Trend foods and urban agriculture will get a boost today with the announcement the Federal Government will commit $35 million in funding over the next ten years to the Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre (FFS CRC).
The funding will add to the$149.6m of cash and in-kind funds the CRC has received from its 57 participants.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said CRCs aim to develop important new technologies, products and services that help solve major economic, environmental and social challenges facing Australia.
"This CRC will work across the food supply chain and incorporate innovations in protected cropping, advanced manufacturing, smart logistics and food science to underpin high value industries in agrifood hubs," Minister Andrews said.
"Building on the Liberal National Government's commitment to City Deals and regional development programs, agrifood hubs will be established in Liverpool, Coffs Harbour and Armidale in New South Wales, Mildura in Victoria, Peel in Western Australia and Darwin."
According to the announcement the FFS CRC will fund 60 PhD students and target activities at:
- Developing technology for intensive protected cropping systems
- Urban design and technology infrastructure
- Support the rapid export of perishable premium goods
- Advanced precision nutrition science and technology to underpin commercialisation of partner products in the high value nutraceutical and personalised food markets
- Industry capability programs
National Farmers Federation, president Fiona Simson, said sophisticated technology and stronger collaboration across the supply chain is needed for Australia to become a leader in booming export markets for trusted fresh foods and advanced precision nutrition goods.
"Our industry recognises the essential role of innovation as we enter this critical growth phase. The strong backing for this CRC across all sectors is a sign that Australian agrifood is ready to make a leap forward in export readiness and capability"
Ms Simson said that the Cooperative Research Centre model and its ten year program is ideal for addressing industry growth challenges that demand sustained collaboration and complex transdisciplinary research.
"The next growth phase in our industry demands strategic adoption of advanced science and technology across production, logistics, energy, water, and manufacturing," she said.
"We have the talent in Australia to become a global leader both in future food technology and future food goods."