​Media Release

Driving farmgate profits through R&D

10 August 2018

  • Applications open for round four of the Rural R&D for Profit program
  • $35 million available for innovative projects that deliver real outcomes for farmers, fishers and foresters
  • Projects are led by rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), partnering with at least one or more RDC, research or industry partner

Aussie farmers will be able to boost productivity and profits thanks to a further $35 million for cutting edge research across the agricultural, fishery and forestry industries.

​Round four of the government's Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit program opens today and rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) are encouraged to form partnerships and apply.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said for the first time this round would also consider applications to fund the second phase of previously funded projects.

"I want to build on the success of the program and this could include further funding for research towards commercialising a product or service and get it in the hands of farmers," Mr Littleproud said.

"We have targeted this work to advanced technology, biosecurity, managing natural resources and adoption of R&D.

"There's a great project by Meat and Livestock Australia looking into the use of dung beetles to improve soil health and increase pasture health.

"The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) received more than $5.5 million through Round 3 of the program for a project exploring how new legume varieties can best boost farm profits for mixed farms (cropping and livestock) in low and medium rainfall areas.

"New legume varieties and innovative management techniques are expected to boost average farm profits by 10 per cent and halve economic risk.

"ABARES has previously found that for every dollar the government invests in rural R&D, farmers generate a $12 return within 10 years."

Industry and research collaboration is a key focus of the program and RDCs must team up with one or more RDC, research or industry partner and at least match the government's funding.

Applications close 5 November 2018. For more information on key dates and how to apply visit GrantConnect

Fast facts

  • In 2014 the government delivered an election commitment to provide $100 million for the Rural R&D for Profit program to conduct additional R&D.
  • The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper provided additional funding and extended the program to 2021-22.
  • $114.7 million has been awarded to 36 projects over the first three rounds of the program, and has been matched by more than $170 million of cash and in-kind contributions by RDCs and their partners.
  • The program is on top of more than $600 million the government and industry invest each year in R&D through the RDCs.