TECH Talks a highlight at national primary industry conference

Ken WilsonMobileTECH

In two weeks Rotorua will be playing host to over 300 industry representatives from throughout the agriculture, horticulture and forestry sectors. MobileTECH 2016 is a two-day conference focusing on new technologies and innovations designed for our food and fibre industries.

As well as the New Zealand sector, MobileTECH has also attracted a solid contingent from across the Tasman. Some of Australia’s largest primary industry companies will be flying into Rotorua and joining the local industry for this event.

The strength of this programme, boosting over 36 speakers, is in bringing together under the one roof leaders from across a diverse range of primary industries with those who are developing, manufacturing and adopting these new technologies.

One of the highlights of this year’s programme are the TECH Talks sessions. The TECH Talks are a series of short, 5 minute presentations giving the audience a ‘sneak peek’ or ‘elevator pitch’ on some of this country’s leading new technologies.

“We have 14 TECH Talks presentations spread across two tight sessions and it’s going to be an exciting snapshot of practical technologies that have recently been adopted, rolled out and are showing real promise,” programme director Ken Wilson said.

“This is a new concept for MobileTECH and we have been overwhelmed with the number of people interested in taking part in this quick-fire session. If it works as well as expected we could look at expanding this concept as it provides a unique platform for technology developers and providers to promote innovative new products and related services,” Mr Wilson said.

In the first TECH Talks session, Netherlands based Connecterra, AgAlytics, OnSide, Sprout, Agrimap and Poutama will be presenting. TECH Talks on day two will feature Rezare Systems, Honeywell, TracMap, AgRecord, Sierra Wireless, Eagle Technology, TrackIt and Aeronavics.

While we do have presentations from several market leading organisations, there is a great mix of new up and coming companies on display. Connecterra’s “FitBit for Cows” for example won the 2015 start-up of the year at one of Europe’s largest tech events, Web Summit 2015.

After hearing about the TECH Talks, one of the first to contact the organisers was OnSide. OnSide has developed an app to help rural employers manage their health and safety risks and compliance. This is an area where technology can play an important part and, with NZ’s health and safety regulations changing, comes at just the right time.

Another exciting start-up on show is Agalytics, who are working on a “lab-on-a-chip” technology for using smartphones to help analyse soils and plant tissue. TECH Talks also includes cloud-base management software, tech incubators and Maori start-up services, precision guidance systems, mobile broadband hardware, mapping solutions, GPS tracking and UAV advancements.

These quick-fire presentations, of course, are only one part of the MobileTECH 2016 event. Further information about the programme can be found at MobileTECH 2016 is being held in Rotorua on 30-31 March 2016.