New innovation hub to transform agriculture with tech

28 August 2019

The Australian National University (ANU), in collaboration with CSIRO, has launched a new lab that will help solve some of Australia and the world's biggest agriculture challenges.

Based in the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT), the new innovation hub comes with $1.3 million in ACT Government funding over three years.

This is matched by $1.3 million in ANU funding and $1 million in-kind support from CSIRO.  

The hub was officially opened by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt and Dr Michiel Van Lookeren Campagne -- CSIRO Director, Agriculture and Food.   

Agriculture is worth $59 billion to Australia.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said the Centre Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT) brings together world-class research and technology to solve agriculture challenges. 

"Since The Australian National University announced the creation of CEAT last August, it has made remarkable progress and I am delighted to officially open the Centre's Innovation Hub," Professor Schmidt said.

"Five businesses have already set up shop in the Innovation Hub including Gondwana Genomics - the first company in the world to deploy DNA screening on a large scale to boost tree production in commercial forestry.

"Other work at CEAT is helping farmers track remote stock with drones, as well as cut fertiliser and water waste with AI and satellites. 

"Since launching, CEAT has become a focal point for agri-tech in Canberra and indeed Australia, building networks both locally and globally.

"The Centre is just one example of the University's broader commitment to addressing issues of national importance by fostering collaboration between industry and academia.

"Working with the ACT Government has ensured that ANU is able to deliver on these important objectives.

"I want to thank Chief Minister Barr for this funding and for the vital work it will help drive."