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Agribusiness Innovation and Growth 2013

24 May, 2013

Agribusiness Innovation and Growth 2013

New Zealand’s agritech sector is a $3 billion industry, generating export sales in excess of $700 million a year. Top players in the sector are gathering in Hamilton on the night before Fieldays for a mini-symposium on agribusiness and innovation. It’s a Universities New Zealand event, hosted by the University of Waikato on behalf of the University Commercialisation Offices of NZ (UCONZ), and it’s open to the public by online registration.

The keynote speakers will be the Minister for Economic Development Hon Steven Joyce, Wayne McNee, Director-General of the Ministry for Primary Industries, and Fonterra Nutrition’s Managing Director Sarah Kennedy.

A business panel will discuss building export earnings from agribusiness innovation. The panel will be convened by Dr Jacqueline Rowarth, Professor of Agribusiness at the University of Waikato, who’ll be joined by:
• Dr John Sharpe, CEO of CytonomeST, a high-tech Boston-based company that develops laser-based biomedical instrumentation. He is also CEO of an early-stage Waikato company developing sensor technologies with global applications.
• Dr Bert Quin, Director of international fertiliser consultancy Quin Environmentals (NZ) Ltd.
He has ventures in New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam.
• Geoff Furniss, CEO of advanced fruit processing technology company, BBC Technologies Ltd.
• Stuart Gordon, CEO of Waikato Innovation Park Ltd and a former CEO of Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC).

All eight New Zealand universities will showcase their latest agribusiness research at the symposium, and representatives of Callaghan Innovation, AgResearch, and the universities and CRI research commercialisation network, KiwiNet, will also be on hand to meet with attendees. On the lighter side, judging will take place for the finals of an inaugural Waikato Milk Cocktail competition sponsored by Hamilton’s Lawrenson Group and supported by the New Zealand Food Innovation Network.

The symposium, taking place at the Academy of Performing Arts at the university will also be supported by the rural division of Lightwire, no8wireless, specialists in internet solutions - and a University of Waikato spin-off company.

For more information about Agribusiness Innovation and Growth 2013 go to or download the free ShowGizmo mobile app available for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and Android Phones.


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