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Australia’s high-tech food and farming

Australia is a nation of tech-friendly farming pioneers. Our entrepreneurs are keen to commercialise the next generation of agrifood tech ideas. Australia has:

  • many agritech startups and scaleups developing innovative solutions in automation, AI, apps, drones and robotics
  • food manufacturers that want to trial novel ingredients and processes
  • a highly developed market for domestic consumption and export
  • counter-seasonal summers, to aid full-year product testing.

Australia’s agrifood tech is booming with more than 2,500 foodtech and agrifood tech focused enterprises. We are also a fast-emerging global hub for Agriculture 4.0.

Investors partner with all types of farms, startups, scaleups and enterprises. With a culture of easy interactions between industry and science, Australia has a rich pool of accelerators, incubators and industry groups. Australia conducts trials and technology testing and promotes:

 

  • a thriving network of research institutions dedicated to agritech
  • over 20 concentrated agrifood tech hubs
  • an early-adopter farming culture that spans cool climate to tropical agriculture
  • government support, including R&D tax concessions
  • innovators in crop and animal biotechnology — including in genetics, microbiomes, breeding and animal health.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has published a Protein Roadmap (PDF 7 MB). It identifies opportunities for investors in alternative proteins.

Australian companies have pioneered world leading agrifood tech products and technologies. We have devised new approaches to supply chain traceability, food safety and logistics. We are experts at integrating innovative technologies into practical farm-management.

 

  • world-leading farm robotics, including drone manufacturing and control software
  • innovation in nutraceuticals, alternative proteins and cultured dairy
  • farm-management software, data-capturing devices, decision-support and big data

We have preferential access to key export markets in Asia via a network of free trade agreements (Source: Why Australia Benchmark Report).

Incentives, grants and support

Australia’s state and federal agencies provide grants and assistance to the agrifood sector. These include tax incentives for R&D into agrifoods. They also include venture capital tax incentives.

Australia’s Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive provides targeted R&D tax offsets, including am 18.5% premium for entities with a turnover below A$20 million. The Accelerating Commercialisation Grant provides guidance and financial assistance to help commercialise new products, processes and services.

Snapshot

Compost
Entrepreneurs

Australia was home to 551 agritech startups in 2023.

Cycle
Investment

Agtech attracts A$800 million per year in investment.

Sources:

  1. Austrade, Benchmark Report 2023
  2. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Delivering Ag2030 April 2022

Australia’s agriculture and agrifood tech sectors are a strategic industry. It’s a core part of our future as a trading nation.

 

  • The Australian Government aims to grow our agriculture sector into a A$100 billion industry sector by 2030.
  • Technology adoption is essential to this aim. This is set out in our National Agricultural Innovation Policy Statement in October 2021.
  • Australia aims to become a regional hub for the development of alternative proteins.

Our leading science organisation, CSIRO estimates that alternative proteins present a A$13 billion market opportunity for Australian agriculture (Source: CSIRO – Protein. A source for unlocking technology-led opportunities for Australia, 2022. PDF 6.8 MB).

Australia’s research organisations have worked closely with farming for over 100 years. A national network of Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) funds industry-driven collaborative research programs.

 

The new Agrifood Innovation Institute (AFII) is new innovation unit within the Australian National University. It will focus on climate ready crops, biosecurity, the bioeconomy, trade and supply chains, energy transitions, emissions and climate adaptation