Why is the Agricultural Sciences R&D Fund needed?
The WA agrifood sector has not kept pace with the export and productivity growth enjoyed by many of its competitors over the past 10 years. The current situation must be addressed to ensure WA agricultural exports remain competitive and can grow their share and value in international markets.
Traditional R&D projects have focused on productivity of agricultural production. To remain competitive our agrifood sector needs to rapidly increase productivity growth across the whole supply chain. This project is different because it will stimulate the innovation required, through targeted R&D investment, along the whole supply chain not just on-farm.
What are the key aims?
The project aims to generate long-term agricultural productivity improvements needed for profitability and growth through:
- targeted, industry-driven R&D on key productivity drivers
- strategic development of industry’s current and prospective capability through the supply chain; and
- access to new markets, particularly the premium and high value Asian markets.
How will this be achieved?
These aims will be achieved through a combination of market, product, industry and investment-focused research to inform the delivery of grants programs to industry consortia, grower groups, supply chain participants and research providers.
The four key components of the project are:
Grower group research and development grants
Grower group research and development grants are available to WA-based grower groups and not-for-profit, farmer-driven organisations to stimulate research and innovation along supply and value chains so our agricultural exports remain competitive, and grow their share and value in international markets.
The program awarded $6.7 million to 16 grower groups across WA in its inaugural round. For more information refer to Grower group R&D grants program successful recipients from Round 1.
Grower Group R&D Grants Program Round 2 have now closed. For more information refer to Grower group R&D grants program successful recipients from Round 2.
Pathways to competitiveness report
The Pathways to Competitiveness report looks at key drivers, practices and mechanisms that characterise international competitiveness and draws lessons from peer regions that have transformed relevant industry sectors over a relatively short time period. For example, dairy activity in New Mexico, pork industry growth in Chile and agrifood growth in Peru all highlight what is possible.
Industry Grants for International Competitiveness
Pathways to competitiveness will inform investment in the Industry Grants for International Competiveness (IGIC) which focusses on industries, businesses and products most likely to contribute to repositioning WA in premium, high-value markets.
The IGIC Grants have now closed.
Grower Group Alliance (GGA) transformation
Funds to build capacity and transform the GGA into an economic development body with a strong supply chain focus and increased membership and linkage across the agrifood sector.
Project management, governance, communication and promotion
Effective governance and administration of the Fund along with communication and promotion to ensure effective stakeholder engagement, take-up of grants and adoption of outputs.
In addition, the Office of Science (OSS) will be responsible for the Science and Agribusiness Connect Program ($3.41 million) which will be managed separately via an MOU between OSS and the Department of Regional Development.
At the end of the project, it is expected agrifood businesses will be better equipped to:
- improve productivity
- intensify and expand operations
- access capital
- pursue new market opportunities
- make more informed investment decisions
- increase jobs in regional Western Australia.