Munster Technological University extensive portfolio of research, innovation, talent and regional development has positioned the South-West as a hotspot for advancing smart climate solutions in agri-tech and bioeconomy and has attracted the attention of New Zealand AgriTech Association who travelled to meet with leading researchers and companies in Kerry.  

The Circular Bioeconomy Cluster South-West and AgriTech Ireland Cluster at Munster Technological University partnered with AgriTech New Zealand and Callaghan Innovation, to host a series of strategic networking and knowledge exchange activities between the group of 45 companies and researchers at the Dúchas Centre at Kerry Sports Academy, Tralee.

The European Commission and Zealand recently signed an association agreement on the participation of New Zealand to Horizon Europe, the largest of EU's research, and innovation programmes with a budget of €95.5 billion. Recognising the future opportunities for collaboration through the Horizon Programme, respective organisations shared case studies of exemplar projects and brought companies in the region together to outline key potential synergies and opportunities.   Topics of high interest were development of collaborative partnerships, industry driven R&D and commercial opportunities in the fields of data solutions for sustainable agriculture, regenerative soils and land and healthy and low emissions livestock.

It is anticipated that this Knowledge Exchange event will help to strengthen connections between New Zealand and Irish industry clusters, spark development of new business and research partnerships leading to market development opportunities and company growth in Ireland.

Professor Joseph Walsh, Head of School of STEM at Munster Technological University

This visit of the New Zealand Agritech delegation to MTU is global recognition of the highly innovative work that researchers, programme managers and enterprise development teams are delivering at MTU in advancing technology, product and service development, policy innovation, skills, talent and cluster development in AgriTech and Circular Bioeconomy. This event is a great example of how we facilitate knowledge exchange and partnership opportunities between clusters, corporations, enterprises and researchers to accelerate partnership development and internationalisation of companies. Ultimately our goal is to contribute to long-term sustainable development in the region and I look forward to hearing more about the partnerships that emerge from this event.

Brendan O’Connell, Chief Executive of AgriTech New Zealand

There is no country more similar to Ireland than New Zealand. So, it makes complete sense that we would seek to share insights and approaches to the major challenges faced by both countries in food supply and farm adaptation. The visit to MTU was a meeting of minds and values. We highly valued the community of innovators and researchers that came together to explore challenges and opportunities in matters of agritech and bioeconomy. The discussions were very engaging and many relationships were either formed or strengthened. We look forward to continued interactions and future collaborations.”

Shane Dooley, Business Innovation Advisor, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand

The visit to MTU was a logical fit for our cohort of NZ Agritech innovators, researchers and investors. It's impressive to see what they are putting together with the ACE and their AR/VR suite. We had an excellent networking session and mini workshop, our organisations got a lot of value from the visit and we expect there to be ongoing interactions at all levels. Kudos to the team at MTU for pulling the day together.