NZBIO Annual Biotechnology/Life Sciences Conference

The NZBIO Annual Biotechnology/Life Sciences Conference is being held on October 12 and 13 at Te Wharewaka o Poneke, Wellington. The theme this year, Global Megatrends, will consider some of the largest biotech opportunities globally today.  Some international thought leaders, Robin Farmanfarmaian, Sir Peter Gluckman, Professor Juliet Gerrard, Dr Clyde Smith and Professor Nikola Kasabov, are speaking to share their knowledge and experience on agbiotech, health biotech, industrial, environmental and food biosciences. The conference will allow attendees to engage with ground-breaking research and trends, pursue partnerships with investors, researchers and industry stakeholders; and strengthen networks to ultimately facilitate the growth of New Zealand’s businesses in the global market.

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Tech Futures Lab partners with The FoodBowl

Tech Futures Lab and The FoodBowl have partnered up to provide access to practical knowledge and expertise on food technology and innovation through the Master of Applied Practice – Technological Futures. This new partnership complements the recent partnership between Tech Futures Lab and Lincoln Hub to provide an optional agritech focus to candidates enrolled in the November 2017 intake of the programme. Candidates will gain access to a diverse network of industry leaders and first-hand experience in the future of the food and beverage industry.

The agritech focus spans the entire supply chain from farming to exportation. Advancements in technology are fundamentally changing how we produce, package, commercialise and export food and drink. Agriculture has long been a primary industry in New Zealand, and with the likes of Sunfed Meats, which produces a range of meat-free products made from pea protein, New Zealand has huge opportunity to become a global leader.

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Leaf-Recognition Technology: Agriculture Digs Into Artificial Intelligence

On Midwestern fields and in research greenhouses, agricultural giants like Monsanto Co. and BASF SA are teaching machines how to farm.

The companies are expanding early-stage investments in artificial intelligence, joining other industries in betting that research and decision-making can be streamlined with computer programs that teach themselves by picking patterns out of data.

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Merck Expands Celonic’s Upstream Capabilities with Mobius(R) Single-use Bioreactors

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that Celonic AG, a Swiss contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), is upgrading its manufacturing facility with five of Merck’s Mobius(R) single-use bioreactors.

Celonic, which produces biosimilars and also offers a cell line development platform, will add 50-, 200- and 2,000-liter bioreactors to its development and manufacturing facility in Basel, Switzerland. The upgrade will expand Celonic’s upstream capabilities, improving flexibility and scalability.

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$20m fund for the future of farming

A National Government will partner with farmers and growers to develop new farming technology and practices that lift productivity and further reduce farming’s environmental footprint, Primary Industries spokesperson Nathan Guy says.

“National will turbo-charge the Sustainable Farming Fund, which will be renamed the Future of Farming Fund, by boosting its funding from $7 million to $20 million per year for investment in agricultural science and innovation,” Mr Guy says.

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A New Zealand agritech startup helping US potato farmers just listed on the ASX

A tech company that helps farmers improve crop yields will list on the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday.

CropLogic has raised the $8 million it sought in an IPO, and said it was even offered $1 million on top of that during the offer period. Forty million ordinary shares will be issued at 20 cents each, and the business will have a market cap of $25 million.

The New Zealand “internet of things” agriculture tech company, established in 2010, uses on-field sensors connected via wireless and satellite channels to collect data such as soil moisture and temperature, and rainfall, alongside other information to give farmers a predictive analysis of their efforts.

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NZ potato-tech company CropLogic drops 23pc on ASX debut

Kiwi agtech play CropLogic’s ASX debut disappointed investors, finishing its first day down 23 per cent from its IPO price at 15.5c.

The company, which offers crop management technology-as-a-service focused, for now, on potato crops, raised its target $8 million during the IPO, selling 40 million shares at 20c each.

It’s another protege of troubled investor Powerhouse Ventures (ASX:PVL).

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BioScience Managers invests in REX Bionics

Australian life sciences investment firm BioScience Managers has chosen a robotic exercise assist device (REX) as its first investment for the Biomedical Translation Fund.

The REX Bionics robotic device has been in development for over a decade and has racked up thousands of hours of user experience, helping to transform the lives of people with a range of mobility problems, stemming from spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries and neuromuscular conditions, BioScience Managers Managing Director Jeremy Curnock Cook said.

The latest version of REX, now available from the company’s purpose-built manufacturing facility, targets the rehabilitation market, and units are currently on trial in Australia and New Zealand, as well as rehabilitation centres of excellence in the UK and the USA.

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Tru-Test names Simon Mander as new chief executive

Tru-Test Corp has hired Simon Mander to lead the agritech company as it looks to build earnings after a hard round of cost-cutting in response to last year’s dairy downturn.

Mander started at the Auckland-based company today, replacing Greg Muir who stepped down after more than eight years in the top job. Chairman John Loughlin told BusinessDesk Mander brings “a very focused approach to cost and margin management” with a strong set of business analysis and profit maximisation skills.

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AFT Pharmaceuticals celebrates 20 years of success

Twenty years ago this week, husband and wife Dr Hartley Atkinson and Marree Atkinson, started AFT Pharmaceuticals (AFT) in a room off their home garage.

Last year the NZX and ASX listed company earned revenue of NZ$70M and has a market capitalisation of around NZ$250M.

Reflecting on 20 years in business, Hartley Atkinson says that his company’s success shows that kiwi companies can become global players in their respective industry while being headquartered in New Zealand.

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