AgriFutures National Rural Issues (NRI) Program Open Call

Date/Deadline: 07 May, 2021

AgriFutures Australia recently completed a consultation process with AgriFutures’ levied, small and emerging industries to identify and prioritise cross-industry challenges, threats, opportunities and risks. A number of priority issues were identified through that process.

AgriFutures Australia is seeking to invest in projects that deliver innovative approaches to the five themes outlined below, with high potential for practical benefits to not only AgriFutures levied, small and emerging industries, but relevant rural industries more broadly.

The National Rural Issues program, funded under AgriFutures’ Arena 2: National Challenges and Opportunities, was established to prioritise and invest in RD&E that addresses opportunities and challenges that are common to AgriFutures’ levied, small and emerging industries, as well as Australia’s broader agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries.

This open call is seeking new investments under the NRI program. Proposals are being sought to deliver impactful cross-sectoral projects aligned to the five investment themes outlined below. These themes were identified in partnership with AgriFutures’ levied, small and emerging industries and represent gaps in the current research and/ or knowledge.

The themes were prioritised against four criteria­­, being­­ ­- the issue had a clearly defined research question; was common to multiple industries; potentially impacted productivity, profitability and/ or business resilience and; the likelihood of identifying an effective solution was high.

AgriFutures Australia is seeking to partner with suitably qualified consultants, researchers and/or universities to respond to the five identified themes. In planning and submitting proposals for AgriFutures Australia funded projects, prospective researchers should familiarise themselves with the application procedure and AgriFutures Australia’s overarching goals and strategies.

AgriFutures Australia ‘s investments are driven by our Five-year Strategic R&D plan that addresses the needs of industries and stakeholders. Their aim is to increase knowledge that fosters sustainable, productive new and existing rural industries and further understanding of national rural issues through research and development in government-industry partnership.

AgriFutures Australia welcomes research proposals for the following five investment themes that support and enable action that directly benefits primary producers and their industries in one or more of the following work areas:

1. Impact of water policy and future water availability on regional viability and on competition between current agricultural industries.
2. Impact of innovative sensor technology for the purpose of industry preparedness (biosecurity) in pest, disease and weed incursions.
3. Human capital – challenges and changing workforce demands.
4. Improving the efficiency in the implementation of blockchain technology.
5. Preparedness for, and recovery from, extreme disruptions: management of boom and bust business and production cycles in agriculture.

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