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Space technology innovators want to see your research problems

Innovators, corporates and government are converging to realise the potential applications of space technology, including in agriculture, with global technology innovation program, GRAVITY Challenge 03 set to launch.

Space technology experts are looking for agricultural research problems to solve.

Connectivity, data-farming, Internet-of-Things, sensors, automation, multi-spectral imaging, GPS tracking, weather forecasting… are all enabled through space technology.

Space technology will continue to deliver solutions across many industries, but how do we ensure that agriculture is attracting the technical experts who have traditionally focused on defence or mining?

AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey believes there is still ground to be covered in closing the gap between experts in space technology and Australian farmers.

“We need to ensure we are connecting our research problems and questions to the best in global innovation and explore which technologies other industries are producing that could increase farm-gate output and better manage resources,” says John Harvey.

“We run the risk of missing out on new technologies that could deliver an advantage to our farmers and food-supply chain. Accessing experts in space technology through the GRAVITY Challenge is one way we are doing this.”

UK focused on space-tech solutions

Deloitte began the GRAVITY Challenge, in 2019 to drive economic growth and jobs for Australia, and has seen a 350% increase in participation and boasts a space innovator community of 300+ teams.

The success of the Challenge to deliver tangible results comes from:

  • The industry challenges being supplied by those people who have a need for the technology, rather than those who are already supplying technology
  • The support of global and local partners to endorse industry challenges including AWS, Geoscience Australia, Australian Space Agency, SmartSat CRC, Airbus, Agri-TechE, and now AgriFutures Australia.

Agri-TechE, represented the UK agricultural industry in the last GRAVITY Challenge and saw the Agri-TechE & AgriMetrics industry challenge for sustainable agriculture presented to the space technology teams to provide potential solutions.

“How can we identify new ways that satellite, positioning and communication technologies can enable farmers to measure and verify sustainability metrics such as carbon and habitat change?”

“We love seeing technologies and expertise from other sectors being applied in agriculture,” said Director of Agri-TechE, Dr Belinda Clarke.

RELATED: Space technology, a powerful tool for Australian farmers

“The opportunity to see how space technologies from across the planet could be applied to some of the most pressing challenges facing agriculture – including reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero – was one not to be missed!”

Solution-focused mindset to benefit multiple industries

Deloitte’s Principal of space technology based in Adelaide, Byron Riessen, anticipates the Challenge will continue to scale-out internationally attracting the brightest minds in space technology.

“Global collaboration, across industries, is driving innovation and we are now in the process of identifying these industry challenges for the 300+ teams of innovators that want to have a crack at finding a solution,” said Byron.

RELATED: Setting the scene: The UK agritech market opportunity 

“This opportunity is open to anyone from any industry to submit a challenge to be reviewed, we are looking for the gaps, opportunities and great questions that each industry is sitting on that may have space-based solutions,” Byron encouraged.

Whether it be a problem, an opportunity, research questions or hypotheticals to test; GRAVITY Challenge is looking for them all. So where do these come from?

Universities, Research and Development Corporations, and Cooperative Research Centres – anyone is eligible to submit an industry challenge that could potentially be addressed through space technology, but a clear need for the technology must be demonstrated.

Over the next month, industry challenges can be submitted for appraisal to have the chance of exposure to hundreds of space tech innovators. Organisers want industry to put forward the problems that represent industry demand for the solution.

Submission of industry challenges close on 26 February 2021.

If you or your organisation have an industry challenge to submit, reach out to [email protected] or go to

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