NZBIDA FAQs

NZBIDA Data
The programme will test the hypothesis that digital technologies are vastly more effective in addressing difficult problems than using reductionist approaches.

What do you mean by digital technologies?

By “digital technology” we mean volumes of data (collection enabled by sensors), new analytics, models, robotics, Internet of Things, Machine learning, Digital platforms, such as e-commerce platforms, apps, visualisation tools or e-extension websites. These enable transformation through unearthing and delivering new science insights and outputs and to provide new solutions for achieving sustainability, resilience, adaptability and flexibility in food systems. All have the potential to disrupt current business models.


How have you tested your reasoning behind NZBIDA?

Our thinking has developed over the first two years of NZBIDA Phase 1, based on a wide range of science and market signals. In early 2020 we undertook a series of co-design workshops with stakeholders. They told us they want:

  • Value chain control for farmers and consumers
  • Quadruple bottom line food and fibre sector improvement
  • Tools and technologies for pro-active decision-making
  • A respected NZ bioeconomy
  • Acknowledgement for NZ as world technology leaders in sustainable food production
  • Why such a focus on integration?

“We believe digital solutions can deliver on their potential to transform the New Zealand bioeconomy only when they are understood and developed within the context of the complex interweaving of the technical, biophysical, policy and social dimensions of the bioeconomy.” The NZBIDA programme allows us to test this. Integration and systems understanding is AgResearch’s strength.

What is a ‘Proof of Concept’?

The programme will test the hypothesis that digital technologies are vastly more effective in addressing difficult problems than using reductionist approaches. The programme aims to: enable science excellence, leading to new options/solutions being developed; catalyse more effective multi-disciplinary working (new ways of working); deliver value creation/protection within rural businesses. A proof of concept is evidence, typically deriving from an experiment or pilot project, which demonstrates that a design concept, business proposal is feasible.


Are you looking for partners?

Solving complex problems requires multi-disciplinary research and movement away from conventional ‘discipline silos’ and this philosophy is embedded throughout the programme. Potential stakeholders and collaborators are numerous and we have engaged with a number of these during programme design. 

“We are keen to explore and develop partnerships, particularly with partners who bring a fresh perspective: high on innovation, novel and unique technologies, skill sets, and business models applied against the backdrop of other industries that could have agricultural sector application.

There is potential for collaboration if there is: alignment with our vision; potential for it to be ‘Transformational’, beyond business as usual; opportunities for co-funding.


Where do I find more information?

Email the Project Lead - Dr. Mark Shepherd

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