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2019 innovation exchange continues Trans-Tasman collaboration

21 Nov 2019

Image: Exchange participants trialling the augmented reality game showcased by Air New Zealand in partnership with Magic Leap.

Article written by Biosecurity Innovation team, Biosecurity Implementation branch

Australia and New Zealand are world leaders in biosecurity. We share similar biosecurity challenges, objectives and an appetite for innovation.

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries hosted the second Biosecurity Innovation Exchange in Auckland on 4 November. Bringing together government agencies, research organisations, universities and industry from Australia and New Zealand.

More than 90 participants took part in collaborative discussions, focused on innovative ways to address biosecurity challenges into the future.

Nine representatives from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture attended the event. Including the head of biosecurity Lyn O’Connell and head of biosecurity implementation Cathryn Geiger.

The department updated attendees on the progress of key initiatives from the first exchange, held March 2018 in Canberra, Australia.

Key themes from this year’s exchange included innovative and cost-effective solutions to manage hitchhiker pests, tracking production animals without human intervention, priority areas of research and innovation for future biosecurity activities and remote sensing and artificial intelligence for surveillance, detection, monitoring and eradication.

The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards were held at the end of the exchange to acknowledge people across the country contributing to biosecurity—including members of the public.

The New Zealand community work closely together to overcome biosecurity challenges. Evident by the winner of the New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, from Rotorua, taking out the top honour with the trust's initiative dubbed 'Catfish Killas'.

Highlights included a field trip for attendees, treating them to a tour of Auckland’s innovation hubs. Such as the Air New Zealand Innovation Hub, SPARK 5G Lab, New Zealand Product Accelerator at Auckland University and the Joint Border Analytic Centre.

The exchange continues to be a success for growing collaboration on biosecurity. We look forward to exploring more opportunities as part of this valuable initiative.

Outcomes from the exchange inform our innovation focus and activities. So, if you are keen to see the direction the 2019 exchange is pointing to, stay tuned to The Seed for updates.

Also, nominations for the department’s 2020 Australian Biosecurity Awards are now open. Complete the nomination form by Friday 6 December 2019.

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