Every year MobileTECH brings together over 300 technology leaders, developers, early adopters and major industry operators from throughout the primary sector. MobileTECH, which runs over 2 intense days, is always buzzing with activity and the event held earlier this year was no exception. MobileTECH continues to be the only cross-sector event of its type to bring together the technology leaders from right across the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors.
We are pleased to announce that MobileTECH 2018 will be taking place on the 27-28 March 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand.
The theme for 2018 is “Innovation through Smart Data”.
In the past, innovations in hardware and machines were the main productivity drivers. Now business data and decision-making software are the catalysts for completely new technologies and growth in the primary sector.
Wireless connectivity, advanced sensors, smart data, automation and increasing computing power are generating new opportunities. The Internet of Things (IoT) is being rolled out to farmers and orchards across the country, satellite imagery has become an essential forest management planning tool and critical business information is available anywhere at a touch of a button.
We are generating more data than ever before. We are, however, only just starting to scrape the surface on how we can use the data to make smarter business decisions in real-time.
In a major study earlier this year, machine learning competed with doctors in the visual diagnosis of lung cancer. The machine was better than even the best doctors. Continued advancements in digitisation, analytics, artificial intelligence and automation will have a major impact on the primary sector. There is a very real probability that a machine will soon make a better decision than a farmer with 50 years of experience!
While it is still early days in the MobileTECH 2018 programme development, if you are interested in becoming a speaker (or have some great ideas for the programme), we would love to hear from you. A Speaker Interest Form is available on the event website.
If your business is also interested in working closer with us to build on the MobileTECH 2018 event, please contact us directly.
MobileTECH 2017 was held in Rotorua, New Zealand, on the 22-23 March 2017. Well over 300 attended from throughout New Zealand and Australia – a real who’s who of primary industry and technology leaders.
The theme this year was disruptive innovations and the people behind them. The general consensuses was that we are in a new era of technology within the primary industry and, to survive, the sector must embrace the change and capitalise the opportunities – both nationally and globally.
The developers, innovators, major industry operators and early adopters in attendance represented the future of our food and fibre industries.
MobileTECH 2017 featured 41 speakers and covered topics like technology disruption, the Internet of Things, rural connectivity, cloud-based platforms, automated data collection, remote sensors, robotics, field capture tools, data management and satellite mapping.
The Meet the Future Leaders Panel was once again a popular session. The panel featured Chelsea Millar, a board member at NZ Young Farmers and owner of Grassroots Media, ; Alastair Neville, a young farmer and leader from Reporoa; and Andrew Hutchinson, the 2016 NZ Young Horticulturalist of the Year. One point that stood out was the need for developers to better engage with the next generation and focus on solving the common day-to-day issues within the industry.
The Meet the Early Adaptors Panel was a new feature of MobileTECH this year. This panel brought together farmers and orchardists to discuss their views on the integration of technology within their businesses. The panel included Aka Aka Dairy Farmer Tony Walters, Canterbury farmer and Federated Farmers representative, Chris Allen and T&G Pipfruit’s National Orchard Manager, Lachlan Mckay. The Internet of Things was the big discussion point and one that will play a major part in the industry over the next couple of years.
Our Keynote Speakers included Andrew Gibbs, Partner & Head of NZ Primary Industries for Deloitte, Marcel van den Assum, Chairman of Angel Association NZ, Hannah Fraser, Enterprise Ireland’s Senior Market Advisor for Agribusiness and Mike Chapman, Chief Executive of Horticulture NZ.
Andrew Gibbs said that new advancements in agricultural biotech, digital technology and data analytics are transforming agriculture through “precision farming” on an industrial scale in developed markets. It is also creating new value chain links for smallholders, such as digital finance, mobile weather and price information.
Marcel van den Assum, one of NZ’s foremost experts in startup investment, stated that NZ has the opportunity to be a major Upstart Nation in AgriTech. The growth drivers are there, but it comes down to much more than just opportunity. The opportunity cost of not stepping up is much greater.
The TECH Talks were another conference highlight. This year we had 12 technology solutions presented during the lightening round of talks and panel discussions. We had talks on specialist apps, end-to-end solutions, UAV services, GIS, mapping, mobile platforms, data management, health & safety and payroll apps.
It is now clearer than ever that technology is set to deliver a massive step change in how our agriculture, horticulture and forestry sectors operate. The Internet of Things, automated data aggregation and integrated decision support systems are key technology trends for our rural businesses.
Development of next year’s MobileTECH 2018 has already started. This event will continue to innovate and provide an important platform for mobile technologies designed to increase productivity, streamline operations and build growth for the primary industry businesses.
We are looking forward to hosting 300+ industry representatives at MobileTECH 2017 this week. A lot is planned. Over 40 presentations, discussion panels, demos and TECH Talks.
Our mission has always been to create a platform for change for people across New Zealand’s primary industries. A place where technology developers, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and the next generation can meet, learn, discuss and showcase the latest technologies impacting on industry operations.
New tech will help assure NZ food stories [Media Post]
19 March 2017
The use of new technologies to assist New Zealand’s value chain connections will be a focus at a primary industries tech conference next week
The 5th annual MobileTECH conference was taking place in Rotorua, focusing on new technologies and innovations designed and developed for New Zealand’s agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries.
A broad range of issues would be discussed including the latest disruptions affecting the sector, including robotics and automation and data and supply chain innovations.
One issue that would be considered was the use of technology to help verify claims around NZ’s food supply chain integrity.
Rezare Systems director Andrew Cooke would be addressing technology’s role in telling a NZ primary industries story.
“It is important to tell this story but the story needs to be backed up with data and information so the story you are telling consumers is real.”
Cooke said there were opportunities to do this with new information technology tools, new sensors to actually collect the data, crunch the data and use it as supporting material.
“I’m not of the mind that the data tells the story but the worst things that have happened when people have told stories about their products are when they’ve been found not to be true.
“You can put systems in place and technology in place to make sure that is not going to happen.”
Elsewhere, the Internet of Things would be a focus, with MobileTECH programme manager Ken Wilson labelling it a game-changer for the industry.
A report from American-based BI Intelligence predicted IoT device installations throughout the agricultural sector would increase from 30 million units in 2015 to more than 75m in 2020.
On the average farm, the data points collected per day would also increase from 190,000 in 2014 to 4.1m in 2050.
Wilson said the Internet of Things had evolved from the relatively simple RFID tagging and data tracking of cattle. IoT was now the backbone of a centralised system tracking and analysing data from multiple sources right across the farm.
Spark was now working with more than 100 farmers to install Internet of Things systems into their operations.
MobileTECH 2017 would be running on March 22 and 23.
Are you making authentic supply chain promises? (Guest Post)
16 March 2017
If you’re in the food business (whether that’s retail, food service, processing, farming, or supply), consumers are asking questions about your supply chain.
Of course, they may not be asking you directly, and they may not be asking your retail or food service partner, but they are asking: on social media, on recommendation sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, even over drinks at their local.
Are you providing the information they need to be confident about the quality and safety of your product? Do you have a substantiated story around provenance, animal welfare and the environment?
Safeguards such as DNA testing lasagne are “bottom of the cliff” activities, an attempt to rebuild broken trust and arguably too limited and late in the supply chain.
Future product preference and even acceptance relies upon a supply chain that can show ethical practices: in how environmental impacts are managed, natural biodiversity is encouraged, animal welfare is maintained, anti-microbial resistance is avoided, and workers and communities are treated.
Activist groups and the power of social media means that our response to these demands must be much more solid than a promise or a declaration form. We must have the systems and measures to back up our words – and to demonstrate as much to auditors and our supply-chain partners.
For those of us at the confluence of technology and agriculture, this means we must do more than just record activities and calculate gross margins. We must step up with tools that capture rich data in support of farming activities, and which actively encourage good decisions that improve both profitability and sustainability.
All this needs to be done with minimal additional effort by farmers and their staff, and aligned to real-world processes on farm.
I’ll be speaking at MobileTech 2017, the annual summit for technology innovations in the primary sector, reflecting on these challenges. I’ll summarise some of the work Rezare Systems is doing in this space, and suggest ways the industry could apply technology to the opportunity.
MobileTECH highlighted on a number of NZ radio shows
16 March 2017
MobileTECH 2017 has been covered recently by a number of radio shows.
Radio NZ interviewed MobileTECH’s programme manager, Ken Wilson, on the Morning Rural News Show last month. This interview highlighted the upcoming MobileTECH 2017 conference and just how far technology has come to change farming and impact the wider primary industries. Show hosts loved the idea of an event for ‘geek farmers’ – while that tagline may not necessarily cover the range of people coming to MobileTECH, I’m sure that there will be more than a couple geek farmers attending.
Longtime MobileTECH delegate and freelance writer, Cameron Officer, was interviewed on NBR Radio (National Business Review). The big highlight of this interview was on Dave Verma’s autonomous vehicles dinner presentation at MobileTECH 2017. You can listen to the interview below.
We are now counting down the days until Rotorua hosts MobileTECH 2017. Close to 300 delegates will rub shoulders with technology leaders, innovative developers, industry heavyweights, early adopters and the next generation of primary sector operators.
This is one of our strongest programmes. The line-up is full of award winning technologies, innovative new platforms and exciting applications. Over 40 industry experts will be be speaking. Click here to view the updated programme.
Meet the Early Adopters Panel
We will hear from a passionate cross-section of early adopters and their views on the integration of technology. The panel includes; Tony Walters from Aka Aka Dairy Farm, Canterbury Farmer and Federated Farmers National Board Member, Chris Allen and Lachlan Mckay, the National Orchard Manager for T&G Pipfruit. Kevin Cooney, Head of Agri Capital at ASB will facilitate the discussion.
Meet the Future Leaders Panel
This panel was one of the major highlights at MobileTECH last year. Some of the brightest young farmers and horticulturalists will be discussing their views on technology and how they see it powering their businesses into the future. The panellists for 2017 are; Chelsea Millar, NZ Young Farmers National Board Member and Owner of Grass Roots Media, Alastair Neville, a Reporoa Farmer & former Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final convener and Andrew Hutchinson, the 2016 Young Horticulturalist of the Year. The facilitator is John Ascroft, the Chief Innovation Officer for Jade Software.
There will be up to 15 lightning talks on the best innovations and services available in NZ for the primary sector. This fast paced session format is designed to give technology companies 5 mins each to pitch their new innovations to the market.
Conference Dinner Presentation
MobileTECH industry dinners are a chance for delegates to relax and network. We like to give our guests a after-dinner speaker that gives an exciting look at upcoming technologies that will have a big impact on how we live our lives. The presentation this year is titled “Disruptive innovation – driverless vehicles are closer than you think”. Dave Verma, the Director of Australasian Driverless Vehicle Initiatives at HMI Technologies, will show us how advanced the research is and just how close we are to the real world roll-out of driverless vehicles.
Media Release: Young leaders have a voice at primary sector technology event
14 February 2017
One of the key features of the MobileTECH event run for New Zealand’s primary industries last year was a Meet the Future Leaders Panel. “This included some of the brightest young people working currently within the sector” says MobileTECH Programme Manager, Ken Wilson. Those attending the event heard of their vision of how technology was going to play a major role in shaping their businesses over the next 10 years.
The panel will once again be a major part of MobileTECH this year.
“Technology is rapidly becoming a critical part of how businesses are run in the primary sector. It’s also an essential factor in growing, retaining and attracting the best young leaders within the industry”, said, Ken Wilson. “The young leaders panel is an opportunity to hear from the young innovators and early adopters of this new technology and how they see if being employed now in the future,” he said.
We are pleased to announce that the MobileTECH 2017 young leaders session will include Alastair Neville, Chelsea Millar and Andrew Hutchinson.
Alastair Neville is a 3rd generation dairy farmer from Reporoa. He is a young farmer passionate about NZ Agriculture and the opportunities new technologies bring to the farm. Alastair also believes in giving back to the community and has been heavily involved in running a number of Young Farmer of the Year competitions.
Chelsea Millar is a passionate young leader who is on the national board of NZ Young Farmers and operates her own business called Grass Roots Media NZ. She is a 2015 Kellogg Rural Leadership graduate, Women of Influence finalist for the Business Enterprise and Rural categories, and was recently named in the Top 10 finalists for the University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year.
Andrew Hutchinson won the 2016 Young Horticulturalist of the Year. It was a gruelling two-day challenge that tested the skills needed by modern horticulturalists, including working with innovation and leadership. Andrew is based in Pukekohe and is the technical support advisor for potatoes at AS Wilcox & Sons.
“Each panellist brings a completely new dynamic to MobileTECH. We and the industry are really looking forward to hearing their views on technology and the role that this plays in building the industry’s next generation”, said Mr Wilson.
This panel is one of the many exciting presentations at MobileTECH 2017. Further information on the MobileTECH 2017 programme, which runs in Rotorua on 22-23 March 2017, can be found on the event website, www.mobiletech.events.
Autonomous vehicles expertise added to MobileTECH 2017
7 February 2017
MobileTECH 2017 runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 22-23 March. MobileTECH is the only event of its type in this region that brings together leading technology developers, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators from across the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors under one roof.
Now in its 5th year, MobileTECH has firmly established itself as the major cross-sector technology event focusing on agriculture, horticulture and forestry industries. Already over 200 have signed up to the March event.
The organisers, Connex: Event Innovators are delighted to announce this week the after-dinner presentation for the conference. The focus is autonomous or driverless vehicles and the likely impact that this new and emerging technology is going to have on the primary sector – and society. In last week’s issue of Friday Offcuts, we covered the announcement of the first trial of an autonomous electric shuttle at Christchurch International Airport. The lead technology company involved in this NZ trial is HMI Technologies.
Dave has both hard technical and strong relationship management acumen arising from a background in deployment of disruptive transportation technology, systems design, procurement, and delivery combined with high level stakeholder management skills. He also holds an Executive MBA from Hult International Business School.
Registrations to the tech event, MobileTECH 2017, can still be made on the event website, www.mobiletech.events.