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At 5.30am this morning, my flight from San Francisco landed in Auckland, but the travel has been well worth the effort! After spending time in California, I now have a better understanding of how alternative protein companies are tracking towards commercialisation. Market entry won’t happen overnight, as many companies still need to scale manufacturing and I expect regulations will soon follow. What is important to note is that there are numerous companies and many of them are backed by serious funding. For example, Merck recently purchased a big chunk of Moss Meats. Merck has vast experience with large scale biotech production and associated regulatory regimes. My prediction is that one, or two of the cultured meat firms will have first generation products in the market by 2025. Conservatively, even if this was delayed until 2030, it’s still not too far into the future!
Alternative proteins aside, most of the trip was spent visiting farmers, agritech startups and investors. The demand for fresh food continues to grow and in the USA, farmers have similar challenges as Kiwi producers. This includes how to better manage water and nutrient runoff, and how to automate farm processes to solve labour shortages. The great news for New Zealand is we are already working on these issues and we didn’t see any tech that was more advanced than what we have here.
This week, I’m looking forward to spending a few days in Wellington, including meeting with Minister Woods. This is especially timely, now that she has also picked up the Digital Government portfolio. I’m also looking forward to the Wellington NZTech Connect event so I can share highlights from our recent AGM. Join me on Thursday evening for an update on everything NZTech!
Attend the New Zealand FinTech Summit on 29 November in Auckland. Connect with experts on the 2018 Taking Care of Business – Small Business Roadshow.
Discover the practical applications of Blockchain technology, transforming business and government, from supply chain to smart cities, digital identity and finance. Blockworks is 12 October in Auckland.
Make a difference and help create a more inclusive transport system. Register for the New Zealand Transport Authority’s All Access Hackathon, 21-23 September in Auckland.
Tech Futures Lab has launched the global education platform, Digital Suitcase. Its aim is to help prepare adults for the future, especially those whose careers are being disrupted by emerging technologies.
Are you part of the IoT ecosystem? Share your views on local IoT device certification. Complete the New Zealand IoT Alliance’s survey here and help create a clear device certification pathway.
New Zealand’s Agritech delegation to Silicon Valley explored many opportunities and made news headlines stateside when Agritech New Zealand signed an important partnership.
Meet the 2018 New Zealand Spatial Awards finalists on 5 September. Winners announced on 17 October in Wellington. Save the date; Tech Marketers conference on 28 February, AI-Day on 28 March and Techweek 20-26 May, 2019.
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