FKG GROUP have announced they are building an world class innovation smart hub for food and fibre just outside Toowoomba.
The heavily diversified family owned business, known for major building and engineering projects, are now leveraging their reputation as one of the largest farming enterprises on the Darling Downs to build a diversified business space aimed at the new economy.
Speaking at the KPMG IoT Innovation Expo for Smart Food and Fibre, supported by the Food Agility CRC, held last week in Melbourne, FKG Group, CEO digital innovation and energy, Grant Statton said Australia needed to focus on the new economy of collaborative business models to remain globally competitive.
To unlock the strategic value that is inherent in Australia’s food and fibre industries the FKG Group is building a precinct like no other in the world- Grant Statton
“The new economy requires entirely new and digitised infrastructure to be built,” he said.
“We are in a race, the world is already doing this.
“Netherlands is a country that fits inside Tasmania, exports the second largest volume of fresh produce to the world.
More from the KPMG IoT Innovation Expo for Smart Food and Fibre:
“This is their culture, they collaborate they don’t compete, they don’t look domestically, they look globally.”
Mr Stratton said the business precinct FKG Group were building on the outskirts of Toowoomba, would co-locate complimentary businesses and operations, including food production, energy generation, food manufacturing and logistics capability to drive innovation in a circular economy
“To unlock the strategic value that is inherent in Australia’s food and fibre industries the FKG Group is building a precinct like no other in the world,” he said.
“Sited on 160 hectares, we will take advantage of an inland rail within 10 kilometres, and international airport with 24 hour, seven day logistics going into Asia for fresh produce and a brand new bypass going right past our doorstep.
“This structure will create a playground for the new economy, it is a way for the industry to come and learn how to take a step change to create competitive sustainable advantages beyond anything that has ever existed in Australia.
“Our value proposition is we have the best food and fibre in the world, we just have to harness it.”
If data is the new oil, sensors are the reserves- Grant Statton
Mr Stratton said founding partners in the project included KPMG, Telstra, Siemens and the University of Queensland and the precinct would include an industry facing research centre.
“We are bringing together and harvesting knowledge banks, technical know how that can actually deliver the step change,” he said.
“What amazing time it is to be alive, digital innovation is around us everywhere and it is evolving so quickly.
“Technology, but more importantly the data that technology provides, is changing the way we live, we work and we play.
“Data is the new oil, I didn’t coin the phrase, but it is true.”
Mr Statton said the use of the “internet of things” or IoT will give insights into a business and value chain that will add unimaginable value to businesses across the board.
“If data is the new oil, sensors are the reserves,” he said.
Mr Stratton said collaboration was the key to success when it came to harnessing new technologies and data.
“You aren’t going to do it on your own, it is collaborative,” he said.
“The world has come to a point where anything is possible, whether you are a government, research institution or industry, anything is possible.
“But no one company knows it all, you need to collaborate.”
Mr Stratton said the typical centralised, vertically integrated businesses with linear processes would not survive.
“This has been called the new economy, it is disrupting businesses around the world and it is reality right now.”
“They will be disrupted by distributed, collaborative circular economies.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.