Stakeholders from across Coffs Harbour’s agrifood sector are set to come together on October 25 to celebrate the launch of an exciting new project, the Coffs Agrifood Living Lab (CALL), designed to boost the region’s economic potential, increase food production and foster a sustainable, resilient local agrifood network.

The CALL launch event, held at the region’s newest cultural and civic space, Yarrila Place, will lay the groundwork for future collaborations, providing an opportunity for producers, growers and manufacturers to network and connect with representatives from within research and government. Guests at the launch event will receive an overview of CALL from project leader, Dr Ozgur Dedehayir from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and hear from successful agrifood entrepreneurs, including Krista Watkins from thriving green-banana-flour venture Natural Evolution.

The CALL project, led by Future Food Systems, in partnership with City of Coffs Harbour (the City) and QUT, will take place over a two-year period and will build upon the findings of an initial collaboration between Future Food Systems, QUT and the City that explored how best to help Coffs region’s agrifood sector boost output capacity, develop new value-added products and help the Coffs Coast region realise its full economic potential.

CALL is a collaborative platform bringing together multiple stakeholders from industry, government, academia and community to exchange information, knowledge and ideas for the purpose of creating new opportunities for the region’s agrifood sector. CALL will facilitate stakeholder collaboration in the City’s new Business @ Yarrila space, as well as a virtual (online) space, and will be a hub for a variety of activities, including workshops and marketing initiatives to encourage innovation and boost returns for the region.

The Living Lab concept has been widely deployed across Europe and North America to accelerate collaborative innovation in complex ecosystems. According to Dr Dedehayir, CALL will be the first agrifood-focused Living Lab in Australia. “CALL will be an orchestrator of open innovation processes driving the co-creation of food and beverage innovations,” Dr Dedehayir says.

Fostering a sustainable, resilient local agrifood ecosystem lies at the heart of the Living Lab project, says the City’s project industry lead, Nicole McLennan.

“We anticipate that the Coffs Agrifood Living Lab will not only facilitate innovation; it will serve as a signal to stakeholders of the region’s progressiveness in terms of agrifood innovation and entrepreneurship,” Ms McLennan says.

Guests interested in attending the CALL launch event on October 25 in Coffs Harbour can register via the following link.


About Future Food Systems

Established in 2019, Future Food Systems is a federally funded Not-for-Profit organisation key to leading collaborations with Australian universities, the agrifood sector and other government bodies to deliver world-leading research that is rapidly translated into industry-ready innovations addressing the challenges of Australian food systems and future consumers.

For more information about the Future Food Systems, its participants and its research, visit the Future Food Systems website: or subscribe to its monthly eNews.

Media enquiries

For further information, interview opportunities and images, contact:

Luke McQuillan
Engagement Manager, Future Food Systems
P +61 431 233 652

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