As the Chief Information Officer for the Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Rowan is a key driver of technology and digital innovation across the NT. Acting as government data liaison for the hugely successful inaugural GovHack in the NT, and on various government committees, Rowan keeps pushing the envelope of Open Data and technology innovation across his portfolio.
Generations of family history in agriculture, particularly sheep and cattle production, combined with tertiary study in agriculture, electronic engineering and law plus a long commercial career in technology gives Rowan unique insights into the practical and theoretical requirements of agriculture and the commercialisation of AgTech ideas.
Prior to coming to the NT, Rowan spent 30 years working in Fintech, Financial Services and consulting across various industry sectors. He has a wealth of pragmatic commercial advice and experience in product and solution design, deployment and implementation, corporate governance as well as risk and change management.
Rowan is a keen and active supporter of AgTech start-ups across Australia and SE Asia and is in demand as an advisor and presenter throughout the region. His various roles as a board member and industry executive, and over the last few years in executive government, have given Rowan a depth of experience in AgTech commercialisation and strategy that will be of great use to start-ups looking to commercialise their idea or product. Rowan also brings an array of local and international networks and contacts that bring substantial value to start-ups looking to be successful in Northern Australia and beyond. Rowan’s advice and experience is particularly useful to organisations or investors wishing to enter the Australian AgTech market.
On-farm ‘proof of concept’ trials being carried out in conjunction with AgTech start-ups in the NT are already showing value to government, industry and the start-ups learning valuable commercialisation lessons. Rowan is constantly on the lookout for scalable start-ups and AgTech ideas that can be commercialised and help solve Top End challenges. Rowan is always interested in an exploratory AgTech or commercialisation discussion and is actively scouting for AgTech ideas or start-ups in areas as diverse as machine learning to assist with biosecurity, robotics in crop or livestock management, blockchain integrating with food provenance or genetics, and whole farm analytics and augmented reality applications.