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GRDC adds $20M to Australia’s research capacity

Grain Central, September 27, 2022

Dr Bettina Berger, scientific director of The Plant Accelerator, and GRDC chair John Woods at the University of Adelaide facility. Photo: GRDC

THE Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has announced it will invest $20 million over the next three years into infrastructure that builds Australia’s long-term research capacity and supports the enduring profitability of the nation’s grain growers.

Through this initiative, GRDC grants will be available for grains R&D infrastructure projects located in Australia.

To be eligible, applicants must provide a minimum co-contribution of 20 per cent for projects up to $1 million, and of 30pc for projects of $1M and above.

Applications for these grants will open on Friday.

The development of key critical infrastructure aligns with GRDC’s purpose to drive the discovery and delivery of innovative, world-class research, development and extension (RD&E) for Australian grain growers.

GRDC Board chair and Goondiwindi grain grower John Woods said the dedicated national infrastructure program was designed to support research partners in creating critical, long-term capacity and capability.

“We have some of the best researchers and technicians in the world working in Australia and to continue to attract and retain these quality specialists, we need to have the best infrastructure and equipment,” Mr Woods said.

“GRDC is investing in infrastructure to ensure our research community has every opportunity to drive outcomes that deliver genuine returns on-farm for growers.

“This investment comes on the back of extraordinary seasons in 2020 and 2021 in terms of gross value of production nationally and solidifies our unwavering commitment to support RD&E that improves growers’ bottom lines.

“GRDC invests on behalf of grain growers and this significant investment reflects our priority of putting growers’ money towards investments that will make a genuine difference.

“Our investments must make an impact and building Australia’s research capacity is critical for the future of the grains industry for generations to come.”

This is the second time GRDC has invested in infrastructure that supports R&D capacity.

In 2017, the organisation invested $15M across 15 grants that had a positive impact on grains industry’s research outcomes, as well as the agricultural sector more broadly.

Successful recipients ranged from major universities to farming groups, with many reporting the new infrastructure had fast-tracked new research outcomes to growers, drought-proofed key trial sites or allowed for the expansion of major research projects.

Mr Woods announced the new infrastructure investment program at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus, where GRDC invested $1.1M with a co-contribution from the University of Adelaide of more than $196,000 in 2017 for a controlled-environment growth room.

University of Adelaide’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Anton Middelberg welcomed the announcement, describing it as “strategically important” to future research.

The latest GRDC infrastructure grants are designed to support the building of new infrastructure, or the enhancement of existing facilities, including glasshouses, greenhouses, irrigation works, laboratories or sheds.

The grants can be also used for: sensing and communication equipment; farm and research equipment, and sample preparation and analytical equipment.

Source: GRDC

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