the last four years, the Small Business Festival, hosted by Mildura Regional Development (MRD), has been offering the region an impressive line-up of events, workshops and guest speakers and with this year’s festival about to kick off, it’s clear nothing has changed.
Chief Executive Officer of MRD, Mr. Daryl Buckingham, said today that the 2018 Festival will provide businesses and the broader community, with access to quality training, information and networking opportunities, along with the chance to hear from people leading the way in their chosen professions.
Events will run throughout August, beginning with #WomenEmpoweringWomen on August 2nd, at the Mildura Arts Centre and culminating with a presentation by Stu Atkins, an expert on digital trends and marketing, on August 29.
“Stu will challenge his audience to think outside the square and better prepare them for the disruption that comes with evolving technology. It’s a must-see event for anyone looking to build their business,” Mr. Buckingham said.
“Continuing on this theme, other events will cover topics including the opportunities and challenges of exporting and the benefits of advisory boards for business growth. This Festival is all about supporting Mildura’s business community to connect with each other and with the ideas and influencers that are impacting the future of business locally, nationally and globally.”
Mr. Buckingham noted that there’s an increasing demand for events such as this in the region and he’s pleased that so many organisations are on board and supporting the Festival.
“We have seen over the last few years, that the Mildura region is hungry for festivals, that link our community with presentations that they would once have had to go to a capital city to see. I encourage people to check out the schedule of events and make the festival part of their August,” Mr. Buckingham said.
The MRD Mildura Small Business Festival is supported by Business Victoria and sponsors ANZ, Sunraysia Daily, Southern Cross Austereo, La Trobe University, Quest, SproutX, SuniTAFE and Jamesprint.
For further information and ticketing visit www.milduraregion.com.au