Media Release

100 million reasons for rural R&D innovation

15 October 2014

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today launched the Coalition's $100 million rural research and development (R&D) grants programme that aims to deliver profitability and productivity improvements in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors while encouraging more industry and research collaborations.

Speaking from the University of New England, Minister Joyce said the Rural R&D for Profit programme delivers on the Coalition Government's election commitment to provide additional funding of $100 million to Research and Development Corporations (RDCs).

"This programme is a practical investment in the future of Australia. It will fund nationally coordinated, strategic research that delivers real returns at the farmgate," Minister Joyce said.

"Rural R&D for Profit is designed to deliver research that directly improves productivity and profitability across Australian agriculture.

"R&D makes a very significant contribution to growth in agricultural productivity. This programme provides grants for collaborative research that will lead to better returns for producers and support continued innovation across Australian agriculture.

"Rural R&D for Profit will focus on delivering cutting edge technologies and making research accessible for primary producers, while better leveraging coordination and cooperation between stakeholders."

Under the programme, all 15 RDCs can apply for funding.

However to be eligible, RDCs must partner with one or more researchers, research agencies, funding bodies, businesses, producer groups, or not-for-profit organisations, and provide a contribution (cash or cash/in-kind) at least equal to the requested Commonwealth grant funding. 

"This programme encourages industry, researchers and private organisations to think outside the box and develop new collaborations that form the basis for ongoing innovation and growth of Australian agriculture and achieve demonstrable benefits for our primary industries," Minister Joyce said.

In round one, applications must address one or more priorities in the following research, development and extension areas:

  • increase the profitability and productivity of primary industries
  • increase the value of primary products
  • strengthen on-farm adoption and improve information flows
  • strengthen primary producers’ ability to adapt to opportunities and threats.

"There are a range of issues in Australian agriculture that could be managed through this process, such as improvements to wild dog control, better techniques to control parthenium and blackberry control using pathogens." Minister Joyce said.

Applications for the first round must be received by the Department of Agriculture by 11.59pm (AEST) on 15 December 2014. For more information about the Rural R&D for Profit programme visit the website at agriculture.gov.au/rd4profit