AusAg & Foodtech Summit 2018 seeks to present a suite of topics relevant to agritech and foodtech innovation. You can download the full program to date by clicking on the button below.



Key Topics

  • The Australian Agrifood tech advantage
  • Ag accelerators and incubators
  • Medical cannabis and government regulation
  • Role of RDC’s in the AgTech and FoodTech Ecosystem
  • New models for early stage funding
  • People, principles and passion come before profit
  • FoodTech and innovation
  • Advancements in Australian AgriTech - Towards 2030
  • AgTech Adoption a 360 Degree Case Study
  • Food Influences on the gut microbiome
  • The opportunities in Ag and Foodtech in Asia

Program Highlights

Sarah Nolet - CEO of AgThentic
Keynote subject: The Australian Agrifood Tech Advantage

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Sarah Nolet is a globally recognised food systems innovation expert and the CEO of AgThentic, a global food and agriculture technology consulting firm. Sarah has been instrumental in building the early-stage food system innovation ecosystem in Australia, including coaching dozens of startups, designing accelerator programs, and helping industry and government to implement international best practices in food and ag innovation.

A systems thinker with an understanding of the complexities of the food system, Sarah brings a visionary yet pragmatic approach to her work with farmers, agribusinesses, universities, investors and entrepreneurs. Sarah is on the Board of the Future Farmers Network, and holds a Masters in System Design and Management from MIT, and a B.S. in Computer Science and Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University.


Prof German Spangenberg - Deputy Secretary, Agriculture Research for Agriculture Victoria
Keynote subject: 
Medical cannabis and government regulation

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Professor Spangenberg is Deputy Secretary, Agriculture Research for Agriculture Victoria; Professor (Plant Genetics & Genomics) and Head of School of Applied Systems Biology with La Trobe University; and Director of AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience.

Professor Spangenberg is also Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the agricultural biotechnology company Phytogene Pty Ltd. He was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2007 and was the recipient of the Australian Thinker of Year 2006 Award. He is Past President of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology. On Australia Day 2017, Professor Spangenberg was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service through scientific research programs in the agricultural sector in Victoria.


Dr Christine Pitt - CEO of Food Futures Company
Keynote subject: 
Role of RDC’s in the AgTech and FoodTech Ecosystem

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Dr Pitt is the Founder and CEO of the Food Futures Company, focused on creating a vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Australian agri-food and fibre sector and a unique ‘landing pad’ in Australia for local and global AgTech, FoodTech and Future Food entrepreneurs and investors. For the past 20 years, she was a senior executive with Meat & Livestock Australia and the inaugural CEO of MLA Donor Company (MDC) with overall responsibility for a +$200M strategic Agtech, Foodtech and Future Food innovation investment portfolio that covered: precision agriculture, livestock genetics; automation and robotics; environmental technologies; high value product and packaging solutions; digital platforms; objective measurement; traceability and food safety; value chain design; and building whole-of-industry innovation capability.

Dr Pitt’s career has included extensive commercial experience at CEO and director level across a range of industries spanning health, finance, retail, manufacturing and food. She holds tertiary qualifications in Science, a Masters of Health Administration and a Doctor of Business Administration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Dr Pitt is a proactive and successful entrepreneur and has established and successfully exited a number of start-up companies. In 2018, she also established the new social venture, Indigenous Food Connect, with the aim of creating a commercially viable and sustainable Indigenous food sector in Australia that connects key stakeholders and participants within the ecosystem.


Radek Sali - Chairman of Light Warrior
Keynote subject: People, principles and passion come before profit

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Radek Sali is the former CEO of Swisse Wellness and a brand visionary who revolutionised the vitamin and supplements product category making it aspirational. Radek pioneered the use of brand ambassadors to promote health and happiness as a way of life and ultimately led Swisse Wellness to become Australia’s largest global wellness company. 

Radek is particularly insightful on building a positive organisational culture and most importantly a workplace place that people love coming too. Under his leadership, the company was for 8 years consecutively the world’s fastest growing pharmacy brand. Swisse Wellness sold to Hong Kong listed Biostime for over $1.7 billion, one of the biggest private company transactions in Australian history.

At the end of 2016, Radek moved on from Swisse to build his own investment office, Light Warrior where he could continue to live out his dreams, invest in businesses that he felt truly passionate about and have a positive societal impact.


Robert Poole - Partner Food and Agri-business, KPMG
Keynote subject: Advancements in Australian AgriTech – Towards 2030

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Robert is KPMG’s National Lead Partner – Agribusiness in the firm’s Management Consulting practice. He works across the agri-business and food supply chain to help businesses build profit and growth; solve complex problems and harness new ideas. He is a passionate and experienced leader in the agribusiness, food and fibre sector. He grew up on the family farm and studied agricultural science and business leadership. He has worked for many outstanding agri-businesses across finance, genetics, policy and operations.

Robert has recently led two key thought leadership papers in agri-business; “Think Big Think Fresh” written for NSW Farmers’ regarding a fresh food precinct near Western Sydney Airport; and also “Talking 2030”, written for the NFF about the vision to double agricultural output.



Dr Joanna McMillan - Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, La Trobe University
Keynote subject: 
Food influences on the gut microbiome


Joanna McMillan is a Scottish-born Australian and one of the country’s favourite and most trusted health and wellbeing specialists. She is a PhD qualified nutrition scientist, Accredited Practising Dietitian and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with La Trobe University.

Joanna is a regular on television including The Today Show and ABC Catalyst, on radio and in print media. She is a TEDx and experienced keynote speaker and is the founder of Get Lean, an online lifestyle change program. She has authored six books including her latest, Get Lean Stay Lean. Joanna is a proud ambassador for Diabetes Australia, The Skin and Cancer Foundation and FoodBank.