GrowLab Grains Challenge

Helping startups impacting the agriculture and grains industry to achieve their mission through highly personalised coaching.


With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, agricultural technologists and food science researchers must develop tools to reach the growing population’s needs. Around the world, and in Australia agriculture is shifting to smarter, more sustainable practices. 

The Grains Research & Development Corporation's mission is to help Australian grain growers make that transition by investing in RD&E projects to deliver new and improved varieties, farming practices, technologies and capability to the Australian grains industry.

As part of their mission to solve the grain industry's biggest challenges, the GRDC are funding for Cicada Innovations to support four startups through the GrowLab Grains Challenge.
This 6 months coaching program is bespoke to each company so you get to work on the unique needs and goals of your business, and well as fast-tracking you into the Australian grain industry. The program will look different for each team but you should consider applying if you are looking to:
  • Secure early customers in the grains industry
  • Understand how to navigate the grains and agriculture market
  • Get investment ready
  • Stress test your business model and pricing with experts
  • Build your team
  • Refine your go to market strategies
The 6 month program will run from March - September 2023 
Apply below before 10th February 2023.

What are we looking for?


We are looking for startups and R&D projects developing new technologies and world-class innovations to improve practices and capability for the Australian grains industry. 

  • Productivity gains - the use of new technologies like robotics for automation of repetitive tasks
  • Profitability - improving efficient use of inputs which reduce costs and maintain profits or increased nutritional value or yields which increase profitability
  • Sustainable and ethical production - solutions that address resilience to climate change for both farmers and crops and reduce greenhouse emissions
  • Farm safety solutions - solutions that improve the well-being of employees and reduce costs by supporting a more productive workforce
  • Regenerative practices - technology that enhances soil health and soil ecosystem health
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Apply for the GrowLab Challenge before 15th February 2023

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Program Structure


Unlike ‘the one size fits all’ accelerator model, we will help you work directly on your business and technology, connecting you with the right people in the Grains Industry to accelerate your pathway to market success. 

  • Fortnightly 1-1 coaching with AgTech Expert in Residence
  • Curated introductions to farmers, grain growers, industry exports, and investors
  • Regular meetings with the GRDC
  • Dedicated workspace at Cicada Innovations for the duration of the program
  • Access to state-of-the-art rapid prototyping facilities and shared labs
  • Invites to Cicada's events and workshops

Agtech startups we've supported



Cicada Innovations

Australia's home for deep tech

Cicada Innovations is Australia's flagship deep tech incubator. With a twenty year track record of developing ventures focused on the world’s most pressing problems and promising opportunities. Through our incubator and commercialisation programs we support innovators with cutting-edge labs and training, access to mentors and a community of ambitious peers.


Visit our website


Grains Research Development Coroporation

The GRDC invest in RD&E projects to deliver new and improved varieties, farming practices, technologies and capability to the Australian grains industry. These investments drive the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation.



Visit GRDC's website


The GRDC program has been above and beyond, it has helped us validate and recalibrate a number of our assumptions and opened the door for our technology to help grain farmers and the grain industry as a whole in a meaningful and impactful way. Thanks to the GRDC program we would not have had this opportunity to get access to expertise and knowledge of their people, or visibility and access to be able to implement our technologies in the grains industry.


Peter Tomich, Founder and CEO at Sustinent