Ag and food summit features investment focus


The AusBiotech AusAg & Foodtech Summit 2017 has commenced today in Adelaide, putting the spotlight on investment in agritech and foodtech innovation to help bridge Australian science and business.

The Summit draws together the agritech and foodtech ecosystem to advance commercialisation opportunities and foster relationships between stakeholders from each stage of the sector’s value chain – including investors, startups and SMEs, researchers and academics, multinational and established companies.

Breaking away from the Summit’s traditional framework, a greater focus on investment will see a limited number of investor-ready organisations provide eight-minute pitches and the exhibition, named The Marketplace, will present a new form, consisting of compact displays with spaces for representatives to talk with prospective investors and partners.

Keynote speakers include Michael Dean, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer at AgFunder and Prof Steve Swain, Research Director at CSIRO. 

Michael is leader of the AgFunder investment team, a San Francisco-based online investment platform for global agriculture and food technology. He oversees deal identification, origination and execution on the AgFunder platform.  

Prof Swain, who has been Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University for ten years, has been closely involved with both technology development and commercialisation throughout his career. Most recently, Prof Swain’s work has investigated the genetic control of inflorescence (spike) development in wheat, and how this might be used to increase yield potential. 

In a session chaired by David Monck - Innovation Facilitator SA, Food & Beverage, CSIRO, panelists will discuss pathways to support the development of new technologies and the advancement of young companies.

Dr Paul Wood, who chairs AusBiotech’s Ag and Food Advisory Group, has led the Summit’s program development, which has attracted almost 200 delegates. For more information, see