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Eurofins, the world leader in food, pharma, and environmental laboratory testing, announced the successful launch of PlanTech held on May 20 to 26 at the Trustpower Baypark Stadium. PlantTech is a multimillion-dollar horticulture research centre in the Western Bay of Plenty sub-region. The centre will focus on applying cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning specific to the scientific challenges in New Zealand’s horticulture industry. PlanTech is directing its efforts in accelerating innovation and using the region’s horticulture industry as a testing ground for new technologies and services.
The launch of PlanTech started with an opening speech from the CEO of PlanTech Research Institute, Mark Begbie. He spoke about the need for innovation and collaboration within the industry. He said, “PlantTech is not here to cook your dinner, but we are here to help you create new and intelligent types of fishing gear.” Begbie also mentioned to the Bay of Plenty Time that PlanTech wants to leverage the Western Bay of Plenty's strengths in plant-based value chains, robotics and autonomous systems to ensure the horticulture industry stayed ahead of the game.
PlanTech partnered with University of Waikato, Blielab, Cucumber, GPS-It, Eurofins, Robotics Plus Ltd, Trimax Mowing Systems, Waka Digital, Zespri International, and Priority One to secure a $8.42m start-up fund from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment alongside $1m over three years from the industry.
PlanTech aims to build regional and national capability in the application of advanced technologies to strengthen hi-tech exports. The team specialises in data sciences and automation, focusing on premium natural plant production and developing collaborative relationships with industry, research organisations and international partners. PlanTech aims to recruit up to six researchers and hopes to have 18 personnel with technical roles added to their team by 2023.
To learn more, visit the Eurofins website at https://www.eurofins.co.nz/