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Research. Innovation. Technology.

Highlights from Australian agrifood innovation.


MLA funded BladeStop: a safety success story

MLA funded BladeStop technology is now bringing huge safety benefits for workers in processing plants across 25 countries. 

  • BladeStop band saw safety system has reached a milestone of 1,000 units installed in processor plants across the world.
  • Developed by Machinery Automation and Robotics (now a part of Scott Technology) with funding from the MLA Donor Company, the technology reduces the risk of serious injury for workers by mechanically stopping the blade when the unit senses that the operator has come into contact.
  • Led by
    Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)
Urban farming

Bringing high tech horticulture to urban areas in Australia – rooftop, underground and floating farms

Hort Innovation is working with a consortium, led by agricultural consultancy RMCG in partnership with University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and global urban agriculture consultancy Agritecture, to assess the potential of emerging production technology and its application in the Australian urban landscape as part of a six-month project. 


The benefits to growers and Australia by use of technology such as vertical farm systems and hydroponics is food production and delivery systems that have the potential to redefine horticulture by optimising yield, quality, and supply.

  • Led by
    Hort Innovation

New app to stop little cotton pests flying under the radar

Near impossible to identify and count with the naked eye, silverleaf whitefly has increased in prevalence in recent years.


To make identification easier, University of Southern Queensland researchers Dr Alison McCarthy and Dr Derek Long, in collaboration with Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries researcher Dr Paul Grundy, are developing a new artificial intelligence smartphone app with funding from the Cotton Research and Development Corporation.

  • Led by
    Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC)
  • In collaboration with
    Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland (DAFQ)

Tree genomics program sequences 300 macadamia varieties to improve productivity and profitability for growers

The National Tree Genomics program is in the final stages of sequencing over 300 macadamia wild and cultivated varieties.


The national program harnesses cutting-edge genetic technologies for the benefit of Australian horticultural tree crop industries. New tools are currently being developed that will equip Australian plant breeders to deliver new varieties with key productivity and profitability traits. New tools will also stem from this program for growers to enhance farm productivity.

  • Led by
    Hort Innovation

Breeding efforts enhance production for Sydney Rock Oysters

Greater control over breeding processes is producing faster-growing, fatter and more resilient Sydney Rock Oysters, helping the native species gain ground in the marketplace. 


  • Led by
    Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)

Numnuts gears up for investors to accelerate commercialisation

A Scottish agritech startup is set to transform one of the world’s most common sheep husbandry practices. To potential investors, it’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often.


The challenge was how to create a tool that farmers themselves could safely use to deliver the dose to where it was needed, at the same time the ring was applied, and in a single procedure. Solving that would help solve one of the greatest challenges in modern sheep husbandry.


Livestock counting solution ready for next phase of development

MLA, LiveCorp and University of Technology Sydney researchers are seeking interested partners to further develop and commercialise automated livestock counting video technology for live export yards and vessels, saleyards and farms.

  • Led by
    Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)
  • In collaboration with
    LiveCorp and University of Technology Sydney
Brett Langfield estimates the solar panels at his property at Young have cut 30 per cent off his electricity bill.(ABC Rural: Tim Fookes)
Carbon credits

Australian farmers urged to improve their carbon credentials by switching to solar energy

Australian Eggs is on a mission to continue to drive farmers towards carbon neutrality by delivering research and tools that will enable farmers to take more steps towards a sustainable future for Australian agriculture. Off the back of this, Australian Eggs has recently developed a solar calculator tool to show the economic and sustainable benefits of solar.

  • Led by
    Australian Eggs
Wood quality

Growers throw their support behind new technology that helps predict and control wood quality

Forest growers across Australia have been enthusiastically exploring recently-launched technology that enables easy and affordable assessment of wood quality in standing trees.


The innovative tool also supports decision making relating to planting locations and forest management practices, to best serve the future quality of stands.

  • Led by
    Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA)

Environmental updates in a heartbeat

Real-time reports from sentinel oysters could provide an early warning of changing water conditions. 

Investigator Ashfaqur Rahman, who leads CSIRO’s data analytics team at Data61, explains that as the environment changes, the behaviour of animals – including oysters – changes in response. 

  • Led by
    Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)
New varieties

Strawberry breeding program delights tastebuds

Every strawberry season, researchers from the Australian Strawberry Breeding Program trial, taste and assess thousands of new varieties of strawberry developed through natural breeding to identify the best tasting and yielding fruit for Australia.


Funded by Hort Innovation in partnership with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the program supports the Australian strawberry industry by giving them access to improved, locally adapted superior varieties.   

  • Led by
    Hort Innovation

Tackling a hot topic

Heat stress is a complex and on-going issue for the livestock export industry. Many factors influence risk, including that some animals – like humans – are affected by heat more or less than others in the same conditions.


LiveCorp has taken a novel, Open Innovation, approach to fast-track its latest search for solutions. 

  • Led by