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ONE Basin Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) bid

Opportunity for

  • Additional industry and investment partners to join the ONE Basin CRC to work with existing research, industry, and investment partners to develop an industry-led Murray-Darling Basin water and irrigation research program.

Industry challenge

Currently, irrigation delivers 50% of Australia’s agricultural profits, but there is a need to optimise and diversify current irrigation businesses and establish new mixed enterprises to grow the sector to meet the government’s $100B/yr 2030 Agriculture Target. The irrigation sector is crucial to a resilient and prosperous future.

The Murray-Darling Basin region, which supports two thirds of Australia’s irrigated farming, is experiencing significant and rapid change, impacting businesses, communities and natural systems management. Inflows across the Basin have declined by more than 10% per decade since the 1960s and are expected to continue with climate change. Decreased water availability and climate impacts increase pressure on the irrigation sector, regional tourism and their communities.

Opportunity background

There are opportunities to improve on-farm production mixes, develop innovative technologies and design new and improved business models which rely on less water and enable adaptation to change in water availability. Irrigation regions can support emerging opportunities, including for Indigenous enterprises and ecotourism. Such opportunities can leverage growing interest in stable long-term returns from investing in sustainable agriculture that recognises increasing international consumer demand for healthy, clean and ethically sourced food.

The ONE Basin Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has three interlinked programs to realise the opportunities:

  • Technology and Opportunity: to co-design and apply technology solutions to improve the capacity of water supply systems and profitability of irrigated agriculture.
  • Foresight and Decisions: to co-develop decision processes and analytical tools to enable lower risk and higher reward investment decisions regarding new opportunities, responding to changes in markets, technology and climate.
  • Capability and Commercialisation: to target barriers to adoption of new technologies and management practices and develop and test methods to include diverse voices from relevant management and investor groups.

A Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is an industry-led collaboration between industry, researchers, government and the community.

Current opportunity

One Basin CRC bid team is seeking industry and investment partners interested in being financially and directly involved in research programs relevant to their interests. Those contributing $150,000 to $300,000 cash per annum can lead research projects that directly address their organisation’s priorities and align with ONE Basin CRC programs. These contributions can be leveraged with grant funding and other partner cash and in-kind to drive strategic research projects that will deliver major impact.

Partners would contribute to the development of research programs and prioritisation of key research projects for the stage two bid and in the establishment of the ONE Basin CRC.

Having submitted a stage one bid in late August 2021, they are awaiting formal advice in December 2021 from Cooperative Research Australia. Stage two bids would then be due for submission in February 2022.

Potential other applications

During its 10-year term ONE Basin CRC will provide spill-over benefits in environmental, cultural, social and health-related areas associated with sustainable agricultural practices in the Basin. Improved environmental stewardship will contribute to agriculture’s social license to operate and safeguard export markets

Participant organisations and centres

During stage 1 ONE Basin CRC confirmed the following partners: Agribusiness Development Institute Pty Ltd, AirborneLogic Pty Ltd, Aither Pty Ltd, Alluvium Consulting Australia Pty Ltd, Almond Board of Australia Inc, Australian National University, Barossa Infrastructure Ltd, Border Rivers Food & Fibre Inc, Bureau of Meteorology, Charles Sturt University, Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Limited, Coliban Region Water Corporation, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Cotton Research & Development Corporation, Data Effects Pty Ltd, Department for Environment and Water, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Department of Primary Industries and Regions, DHI Water and Environment Pty Ltd, Elders Rural Services Australia Limited, eWater Limited, Fawkner Capital Management Pty. Ltd., Flinders University, Fonterra Australia Pty Ltd, Food Innovation Australia Ltd, GHD Pty Ltd, Goondiwindi Regional Council, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, Greater Shepparton City Council, Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, HydroTerra Pty Ltd, Impact Innovation Group Pty Ltd, International Water Management Institute, Irrigation Australia Limited, Kilter Pty Ltd, Local Land Services, Lockyer Valley and Somerset Water Collaborative, Low Impact Technologies Pty Ltd, Mallee Catchment Management Authority, Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc, Murray Darling Association Incorporated, Murray River Council, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited, National Farmers' Federation Limited, National Irrigators Council Limited, Nigel Wilson, North Central Catchment Management Authority, North East Catchment Management Authority, Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations, Osmoflo Water Management Pty Ltd, OzFish Unlimited Limited, Queensland Farmers' Federation Ltd, Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland Incorporated, Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation, RM Consulting Group Pty Ltd, RuralCo Water Brokers Pty Ltd, Sensand Technologies Pty Ltd, South Australian Water Corporation, Southern Growers Incorporated, Southern Queensland Natural Resources Management Ltd, Space Angel Pty Ltd, Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, Sustineo Pty Limited, The Australian Wine Research Institute, The New South Wales Irrigators' Council Ltd, The trustee for Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust, The Trustee for The HARC Unit Trust, The University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, Victorian Cleantech Cluster Inc, Victorian Farmers Federation, Victorian Water Industry Association Inc, Water Research Australia Limited, Water Technology Pty Ltd, Western Murray Land Improvement Group Incorporated, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Wine Australia, Y.E.S. Energy (SA) Pty Ltd

Opportunity type

Seeking investment, Seeking partners

Express interest by

31 January 2022


Mid (TRL 5-7)
Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).
What does this mean?
Describes the stage of the challenge or opportunity being pursued.

Project led by

ONE Basin Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)

ONE Basin CRC will connect communities, industry and researchers to manage climate and water risks in the Murray-Darling Basin. This research collaboration will secure approximately $150m in resources over the next 10 years to drive major social, economic and environmental impacts in regional areas, agriculture and irrigation technologies.

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