PROFESSOR John Pluske has been appointed inaugural chief scientist and chief executive officer of Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL).
Prof Pluske will commit more than half his time to APRIL, while maintaining academic roles and duties at Murdoch University in Western Australia.
APRIL is an independent research entity continuing the collaborative approach to research and development of the very successful Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC), which is winding down to its June 30, 2019 conclusion.
Prof Pluske welcomed the challenge, saying APRIL would consider all funding opportunities, including competitive research grants, to ensure the Australasian pork industry had the necessary financial backing and research and development capacity to be sustainable and internationally competitive.
APRIL will work closely with Australian Pork Limited (APL) to jointly provide access to research facilities through base funding and ensure the pork industry has access to high quality scientists and generates research outcomes capable of enhancing capacity, profitability and sustainability.
APRIL actively partners with industry and educational institutions to deliver research outcomes to the Australasian pork industry and commercial outcomes that generate financial returns for APRIL to support ongoing research, development and training.
APRIL invested $900,000 in 13 projects across programs covering resilience, cost and return on assets, in 2018-19, its inaugural funding year.
APRIL chairman Dennis Mutton said he was delighted Prof Pluske had agreed to take up the APRIL positions, with Murdoch University’s backing.
“There are exciting research prospects ahead for the pork industry and John’s sound research background and international reputation augers well for meeting the high goals and KPI’s we’ve set for APRIL,” Mr Mutton said.
David Morrison, Murdoch University’s deputy vice chancellor research and innovation, said the opportunity was a win for the pork industry and enabled Murdoch University to retain one of our prominent researchers.
“That is fantastic for our research capability and for our students,” Prof Morrison said.
Mr Mutton acknowledged the tireless work of APRIL interim chief executive officer Roger Campbell.
“Having so ably led Pork CRC as CEO since its 2005 inception, Dr Campbell extended his commitment to the pork industry by driving APRIL in its initial stages and APRIL members and the board appreciate it,” Mr Mutton said.
Prof Pluske’s research career, including many years as a Pork CRC subprogram leader, has focused on nutrition-gut disease interactions in pigs, growth and development, feed and ingredient evaluation.