Bundaberg’s vision to become a national centre of excellence in Ag-Tech took a major step forward this week with its first tenant, Greensill, announcing they will take up leased space in the Bargara Ag-Tech facility as early as next month.
This follow Council’s call for tenders in January from agricultural companies, or those who directly support its supply-chain.
“Tenders closed in February and we are pleased to announce that Greensill was successful with their tender submissions,” a Council spokesperson said.
“Council will now play an active role in managing the building and attracting other complementary Ag Tech related tenants to the building.
“The overall goal of the facility will be to drive innovation and productivity across the farming sector by mixing like-minded entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers in one co-located facility.
“Nowhere else in Australia does a Council-led model like this exist.”
Bargara ag-tech hub caters for future growth
Damien Botha from Greensill, who are taking over 300 sqm, said their lease at the Bargara Ag-Tech Hub will cater for future growth.
“We will be using the space to accommodate our growing agribusiness team as well as our global finance operations, where we are expanding to support unlocking capital for the entire agricultural supply chain,” Damien said.
Council’s vision is that over the next 5 to 10 years, Bundaberg becomes one of the most connected, productive and intelligent agriculture regions in Australia.
The new hub will help deliver this vision by enabling the widespread adoption and testing of farm technology across the region, along with attract global interest as a place to come and test cutting-edge Ag Tech innovations.
Precinct supported by Hinkler Regional Deal
The precinct is supported by the Hinkler Regional Deal which is providing $5 million in investment by the Australian Government for the Bundaberg region towards new ag-tech research and innovation delivered by CQUniversity.
The Hinkler Regional Deal is over $260 million collaboration between the Australian Government, Bundaberg Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council.
“We are aware the ‘Hinkler Ag Tech Facility Bargara’ has been promised funding under the Hinkler Regional Deal and are hopeful we’ll be able secure this project in the building, which will add another dimension to the hub,” a Council spokesperson said.
“Together, the facility will become an important part of how we engage the agricultural industry with academia, government services, technology developers and lending partners, all in an environment that’s connected to the start-up community.
“We are also in various stages of discussions and negotiations with other Ag Tech companies, start-up support organisations and other associations who’ve expressed interest in the building, and we hope to secure more of these as tenants in 2020.”
Council is also working with the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence to engage the agricultural community across Wide Bay Burnett to look at ways of using the Hub.
One of the aims of this work will be to build the capacity of the region’s agricultural sector to understand and use Ag Tech in solving real world problems and increase farm productivity.
Associate Professor Ben Lyons from the University of Southern Queensland, who heads up the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence said, “We are pleased to be working with Council and the Wide Bay Regional Organisation of Council’s on this important piece of work.”
Later this year, Council will be holding its next instalment of the Hinkler Innovation Series, themed around Ag Tech.
This event will bring national Ag-Tech leaders to Bundaberg to discuss how our region takes advantage of opportunities in this field.
If you are involved in agriculture and would like further information on the new Bargara Ag-Tech Hub please contact Council’s Industry and Investment Officer, Helen Swanson on [email protected] or 0448 015 076.
- Previous Ag-Tech hub news