R&D funding to boost rural industries

Posted by James Ferre on 15th August 2008

More than $20 million in research and development funding is on offer as the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) seeks ideas and innovations to help strengthen and diversify rural Australia.

RIRDC has opened its call for applications for R&D funding for 2009-10 and is seeking research proposals that can best contribute to the Corporation’s goals of developing a more profitable, dynamic and sustainable rural sector. “RIRDC has a focus on diversification and new industry development as well as on ensuring competitiveness and sustainability in a range of established industries,” RIRDC Managing Director, Dr Peter O’Brien, said. “The Corporation – a partnership between rural industries and the Australian Government -also manages R&D across issues of national importance, such as farm health and safety, rural leadership development, international trade and biofuels.”

“Our investments are driven by Five-Year R&D plans which address the needs of each industry and ensure our priorities are industry and government-driven. If you think you or your organisation can help address the needs of our programs as outlined on our website, we would welcome your application for funding,” Dr O’Brien advised. “RIRDC welcomes proposals that will meet the specific objectives, or a number of objectives, of each program and we also encourage collaboration with other research providers to build the critical research mass necessary to meet our objectives.”

Dr O’Brien said RIRDC had a specific mandate from government to help diversify rural Australia and make it more resilient to the impact of climate change and volatile global markets. “Our new industries portfolio covers a range of emerging industries from crocodiles and alpacas through to olives, essential oils and biofuels,” he reported. “All of these new industries have benefited from innovation funded through RIRDC’s new industries R&D programs.

“We also target productivity and profitability in our suite of established industries, including chicken meat, rice, horses and honey. Each of these industries has continuing R&D needs and we are looking for organizations that can help us meet those needs,” Dr O’Brien concluded.

Interested parties can receive more information from: www.rirdc.gov.au/business.

Applications close on September 12, 2008.