New Western Growers Partnership Looks to Accelerate Agtech Innovation

Brian German Industry, Technology

A new partnership between leading agricultural organizations is looking to help accelerate agtech innovation. Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology (WGCIT) will be working with Agri-TechE in an effort to advance harvest automation. The partnership was officially announced at Agri-TechE’s Realising Economic Agricultural Potential Conference.

Agtech Innovation

“We have some big challenges facing us, such as extreme weather, need for harvesting automation, concerns about resistance to pesticides, and water shortages,” WGCIT Director Dennis Donohue said in a press release. “We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel so we decided to find out what agri-tech is out there and to start a conversation. With Agri-TechE, we saw the potential to create a viable relationship that would accelerate the development of solutions, and ultimately, solve the issues our growers are facing.”

WGCIT is an agtech incubator headquartered in Salinas, California. Agri-TechE is the leading agri-tech innovation network in the United Kingdom. The partnership will allow for the pooling of resources to help develop solutions at a quicker pace. Agri-TechE has already been working on various projects within the realm of harvest automation. The partnership will help connect farmers, researchers, and entrepreneurs in order to determine the most pressing issues and viable solutions.

“Being part of an ecosystem helps accelerate innovation,” said Dr. Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-TechE. “Our early-stage high-growth technology companies need to expand beyond the domestic market and working with the Western Growers offers huge potential. Likewise, the adoption of technology on a large scale will de-risk and drive down the cost of automation for our local growers.”

The partnership to help expedite agtech innovation takes a global approach to issues facing the agricultural community. By pooling resources, the two organizations are confident they can speed up the research and development process. WGCIT and Agri-TechE can work collaboratively on their shared strategic priorities of improving field harvest automation options and identifying food safety solutions.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West