Meet Neil Currie: Innovation Advisor (Primary Agriculture, Value Chain and Governance)
Through Neil’s dynamic career in the agriculture industry, he has developed invaluable expertise and provided broad-spectrum experience in areas like analysis, operations management, advocacy, governance, and trade policy, relating to food and agriculture. Neil’s strong direction and initiative in the industry has allowed him to work closely with farmers for over 35 years through various leadership positions taken on at farm organizations nationally and provincially.
As an Innovation Advisor, Neil is responsible for assessing the pitfalls, opportunities and means of bringing innovative agricultural technologies to market. “My work at Bioenterprise is all about learning,” reflects Neil. “Being able to advise and guide these smart people towards success is very rewarding.” When he’s not sharpening the minds of budding entrepreneurs, perhaps you can find him sharpening his tools in his home-based workshop as he’s also an amateur knife maker!
Location: Kelowna, BC
Something that most people don’t know about you:
My other pastimes are as diverse as being an amateur knifemaker and the published author of a children’s book.
What is your favourite part about working at Bioenterprise?
My work at Bioenterprise is all about learning. I am always impressed by the ingenuity of our entrepreneur members in identifying a need and addressing it with an important innovation to move the agri-food sector forward. Being able to advise and guide these smart people towards success is very rewarding.
What is your connection to food and/or agriculture?
Growing up I had two dreams. One was to teach, the other to farm. I was able to do both, briefly, and then fell into the opportunity to work in agriculture as an economist, working my way into leadership positions at farm organizations nationally and provincially. These were dream jobs that allowed me to work with farmers for thirty-five years.
Which TV series are you watching right now?
Forged in fire, of course, and some random cooking shows.
If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?
To be conversant in Spanish.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?
It is critical to listen carefully and clearly identify the “real” issue. Core issues are often buried in extraneous considerations, emotions and other clutter. Problems cannot be solved until they can be clearly articulated.
A tip for budding entrepreneurs in agri-food:
Setbacks and disappointments are inevitable. Anticipate them, analyse them and remind yourself of the end goal at all times.
The benefits of being part of the Engine
Accelerating innovation through our national and global network
Bioenterprise brings together key players in the food and agri-tech ecosystem to support start-ups in their journey from market entry to global expansion. We are committed to connecting entrepreneurs to a network of industry leaders, researchers, government stakeholders and critical service providers to help ensure their success.