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Farm 2050 Nutrient management technology platform - apply now

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This article was published on 20 July 2021

Applications now open

A new global nutrient-use efficiency (NUE) platform offers New Zealand businesses the chance to be part of a global programme focused on solving the problem of feeding the world’s population in a more sustainable way.

Simon Yarrow, Callaghan Innovation Group Manager Agrifood, says the Farm 2050 Nutrient Management Technology Trialing Platform (NTTP) opens the door for New Zealand innovators to be part of a global solution, and get some experienced eyes evaluating their tech product or service in this space.

“New Zealand is a world leader in much of the dairy tech space, and this platform offers New Zealand businesses the chance to share the global stage with world-leading businesses keen to solve this challenge on the pastoral/grazing dairy farm, and with high-value horticultural crops and row crops.

“The platform aims to identify, validate and demonstrate promising technologies in nutrient management, at scale, starting in New Zealand and then moving over to the Northern Hemisphere to further test and trial. It’s an ambitious programme, with global aspirations to make a difference as quickly as possible.”

Finistere Ventures Group Partner Dean Tilyard says businesses will also gain access to potential funding partners through Farm 2050’s venture capital ecosystem, including Finistere Ventures and Innovation Endeavors.

“Not only will businesses get access to great funding opportunities, but they can also gain access to farming groups in relevant geographies, and speed up their product development with access to follow-on trials in North America, and visibility from a global audience,” he says.

What’s it all about?

Farm 2050 is a global ecosystem of agrifood corporates and investors — including Innovation Endeavors, Bayer, Syngenta, International Farming Corporation, The Wonderful Company, Pepsi, Microsoft, Corteva, Bunge, Nutrien, and Rabobank — with a shared interest in advancing the future of food through supporting emerging entrepreneurs and technology.  

A key project of the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP), the platform is supported by Agritech NZ, Callaghan Innovation and Finistere Ventures. Farm 2050’s multi-year trial will test and validate solutions for nutrient analysis, delivery, efficient uptake, environmental impact measurement and mitigation. 

Selected technologies will participate in funded trials on multiple New Zealand farms, be connected to Farm 2050’s partner network and have an opportunity to participate in corresponding Northern Hemisphere trials.

What’s the goal?

The goal of the programme is to identify, validate and demonstrate promising technologies in nutrient management, at scale, using an integrated approach across multiple farm/crop systems, in both hemispheres. This, in turn, will enable startups and potential partners to build technology with proven economic and environmental value. The overarching goal is to be able to feed the world’s growing population in a more sustainable way.

New Zealand kicks off the project

The initiative launches in July 2021 in New Zealand, followed by deployment in the US in 2022. Phase one will start in July 2021. The first activity in New Zealand will focus on field trials targeting the pastoral/grazing dairy farm, high-value horticultural crops and row crops. 

Who’s involved?

The trials team is led by Finistere Chief Agronomist Michael Pereira, Finistere’s New Zealand partner Dean Tilyard, and New Zealand-based field trial team from Plant & Food Research. 

The trials will operate in partnership with leading local farmers, and with funding support from the New Zealand Government via the Agritech ITP taskforce, and Callaghan Innovation. The programme is also supported by Farm 2050’s country partner, Agritech NZ.

The New Zealand programme (and future trials in the Northern Hemisphere) has three stages: 
1) Testing and calibration of technologies;
2) Testing at different spatial and temporal scales, and; 
3) Demonstration at large scale. 

The initial timeline runs up to four years and, with counter-seasonal programmes, the trials are expected to generate valuable data and insights. 

This is a solutions-oriented initiative, and in order to be eligible, participating businesses must have demonstrated traction in their area(s) of focus and be willing to cover their own costs while participating in the platform. 

What’s the deadline?

Farm 2050 are accepting submissions for the platform until 30 July 2021.

Submit your request for participation (RFP) to be considered. 

Where can I get further information?

Start by calling your local Callaghan Innovation contact on 0800 422 552.