Development of a RD&E Plan for the production of insects
This project will support the growth of the Australian insect industry by developing an industry-endorsed RD&E plan, building on the 2020 report, ‘Catalysing a $10m Australian Insect Industry: an industry-led plan.’
The initial report has become obsolete due to (a) strengthening of macro trends driving industry growth; and (b) rapid industry maturation.
Macro trends include increasing demand for affordable, sustainable inputs to improve crop yields and soil health, and climate-related pressures on current organic waste management practices.
Evidence continues to emerge regarding the role insects can play in solving these challenges. Examples include: insects “up-cycling” organic waste to create new sources of nutrient-dense fertilisers; and high value uses for insect-derived products (e.g., oils, chitin, chitosan) across the energy, industrial, pharmaceutical, and food sectors.
Evidence of the rapid maturation of the Australian insect industry includes:
- Launch of the Emerging Insect Technology Hub (EIT-Hub) between Africa and Australia;
- Trials with credible industry and research partners (e.g., BSF Waste to Profit; CSIRO 2021 Edible Insects Roadmap; Hatch Biosystems and Cleanaway BSF food waste bioconversion project; CSIRO BSF biosolid waste research; Fight Food Waste CRC; and Bunnings / Bardee distribution announcement);
- Additional regulatory clarity on uses of insect material;
- Identification of new opportunities for insects (e.g., commercialization of native species, such as Bogong Moths and Witchetty Grubs).
This project will utilise an iterative, highly consultative approach to develop and disseminate an updated, industry-endorsed RD&E plan that will outline constraints and opportunities for growth and identify RD&E investment priorities to attract co-investment.
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