PlantTech's Founding Consortium
Establishing a collaborative environment is how successful ventures begin.
PlantTech proudly calls on a consortium of 10 organisations that share a vision for collaborative research and development capability that will improve their global competitiveness.
Our strength lies in shared benefits through shared investment, and forming cooperative partnerships with those at the cutting-edge of digital horticulture research, technology and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics [STEM].
With track records of success in developing and applying innovation in the horticultural sector, our partners have existing research and development capabilities and have previously collaborated on agricultural and horticultural technology innovation projects.
PlantTech’s deep connection to the industry and to the realities of our shareholders and members alike, puts us in a strong position to identify shared challenges where science excellence and the development of intellectual property within the organisation can have the greatest impact.
The resulting new shared capabilities and knowledge, artificial intelligence tools and automation technologies will heighten New Zealand’s competitive advantage and bring greater value to exports.
Bluelab, formerly known as NZ Hydroponics International Limited, has more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacture and export of hand-held meters and control equipment for measuring and controlling parameters such as pH, conductivity and temperature of liquid growth media. Its equipment is used by everybody from home gardening enthusiasts to large-scale commercial operations. As production and sustainability challenges increase for soil-based production, Bluelab is innovating to disrupt this sector too.
Cucumber is a full-service digital partner that assists organisations to use technology and innovation to build bespoke technical solutions that manage risks, increase productivity and encourage collaboration. It has built a software management product to support the global pip-fruit industry by using intelligence to deliver valuable information from data.
Eurofins Bay of Plenty has a 30-year proven track record in providing independent high-quality horticultural services and solutions. It is the independent laboratory contracted by Zespri International to collect and process kiwifruit samples for Zespri’s export maturity clearance programme. Eurofins is developing a range of disruptive technologies to deliver a step-change in the economics and value of quality management throughout fruit production.
GPS-it is an aerial farm mapping and software development company specialising in high-quality customised geospatial solutions. It is a Tier 1 partner of the global GIS provider ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute). It has developed AgBox, a full-spectrum agricultural management platform, which is the chosen solution for ESRI clients.
LANDx is a leading information technology firm delivering IT and communications-based products and services. LANDx works with several partners to integrate data platforms for horticultural land use decision-making. This also includes combining environmental data, pest and disease prediction.
Priority One is the economic development enabler for Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty, established by the business community. The organisation reflects a collaborative partnership between the business community and local authorities, with substantial funding and support provided by businesses and individuals committed to seeing positive change through increased economic prosperity across our community.
Priority One’s purpose is to strategically build a vibrant economy that is bold, innovative and future-focussed, creating a destination of choice for talented, skilled and creative people and the businesses that need them. The backing of the business community lends strength, insight and credibility that is crucial as Priority One advocates for change to bring more diversity to the economy and build real and defensible competitive advantages. Its key areas of focus are: fostering innovation; the attraction of talent and investment; education and skills; and enabling business success.
Robotics Plus is a company that emerged from the need to solve the growing challenges in the primary industries globally; such as labour shortages, sustainability for growers, pollination gaps and yield security. From apple sorters to autonomous robotic kiwifruit pickers, it is at the forefront of intelligent automation in the horticulture sector. A highly research-engaged company, it is developing many technological advancements on different fronts with academics and other research partners.
The University of Waikato
The University of Waikato is strongly connected to the regions, in particular the Bay of Plenty, and its researchers are focussed on finding solutions that will make a positive difference to the primary production sector.
The University of Waikato offers research, advisory and consultancy services to industry, government agencies, iwi and community organisations. The University is engaged in research, applied research and commercialisation, and takes a strong interdisciplinary approach to provide positive outcomes for the region.
Its approach brings together expertise in business, entrepreneurship, big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, mechanical engineering and computer science to deliver marketable solutions for industry.
Trimax Mowing Systems
Trimax Mowing Systems is a world leader in commercial mowing – designing, developing, manufacturing and distributing tractor-powered mowing equipment. Its aim is to create mowing solutions which focus on low Total-Cost-of-Ownership and a long commercial life – releasing consistently innovative and sustainable products to the world. Trimax has an extensive research and development programme addressing the next-generation opportunities in intelligent systems that gather and leverage data for customer value. As a company with 95 per cent of sales in export, it is targeting a number of very high-value external markets with new and disruptive technological approaches.
Zespri International is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit – selling kiwifruit into more than 50 countries and managing 30 per cent of the global volume. A consumer-driven, grower-owned company, it works with growers and post-harvest operators to source top-quality Zespri Kiwifruit and supply this kiwifruit through its distribution partners to wholesale markets and retail customers.
We also gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and particularly the Regional Research Institutes Fund.
Their investment of $8.425m is critical to PlantTech's establishment and MBIE is a key partner for PlantTech's Founders in creating this new initiative.