Agricultural businesses across the Riverina are set for a major boost following today's launch of an AgriTech Incubator at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga.
Member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire said the Incubator, which is supported by the NSW Government, will bring university researchers together with technology and business entrepreneurs to create new products and ideas for the agricultural sector.
"This exciting new addition to the Riverina economy will help start-ups as well as small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) develop Agritech innovations, by giving them access to the incredible knowledge and resources housed within Charles Sturt University," Mr Maguire said.
"The AgriTech Incubator has been developed with assistance from the Government's Boosting Business Innovation Program which is providing $1.5 million to each of NSW's 11 universities – including Charles Sturt - and the CSIRO.
"The aim of the program is to drive innovation and develop new ideas by bringing our best business and academic brains together.
"Digital technologies are transforming agriculture, and the new AgriTech Incubator will ensure our regional businesses are operating at the forefront of those developments.
"Located in a newly refurbished building at the University's Wagga Wagga campus, the Incubator is now open for business as a co-workng and meeting space," he said.
CSU Professor of Food Engineering and leader of the AgriTech Incubator, John Mawson (pictured left), said the Incubator will draw on the University's deep heritage and research base in agriculture and food production to support business development and growth.
"The University laboratories and field facilities, and our formal links with many regional farming systems groups, provide the opportunity to evaluate and develop innovations under real-world conditions," Professor Mawson said.
"The Incubator will also deliver a program of gender equity initiatives dedicated to improving women's participation in technology. This is backed by research to understand women entrepreneurs' experience in incubation programs."
The launch for the AgriTech Incubator program was at its new premises in building 6 at CSU in Wagga Wagga this morning.