Corporations collaborate to drive productivity in agriculture

A new approach to agricultural innovation is expected to improve the supply chain and deliver value for the Australian community.

All 15 rural research and development corporations (RDCs) have united to form a new company to drive cross-industry research, to leverage private sector investment and to target transformational innovation.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the creation of Agricultural Innovation Australia (AIA) will be a game-changer in driving unprecedented collaboration and coordination of investment in agricultural innovation.

“AIA will capitalise on cross-industry opportunities to drive productivity, sustainability and profitability in agriculture by leveraging the power of collaboration,” said Littleproud.

AIA, according to Littleproud, is a key element of the Australian Government’s new National Agricultural Innovation Agenda to modernise Australia’s agricultural innovation system.

The Federal Government is reportedly committing $1.3 million in seed funding for the first AIA investment strategies to boost action.

“I welcome the leadership shown by RDCs to work together, leveraging their collective knowledge and resources, to target the big, national challenges facing the sector – such as building climate resilience, natural resource management and supply chain traceability,” said Littleproud.

“Innovation is key to help meet industry’s target for a $100 billion sector by 2030 and we know the biggest productivity gains will come from long-term, transformational R&D.

“Now more than ever, with record Government investment to support Covid-19 recovery, we need to demonstrate the greatest returns from our investments, improve transparency of outcomes and drive efficiencies and greater uptake of our R&D efforts.”

John Woods, Chair of the Council of RDCs and Grains Research and Development Corporation, said AIA represented an exciting new era for Australia’s farming sector.

“AIA will transform investment in Australian agriculture,” he said.

“Having a single entity to lead cross-industry strategies will make it easier for investors from around the world to navigate and partner with our agricultural system.

“Activities undertaken by AIA will focus on areas with greatest impact across multiple agricultural industries. To avoid duplication of effort, when prioritising opportunities for investment, consideration will be given to existing RDC and industry strategies.”