The organizers of the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit spoke to four of the confirmed speakers for the upcoming virtual event to discover their insights about animal agriculture.
How is our understanding of the microbiome developing, and what opportunities do you see this bringing in the long term?
The integration of genomics and bioinformatics tools that provide the vast microbial community datasets we are all excited about creates a more direct and comprehensive microbiology knowledge base to build better products from. The opportunities are vast, but ultimately a function of the direction you want to take from a business and product perspective. Long term we should see multiple ‘microbiome’ types of products in the hands of customers, with everything from novel microbes as products, to new microbial-derived products (e.g. metabolites), to microbial insights that help govern animal management towards an optimal microbial state.
Michael Seely, CEO, Ascus Biosciences
In what ways do you see technology focused on secure data sharing/predictive analysis for risk and demand/food safety/agile supply chain/digital feedback loops transforming animal agriculture in the long term?
In essence, the role of technology in the animal and feed industry is to make better decisions – if this is to improve animal welfare and increase productivity, prevent health and food safety issues, improve the environmental impact and/or optimize the supply chain. This requires the ability to feed analytics with strong data, securely share data and connecting the value chain between farmer and consumer.
Claudia Rossler, Agriculture – Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft
Why should companies prioritize aspects such as carbon neutrality and fearless transparency in their organizations?
Contemporary consumers are demanding more information, more leadership, and more accountability from business as the world grapples with the big issues of climate change and the challenge of supporting 10 billion humans from an increasingly perturbed planet. Fearless transparency is the tool by which businesses that are proudly part of the solution are rewarded.
David Carter, CEO, Austral Fisheries
How might you guess animal agriculture investment and innovation landscape might change as a result of COVID-19/in the next 12 months? How might innovators in the animal ag space position themselves to thrive going forward?
A shifting demand landscape and the associated push for farmers to change traditional production methods create opportunities for innovation, which are a fertile ground to support AVF’s investment strategy. Thus, we are still actively looking for promising startups to partner with, in order to accelerate their growth and ability to deliver innovative solutions to the market as fast as possible.
Laetitia Gerbe, Partner for Investments, Seventure
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