Media Release

​Applications open for 2016 Science and Innovation Awards​

25 August

Young Australian researchers, innovators and scientists involved in the agriculture sector are invited to apply for a share of $240,000 in grants as part of the 2016 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the Awards encouraged young rural innovators to think big and contribute to the future success of Australian agriculture through funding for their innovative research projects. 

“Young people studying and working in this area are passionate about the future of agriculture in Australia, and these awards help them bring their ideas to life and advance their careers,” Minister Joyce said.

“There is a wealth of talent and enthusiasm among young Australians for the future of farming in Australia, and an understanding that agriculture represents an increasingly valuable and diverse career pathway with exciting new technologies and innovation.”

The Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is a competitive grants programme targeted at young Australians aged 18-35 to undertake innovative research projects that will benefit Australia’s agricultural industries. 

Minister Joyce said the 2015 projects included research into an early warning system to help farmers protect their livestock from wild dog attacks; sequencing the avocado genome – a world-first draft genome for a plant and the first step towards the next-generation of crop improvement; identifying herbicide resistance in significant agricultural weeds; and researching how to farm prize-winning Sydney rock oysters so they sit on the plate in the shape most sought after by restaurants and processors.

“There is a strong link between R&D and agricultural productivity growth, and research is fundamental to the continued success of Australian agricultural industries and farmgate profitability,” Minister Joyce said.

“That is why it’s so important to recognise young people who choose to devote their careers and talents to progressing Australian agriculture. 

“It’s also why as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper an additional $100 million will be invested in rural Research and Development (R&D) to extend the Rural R&D for Profit programme until 2021–22.”

There are 11 industry award categories available in the 2016 round. One recipient of an industry category Award will also receive the Minister for Agriculture’s Award, with additional project funding.

Since the Science and Innovation Awards commenced in 2001, more than 200 young researchers, innovators and scientists have shared in over $3 million in grant funding for their projects. 

The Science and Innovation Awards are open for people aged 18–35 and provide a grant of up to $22,000 (including GST) for each successful award recipient’s research project.

Applications close on 9 October 2015. The recipients of the Awards will be publicly presented as part of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Outlook 2016 conference in Canberra.

The 2016 Science and Innovation Award partners include:
  • ​​Australian Grape and Wine Authority
  • Australian Meat Processor Corporation
  • Australian Pork Ltd
  • Australian Wool Innovation
  • Cotton Research and Development Corporation
  • CSIRO Health and Biosecurity 
  • Dairy Australia
  • Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
  • Grains Research and Development Corporation
  • Meat & Livestock Australia
  • Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
For further information, including application form and profiles of the Award partners, visit​​