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Hort Innovation

Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australia's horticulture industry.

As one of the nation's 15 Rural Research and Development Corporations, we're tasked with investing horticulture levies and Australian Government contributions into initiatives to help the industry be as productive and profitable as possible.

In addition to the levy-focused investment activities that are our core work, Hort Innovation also forges partnerships with a broad range of co-investors to deliver investments through our Hort Frontiers arm. Hort Frontiers was established by Hort Innovation to address a range of long-term and complex issues that are critical to the future of Australian horticulture.

Adrian Englefield standing in a vineyard smiling at the camera with an ipad in hand
Case Study

Enablers of change: A day in the life of a Regional Extension Manager

Growing up on a vineyard fuelled Adrian Englefield’s love of the land and the agriculture industry. Now as a Regional Extension Manager for Hort Innovation, Adrian gets to help the next generation embrace ideas and harness opportunities, which support a thriving sector and sustainable workforce. 

Innovation

World-first yield forecasting technology offers avocado growers 93% accuracy

The University of New England has developed an app that makes it easier for avocado growers to forecast yields – and with greater accuracy. UNE’s CropCount team is now looking for partners to help scale CropCount to bring this advantage to other tree crop producers.

  • Funded by
    Hort Innovation
  • Led by
    University of New England (UNE)
Picking

Multi-armed mango auto-harvester set to speed up picking by 90%

As it gets increasingly difficult to find reliable labour to pick acid-spurting mangoes in the tropical heat, a world-first automated harvester developed by Central Queensland University’s Fruitronics team and Hort Innovation, are now seeking commercial partnership from an agricultural equipment manufacturer.

  • Led by
    Hort Innovation
  • In collaboration with
    Central Queensland University (CQU)
Horticulture

Innovation in horticulture to benefit people, plants and the planet

The future of innovation in horticulture is bright and will underpin the production of produce that is good for Australia and the world. 

 

Hort Innovation’s Head of R&D Byron de Kock said, “We strive for balance across our Research, Development and Extension program that represents more than $400 million of investment. At one end of the spectrum, we strive to transform and revolutionise through initiatives in biotechnology and robotics. At the other end, we seek to protect current production through biosecurity, crop protection, pest and disease control investments.”

  • Led by
    Hort Innovation
  • Featuring
    Byron De Kock, Hort Innovation, Head of R&D
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
Genomics

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
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

Commercial opportunities

Browse all commercial opportunities
Logo for Hort Innovation - a gene technology platform for disease resistance in horticultural tree crops (Huanglongbing and Xylella) - request for proposal
Multiple industries

Hort Innovation - a gene technology platform for disease resistance in horticultural tree crops (Huanglongbing and Xylella) - request for proposal

Opportunity for

  • Research organisations and life sciences companies with capability in developing gene technology platforms capable delivering disease resistance to vegetatively propagated tree crops
  • Companies with capability in commercialisation of genetic technology platforms
  • Led by

    Hort Innovation

  • Opportunity type

    Research partner, Seeking partners

  • Express interest by

    3:00pm, (AEST), 12 May 2022

  • 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 Mango auto harvester
Fruits

Mango auto harvester

Opportunity for

  • Machinery manufacturing and distribution companies interested in new products and services
  • Agronomy service companies interested in new products and services
  • Led by

    Hort Innovation

  • Opportunity type

    Licensing, Research partner, Field trial, Seeking partners

  • 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 CT20009 - Integrated disease management of citrus black spot and 'Emperor' brown spot
Fruits

CT20009 - Integrated disease management of citrus black spot and 'Emperor' brown spot

This project aims to identify and make available complementary Integrated Disease Management (IDM) tools to growers to assist in managing the diseases citrus black spot, ‘Emperor’ brown spot and, to a lesser extent, citrus black core rot.
  • Led by

    Hort Innovation

  • Start date

    10 Jul 2021

  • Research organisation

    Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF)

Logo for Innovation at Work
Multiple industries

Innovation at Work

This project is exploring new processes for delivering RD&E within horticultural industries in Australia through a pilot partnership …
  • Led by

    Hort Innovation

  • Start date

    6 Oct 2021

Logo for National Bee Pest Surveillance Program: Transition Program
Multiple industries

National Bee Pest Surveillance Program: Transition Program

This is an ongoing project to deliver a national surveillance program for bee pests to help safeguard honey-bee and pollinator-dependent …
  • Led by

    Hort Innovation

  • Start date

    3 Dec 2021

  • Research organisation

    Plant Health Australia (PHA)

Logo for VegNET 3.0
Vegetables

VegNET 3.0

This project aims to keep Australian vegetable growers informed about current R&D activities, results and resources, to support the adoption of industry best practice in key growing areas. Nationally coordinated by AUSVEG, the program will be delivered by regional development officers (RDOs) responsible for developing extension plans that identify each region’s priority issues and key regional resources and links - a critical step in ensuring growers receive tailored assistance that will help them grow better crops and operate more efficient and profitable businesses.
  • Led by

    Hort Innovation

  • Start date

    16 Sep 2021

  • Research organisation

    AUSVEG

Logo for Effective control of Listeria on rockmelons through alternative post-harvest treatment methods
Fruits

Effective control of Listeria on rockmelons through alternative post-harvest treatment methods

This project is determining the optimum postharvest strategies to reduce the risk of listeria contamination of rockmelons. Trials will test the effectiveness of five common sanitisers - chlorine, chlorine dioxide, e-water, peroxyacetic acid and nylate - against listeria. Each sanitisers’ effectiveness will be evaluated against concentration, dwell time, presence of organic material and sanitisation method used (dip/spray/brush).
  • Led by

    Hort Innovation

  • Start date

    25 Oct 2021

  • Research organisation

    Applied Horticultural Research (AHR)

Logo for Identifying new resistance genes for Panama Tropical Race 4
Fruits

Identifying new resistance genes for Panama Tropical Race 4

This investment is identifying new genetic material associated with resistance to the banana disease, Panama Tropical Race 4 or fusarium wilt, …
  • Led by

    Hort Innovation

  • Start date

    3 Feb 2022

  • Research organisation

    The University of Queensland (UQ)

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