Farm Tender

Ag Tech Sunday - GRDC backs startups for grains innovation

  • By: "Prime" Ag News
  • Ag Company News
  • Jul 04, 2020
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By Julia Waite - SproutX

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has thrown its support behind Australian agtech founders by partnering with SproutX, Australia’s leading food and agtech accelerator program.

The partnership allows GRDC to participate in the recruitment process, select and support up to three startups for entry to SproutX’s competitive six-month program, focused on solving the biggest challenges in the grains industry.

The partnership will enable GRDC to source and fast-track the commercialisation of new innovations that benefit Australian grain growers, including lowering input costs, improving yields and reducing farmer risk.

Through its Australian Grains Innovation Program, GRDC has launched several initiatives in the startup sector over the past 12 months. These include the $50 Million GrainInnovate venture capital fund, in partnership with Artesian Capital, along with Growers as Innovators, and the GRDC Accelerator Programs.

For the founders, it's a unique opportunity to gain early support and validation for their solutions by linking with GRDC, its network of research providers and grain producers.

“The GRDC Accelerator Program is designed to support the placement of grains-focused innovations from growers and other non-traditional partners into the existing Australian Accelerator Network,” says Chris Murphy, GRDC Manager of Business Development and Commercialisation.

“Partnering with SproutX facilitates access to a diverse range of emerging entrepreneurs, and allows us to support the likelihood of their success in this industry.”

The first recipient of the SproutX grains placement is Armidale-based startup, FarmLab. Co-founder and CEO, Sam Duncan, launched the soil management software in 2016 after serving in the Air Force.

"We hope the partnership with GRDC enables us to work with agronomists and growers, supporting them to improve soil management, and paving the way for soil carbon monitoring in the future.” said Mr Duncan.