$100 million Rural R&D grants

$100 million Rural R&D for Profit grants programme encourages innovative partnerships

 A new $100 million Australian Government grants programme, Rural R&D for Profit, is now open for applications. The programme aims to improve farm-gate profitability and deliver real outcomes for Australian farmers.

 Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, launched the $100 million rural research and development (R&D) grants programme last month at the Regional Outlook conference in Armidale.

 Under the programme, all 15 rural research and development corporations (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 the partnership should provide a contribution (cash or cash/in-kind) at least equal to the requested Commonwealth grant funding. 

 “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 significant contribution to growth in agricultural productivity—in fact, ABARES estimates that for each dollar the government invests in agricultural R&D, farmers generate $12 within 10 years.

 “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,” Minister Joyce said.

 “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.”

 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