1. What is the innovation?

T-Provenance connects technology-like sensors and smart-chips to the blockchain; measuring and monitoring food produce as it moves along the supply chain. We’re able to track produce – such as mangoes – on their journey from a farm in Northern Australia to their arrival at a supermarket in capital cities throughout the country. This tracking capability ensures that food quality remains high and that if there are issues, they can be traced back to a particular point in the journey – from farm to fork.

2. What benefits does the innovation bring?

Our technology allows us to monitor food from the moment it’s picked; optimising the quality, shelf life and taste of all produce. By understanding not only when the food was picked, but how long it’s travelled for, T-Provenance is able to help reduce wastage and reduce flow on costs while providing peace of mind to suppliers thanks to the application of food authenticity and traceability.

3. What commercial success and/or benefit to society has it achieved?

In April 2018, T-Provenance received $500,000 in funding for a dedicated pilot program to support mango farmers in Northern Australia. This partnership is with some of the largest producers of Kensington Pride mangoes in Australia, Growcom and Manbullo Limited. This funding has allowed T-Provenance to build a platform that collects and utilises data about Northern Australian Mango growers’ supply chains; adding value to their businesses and causing increased demand for produce.

4. What lessons learnt can you share?

The industry appreciates humility from technology-driven innovators. The best way for companies to approach potential research partners, early adopters and co-developers of a product is with an open attitude and the intention of being educated in processes and challenges. This is particularly the case in the agricultural sector where companies thoroughly understand the dynamics of their business and the market they operate in. Arrogance is more harshly punished than ignorance.

Technological disruption manifests itself as a reduction to existing sources of value in order to unlock many times that value. For example, on-farm agronomic data like feed mix for cattle is a significant piece of private intellectual property which, once paired vertically with upstream partners, can be algorithmically linked to customer experience and dollars received at the farm-gate. Our role in the disruption process is to demonstrate the long-term value while limiting the potential downside of information disclosure; working with industry to discover the appropriate compromise. The inextricable link of technology disruption to business model disruption emphasises the need to go on the journey with industry partners rather than leading them down the path of our idealised solution.

5. How many new jobs has this innovation created?

T-Provenance is working across a broad talent pool made up of entrepreneurially minded engineers. Our hiring pipeline is focused on an outcome motivated attitude and ability to learn and cope with a constantly shifting problem space. Due to the nascent nature of the market for decentralised technology as an application to fresh and cold-chain produce – and T-Prov’s industry-first approach to product development – our development roadmap has a short life cycle. We are entirely guided by the pain points of our end users, meaning that we look for problem-solving aptitude and the ability to learn new development frameworks; all of which are underpinned with an understanding of the rigorous process.