It has been another big month for biotech.
Ian Proudfoot and his team at KPMG launched the Agribusiness Agenda, which is broken into three parts: Acknowledge, Evaluate, Accelerate. This quote from the report is a good summary of the current situation:
“In this year’s conversations, industry leaders talked about the opportunities inherent in emerging technologies: as well as the potential future impact of choosing not to use these technologies.” (page 49)
Agritech New Zealand ran Agritech Unleashed at the Fieldays, with the official launch of the global Farm2050 Nutrient Initiative right here in New Zealand. Farm2050 is a collective of the leading global agrifunds and agribusinesses, with Agritech New Zealand the only country partner. It is a three-year New Zealand agritech initiative designed to validate new technologies in nutrient analysis, delivery, efficient uptake, and environmental mitigation.
I was reading through the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill and there are some great conversations about biotechnology. New Zealand needs to act quickly and start using the solutions we have now, such as:
- Improve feed efficiency. This is the best way to reduce methane emissions. Research shows there is a direct correlation between feed intake and methane produced. Nathan Balasingham, the CTO of Zest Biotech, will be presenting on this topic at the 7th Greenhouse Gas and Animal Agriculture (GGAA) conference in Brazil in August and the Global Congress on Plant Science and Molecular Biology (GPMB 2019) in Spain in September.
- Reduce and improve use of nitrogen fertiliser – this is the best way to reduce nitrous oxide emissions.
- Intensify our research and development in life sciences, biotech and digital areas to develop future technologies, and we must be develop then not just for New Zealand but for the world!
Last week I joined the Hemp Sector Strategy, Government and Industry Partner workshop at Callaghan Innovation in Wellington. With the hemp industry moving ahead at pace both globally and locally, key Government agencies, universities, Crown Research Institutes and industry associations came together to discuss challenges and opportunities for the industry. There is the opportunity for New Zealand to be world-leading in plant genetics for hemp/cannabis, just as Dr Keith Hammett was when he created new sweet peas colours and combinations the world had never seen.
As I mentioned in the June newsletter, BIO2019 was a huge success. We are debriefing with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. Thank you to everyone who filled in the feedback forms – this enables us to show the value and success of these events, as well as making a case for sending a New Zealand delegation to BIO2020.
Finally, we hope you will join us at NZTech’s Annual General Meeting on 25 July in Auckland. NZTech CEO Graeme Muller will share an update on the NZTech strategy and plans for the coming year.
Have another great month and let’s be careful out there.
News and Events
New Zealand science and technology are the biggest hope for global impact on climate change.
BIOTechNZ member LanzaTech plans to launch a jet fuel company using its sustainable ethanol.
HealthTech Week 2019 is happening this week in Auckland.
Register now for the 15th Bioshares Bitotech Summit, 26-27 July in Queenstown.
ProteinTECH 2019 (30-31 July, Auckland) will examine what alternative protein means for New Zealand primary industries. Register here.
Would you wear fungus on your ears? Fungus headphones offer a glimpse at the renewable future of electronics.
The Malaghan Institute’s ambitious plans to establish a platform for CAR T-cell cancer therapy has backing from the New Zealand Government with the Government funding 40 percent of the estimated cost.
Trump simplifies reviews of genetically modified farm products to “speed up reviews of biotechnology so that farmers can get access to critical scientific advances faster and reap the full benefits of American innovation for many years into the future.”
Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Hiringa Energy have confirmed a joint development agreement for a $50 million clean-tech project in Taranaki to produce green hydrogen using renewable energy.
Be among the first to meet dynamic founders who are fuelling our startup ecosystem. Attend Massey’s ecentre Innovation Showcase 2019 on 8 August in Auckland.