Milk algorithms, beef e-certs among $6m in regtech grants

Algorithms for milk supply chain audits, beef e-certifications and emissions tracking systems for rice crops are among the 15 projects to share in $6 million in federal regtech grants for agricultural traceability systems.

Agriculture minister Murray Watt announced the successful recipients of the RegTech Research and Insights Grants on Monday, with the funding to be used on a range of innovative regtech solutions over the next two years.

The grants, which form part of the National Agriculture Traceability Grants program, aim to boost the use of regtech solutions in agriculture supply chains by identifying new applications and assisting the adoption of digital traceability systems.

“Strong regulation is one of Australia’s selling points in trade, but there are always ways we can streamline and modernise our systems, particularly as more farmers use innovative technologies themselves,” Minister Watt said.

The federal government will also provide $5 million for the Food Agility CRC to modernise Australia’s food data in a bid to “support smarter traceability solutions and data standards that allow systems to talk to each other”, Minister Watt said.

Food Agility chief executive Richard Norton said the funding would help transform the data provided by Australia’s agricultural sector so that “global trading partners can not only understand it, but also trust it”.

“The outcomes will be world-leading and will have tangible benefits to producers, growers, and the agrifood sector by allowing their sustainability credentials to be demonstrated to customers at home and abroad,” he said.

Of the 15 projects awarded funding through the RegTech Research and Insights Grants round, five have received $500,000, including three related to red meat traceability at national science agency CSIRO, Agrifood Connect and Australian consultancy Venturenauts.

CSIRO will use its grant for a digital exchange to streamline data collection and flows in the red meat supply chain, while Agrifood Connect maps the red meat supply chain under its Trace2Place project. Venturenauts will embark on a halal beef e-certification and traceability project.

Meat & Livestock Australia and the University of Adelaide, also recipients of $500,000, will use the funding for a data platform and exchange to transform agriculture traceability and a project to eliminate illegal timber and plant-derived products from global supply chains.

Several of projects received just shy of $500,000, including a traceability and verification regtech solution project led by the Seafood Industry Australia ($499,840) and a digital traceability of carbon emissions in rice project led by SunRice ($493,389).

Other projects funded include:

  • FreshChain Systems: $497,000 to enhance and validate additional standardisable features on traceability platforms for regtech applications in agri-food supply networks
  • Horticulture Innovation Australia: $471,000 to develop regtech applications across horticultural value chains
  • South Australian Dairy Famers Association: $402,488 for algorithmic auditing of milk supply chains
  • University of Tasmania: $333,649 to assess traceability regtech applications for honey bee and cherry industries and related supply chains
  • RegSoft: $315,400 to use rules-as-code to create farm-to-export traceability for agriculture supply chains
  • University of Newcastle: $203,734 to develop international models and future architecture for global agricultural trade and traceability
  • T – Provenance: $175,000 to use digital traceability to streamline pest and chemical management in the Australian grain industry
  • National Farmers’ Federation Limited: $108,000 to examine industry-led regtech in cross-commodity production systems

The government is preparing to release a 10-year National Agricultural Traceability Strategy, having developed a draft strategy in consultation with industry during 2022 and early 2023. The strategy will contain a five-year implementation plan.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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