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AgriFutures Australia

AgriFutures Australia, formerly known as Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), are an organisation that proudly focuses on the future of Australian agriculture. We live and work in the regions and represent the interests and aspirations of farmers and rural communities.

Our vision is to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries. In practical terms, this means:

  • Initiatives that attract capable people into careers in agriculture, build the capability of future rural leaders, and support change makers and thought leaders
  • Research and analysis to understand and address important issues on the horizon for Australian agriculture
  • Research and development for established industries that do not have their own Research & Development Corporation (RDC), including the rice, chicken meat, honey bee and pollination, thoroughbred horse, pasture seeds, export fodder, ginger and tea tree oil industries
  • Research and development to accelerate the establishment and expansion of new rural industries, such as deer, buffalo, kangaroo and camel milk.

Our approach

We are a future-thinking organisation; AgriFutures Australia not only tackles the rural challenges and opportunities we face today, but unearths the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

We place people at the centre of everything we do. We listen, connect and collaborate with emerging leaders in agriculture, industry bodies, other RDCs and government. Building on the strong foundations laid by RIRDC, we confidently set our focus on the future.

Our stakeholders

AgriFutures Australia partners with Australian rural industries and the Australian Government through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Other stakeholder groups include research providers, the CSIRO, other RDCs, compliance agencies, supply chain companies, community leaders, individual farmers and the general public.

Our funding

AgriFutures Australia is primarily funded by an annual Australian Government appropriation.

Other funding sources include:

  • Industry levy funds (R&D expenditure is matched dollar for dollar by the by the Australian Government)
  • Voluntary industry contributions
  • Other contributions come from Australian Government-specific programs, private companies, rural RDCs, state and territory governments and research providers.

These funds are invested to achieve our strategic research, development and extension goals.

Commercial opportunity

Novel fertility device set to drive value for thoroughbred breeding

AgriFutures Australia and the University of Newcastle have developed a simple stallion fertility test device to help boost Australia’s billion-dollar thoroughbred breeding industry. They are now seeking investors and industrial partners with experience in plastic manufacturing to commercialise the solution.

  • Led by
    AgriFutures Australia
  • In collaboration with
    University of Newcastle
Innovation

The gateway connecting the world to our agrifood innovation opportunities

It is a great time to be in rural research and innovation. There is a landslide of activity across agriculture, fisheries and forestries, all designed to deliver new technologies and opportunities to Australian farmers.

 

Each year, the Australian government, universities and industry invest billions of dollars in research to support agriculture, fisheries and forestry. There are 15 Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), 43 universities and hundreds of industry organisations and peak bodies, that currently house thousands of research projects. But, in order to find them, you need to know what you are looking for and where to look. Until now.

  • Funded by
    Department of Agriculture, Water the Environment
  • Project led by
    AgriFutures Australia
Commercial opportunity

Camera technology offers new vision for chicken welfare

AgriFutures Australia and the University of Southern Queensland are seeking technology partners to commercialise novel video analysis software to better detect growth and welfare indicators of poultry flocks and enhance on-farm decision making.

 

Funded by the University of Southern Queensland and AgriFutures Australia’s Chicken Meat Program, mechatronic engineers Dr Cheryl McCarthy and Dr Derek Long have linked continual on-board image analysis, similar to face recognition, with a low-cost camera to provide regular updates on flock movement throughout the day.

 

  • Funded by
    AgriFutures Australia
  • Project led by
    University of Southern Queensland (USQ)
Waste

$2 million budget for pre-farm gate waste investment – Open call seeks innovative ideas

Australians produce over 74 million tonnes of waste per year, with the amount of waste produced by farmers, fishers and foresters presenting a significant challenge. Limited support and practical options exist to avoid waste in the first place or manage it as part of the production process. 

 

The pre-farm gate waste program has been launched to support innovative ideas and options for the avoidance, recycling and reuse of pre-farm gate waste, and ensure there is clear direction and coordination of activities for the sector to achieve the required change.  

  • Led by
    AgriFutures Australia
Kakadu plum

Traceable and sustainable: The drivers behind Australia’s booming Kakadu plum market

Can agrifood tech innovation help to harness the rising value of Australia’s wild harvest Kakadu plum – and secure its place in the cosmetics industry? Well, WA sunscreen brand, We Are Feel Good Inc. has done just that – and consumer demand is growing.

 

Kakadu plum has earned its status as one of Australia’s key native species – offering huge market potential. Almost exclusively wild harvested, production of the in-demand superfood extends from Broome, right across the Top End of Australia and into Queensland.

Honey bees

Beekeepers back genetic improvement to boost honey bee industry performance

Around half of Australian beekeepers desire more information to be made available on the queen bees they purchase, with selection traits and queen bee pedigree at the top of the list.

 

That’s according to a survey of 196 beekeepers and 11 queen bee breeders recently conducted by the University of Sydney and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) as part of the Australian Government Rural R&D for Profit, Plan Bee Genetic Improvement Program.

  • Led by
    AgriFutures Australia
Carbon

$2 million for innovative carbon research – open call for proposals

AgriFutures Australia has announced a $2 million carbon initiative to explore new and innovative products, practices and technologies to improve carbon storage or reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) in Australia’s agricultural sector. 

 

AgriFutures is calling for research proposals that have the potential to deliver high impact and practical benefits for farmers, fishers and foresters across six investment areas.  

  • Led by
    AgriFutures Australia

Commercial opportunities

Browse all commercial opportunities
Logo for Buggy Blend – nutritionally optimised, alternative protein pet food range (insect-based)
Packaged food

Buggy Blend – nutritionally optimised, alternative protein pet food range (insect-based)

Opportunity for

  • Australian and international companies interested in commercialising novel products in the pet food industry
  • Existing pet food manufacturing businesses interested in diversified opportunities
  • Insect farming businesses interested in enhanced production outcomes and/or partnering into value-added productisation opportunities
  • Investors interested in sustainable alternative protein products
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Opportunity type

    Seeking interest, Seeking investment, Joint venture

  • Readiness
    Late (TRL 8-9)
    Commercial optimisation of the product/service, testing and commercial distribution.
Logo for Elite genetics for manuka honey and essential oil production
Honey bees

Elite genetics for manuka honey and essential oil production

Opportunity for

  • Investors interested in investing in the ManukaLife company
  • Nurseries interested in producing and distributing elite Leptospermum genetics
  • Plantation companies and large-scale landholders (farming, mining etc.) interested in developing essential oil / Manuka honey producing plantations
  • Cosmetic, pharmaceutical and medical companies interested in developing new products
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Opportunity type

    Seeking interest, Seeking investment

  • Readiness
    Mid (TRL 5-7)
    Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).
Logo for Rapid stallion fertility test
Other rural industries

Rapid stallion fertility test

Opportunity for

  • Animal biotech companies interested in developing new products and services
  • Veterinary supply companies interested in developing new products and services
  • Human biotech companies interested in expanding the technology to human applications
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Opportunity type

    Seeking interest, Seeking investment, Licensing, Joint venture

  • Readiness
    Late (TRL 8-9)
    Commercial optimisation of the product/service, testing and commercial distribution.
Logo for Clover seed harvester
Pasture, fodder & feed

Clover seed harvester

Opportunity for

  • Agricultural engineering companies interested in repurposing and modifying products
  • Agricultural machinery suppliers interested in distributing repurposing and modifying products
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Opportunity type

    Licensing

  • Readiness
    Early (TRL 1-4)
    Describes the challenge or opportunity being pursued and undertakes preliminary R&D to determine if the concept is feasible.
Logo for Mycopesticide (fungal biocontrol agent) for lesser mealworm control
Poultry

Mycopesticide (fungal biocontrol agent) for lesser mealworm control

Opportunity for

  • Biotech companies interested in developing new pesticide products
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Opportunity type

    Seeking interest

  • Readiness
    Mid (TRL 5-7)
    Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).
Logo for Software for intensive and semi-intensive animal production systems
Poultry

Software for intensive and semi-intensive animal production systems

Opportunity for

  • Software companies interested in commercialising products and services for animal production systems
  • Companies interested in commercialising sensor / vision based products and services
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Opportunity type

    Seeking interest, Joint venture

  • Readiness
    Mid (TRL 5-7)
    Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).
Logo for Blockchain traceability
Multiple industries

Blockchain traceability

Opportunity for

  • Blockchain or traceability companies interested in new products and services
  • Export services companies interested in new products and services
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Opportunity type

    Seeking interest

  • Readiness
    Mid (TRL 5-7)
    Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).

Research projects

Other research projects
Logo for Investigating the potential of hemp as a forage crop
Other rural industries

Investigating the potential of hemp as a forage crop

Currently the value of the hemp crop is limited, as only the seed is harvested and utilised the vegetative parts …
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Start date

    26 Jun 2020

  • Research organisation

    University of Tasmania (UTAS)

Logo for Joint-RDC Community Trust - Community Analysis Project

Joint-RDC Community Trust - Community Analysis Project

This investment utilises social insights frameworks to identify key social licence issues for the Australian agriculture sector and strategies to …
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Start date

    19 Aug 2019

  • Research organisation

    Reflexivity Pty Ltd

Logo for Developing Industry Standards for Australian Native Oils
Essential oils

Developing Industry Standards for Australian Native Oils

The investment supports the growth of the native oils industry through; development of industry standards for oil quality and identification; …
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Start date

    11 Oct 2019

  • Research organisation

    Essential Oil Producers Association of Australia

Logo for National Agronomy Sesame Trials
Oilseeds

National Agronomy Sesame Trials

This investment will develop best management practice guidelines for sesame production in Australia. Initially focussing on northern Australia then targeting …
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Start date

    15 Dec 2019

  • Research organisation

    Savannah Ag Consulting

Logo for Developing technical plans for processing Australian industrial hemp straw
Other rural industries

Developing technical plans for processing Australian industrial hemp straw

Hemp straw is considered a waste product of hemp seed production. This investment will review existing processes, technologies and quality …
  • Led by

    AgriFutures Australia

  • Start date

    3 Jun 2020

  • Research organisation

    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

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