Leaders from Australia’s science and innovation sector met in Canberra today to discuss an ambitious vision for Australia’s rural research and innovation system over the coming decade.
The forum was convened by the Australian Academy of Science and its National Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
It involved participants from Australia’s global and local agricultural biotechnology and agrochemical companies, the Rural Research and Development Corporations, the Commonwealth and state governments, CSIRO and Australian universities.
There was clear consensus that Australia is leading from a position of strength in agriscience. We have long-term mechanisms for research and commercialisation and a strong global reputation for safe, high-quality food production and manufacturing.
We have world-leading expertise in Australia’s challenging agricultural environment—dry-land broad-acre crops, meat and livestock production, horticulture, wine, fisheries and forestry to name just a few.
There was also recognition of the opportunities and the challenges inherent in new and disruptive technologies—remote monitoring and automated or autonomous planting, harvesting and processing systems for example—as well as the increasing globalisation of food value chains.
Moving forward, participants agreed on a number of priorities:
The critical nexus between food and agriculture with nutrition, health and sustainability
Building a culture of trust and cooperation within and between agricultural research and innovations companies, research organisations and the community
Increasing and enhancing the scope and value of Australia’s participation in global value chains
Sustained, long-term investment in agricultural and related infrastructure to enable current and emerging technologies
Better support for commercialisation of research into new products and services, including improved arrangements for management of IP and enhanced incentives for investors
Sensible reform and coordination of Australia’s regulatory environment for both existing and emerging agricultural products and technologies
Enhanced mechanisms to coordinate, share and benefit from big agricultural data collected by both private companies and governments.
Participants acknowledged the strong commitment to Australia’s rural science and innovation sector from the Commonwealth and state and territory governments, and welcomed the opportunity to engage with the several reviews currently in progress.
ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Energy Biology
Australian Academy of Science
Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering
Australian Centre for Robotic Vision
Australian Farm Institute
Australian Meat Processor Corporation
Australian Pork Ltd
Bayer Australia Ltd
Cotton Research and Development Corporation
Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations