The Bishop’s Action Foundation is a leading partner supporting the development and launch of AgritechX as part of our management and innovation role for the Bashford-Nicholls Trust.
The Taranaki Agritech Collective is designed to provide a ‘vehicle’ for farmer-user driven innovations to be identified, researched, developed, and successfully commercialised. Commercialisation skills and experience of Massey Ventures Ltd (MVL), combined with the agri-tech skills and experience of engineers and designers from Massey (and elsewhere if needed) will be co-invested alongside the capabilities and insights of Taranaki farmers within a cooperative working environment. It’s a model that Bashford-Nicholls Trust (BNT) also has confidence to support and invest in, given its potential to engage Taranaki farmers in innovation and capability development, to provide diversification of income streams for farmers in Taranaki and to emerge new agri-related businesses within our region.
To be launched in late 2023, this collaboration between MVL and BNT will provide a foundation investment for ‘the Collective’ of $100,000 and $50,000 respectively for this start-up limited liability company. 10 farmer-entrepreneurs are invited to join ‘the Collective’, investing $5,000 each, and obtaining a 2.5% share in the company.
Farmer-entrepreneurs will be involved from the get-go in governance, agreeing on operational priorities, deciding investment/development priorities and in validating solutions and business propositions. Projects to be advanced via ‘the Collective’ will be derived from a pipeline agreed by ‘the Collective’, with farmer engagement ongoing throughout the R&D and product validation process, and the group involved in trials to test new technologies on farm.
R&D and business activities of ‘the Collective’ will be decided following due diligence at the front end to ensure an informed “customer/user pull” innovation model, rather than the more traditional invent-make-sell “technology push” innovation model. Co-funding for R&D projects (from Callaghan Innovation, KiwiNet, MBIE, MPI, AGMARDT and potentially others) will be applied for where possible to support R&D.
‘The Collective’ will allow participating farmers to have ownership and share in the financial rewards from commercial agri-tech, rather than just being purchasers of farm products. Profits from commercialisation of products will be reinvested back into ‘the Collective’ or paid out as dividends, as determined by the Board.
If this sounds like something you could be interested in, please contact Eve Kawana-Brown E.Kawana-Brown@massey.ac.nz in the first instance.