Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Australia already exports two-thirds of its agricultural produce, and is looking to increase output as demand continues to grow.

Australia is a global leader in agricultural produce, and exports approximately two-thirds of its output in this category. The domestic agriculture industry is widely accepted as one that is ready to adopt innovative agricultural technology solutions that will transform decision-making, productivity and sustainability. This makes Australia an attractive destination for Wisconsin companies looking to conduct product trials in a counter-seasonal location and develop, commercialize and scale agriculture and food technologies.

In February 2019, the Australian government’s International Trade and Investment Commission launched "Agriculture 4.0" as a new initiative to connect Australia’s young agricultural technology industry with international investors and innovators. Australia recognizes that in order to meet the rising global demand for high-quality, clean Australian food, the industry must dramatically increase the yield and efficiency of agricultural production while also mitigating the effects of climate change.

Hence, Australian agriculture has an appetite for technological innovation; however, it is currently Australia’s least innovative industry due to the relatively small level of existing investment in agricultural technology in Australia in comparison to the global market. This presents opportunities for Wisconsin companies with expertise in agricultural technology to enter the Australian market as a first mover or early entrant.

The Australian government also offers a range of incentives, grants and pilot programs to encourage collaboration between research institutions and small and large agri-businesses, including international companies, such as:

  • The R&D Tax Incentive ranges from a non-refundable 38.5% tax offset for large businesses to a 43.5% refundable tax offset for small and midsize businesses (aggregate turnover less than $20 million AUD).
  • Cooperative Research Centre Grants provide medium- to long-term industry-led collaborations with matched funding to solve industry problems.
  • The Industry Growth Centre Food Innovation Australia Ltd. offers matched funding between $100,000 AUD and $2 million AUD to support commercially driven collaboration and innovation between small and large businesses in the food and agribusiness sectors.

Hence, there is currently a demand for new market entrants, government incentives and funding available for international collaborations, and a range of resources to assist companies with technology or experience in the agribusiness sector.

Wisconsin companies with expertise in agricultural technology are encouraged to look at Australia for opportunities to develop and test innovative agricultural solutions year round and bring them to scale globally. Companies looking to meet the demands of growing populations can benefit from Australia’s proximity and close trade ties with Asian markets, as well as its abundant agriculture research hubs.