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March, 2019|Media Releases

Agricultural innovation front and centre in latest EY report

The Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations has noted the release of Ernst & Young’s (EY) summary report Agricultural Innovation – A National Approach to Grow Australia’s Future.

Chair of the Council Dr Michele Allan said Australia’s strong history of high quality rural R&D has supported the sector to lead the way in terms of productivity growth over the last three decades.

As noted in the EY report the world of research and innovation is changing, and we need to make sure Australia continues to be well placed to prosper in decades to come.

“We can build on the strengths of the current system to create a future geared for effective innovation across agriculture and related value chains” Dr Allan said. Referencing the Council’s own Vision 2050 work completed in late 2018, she acknowledged that innovation is key to long term productivity growth and future prosperity.

“Our vision is of flourishing agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries underpinning a thriving agrisystem. The agrisystem concept recognises that production is foundational within incredibly important and valuable chains, and these value chains cover more than 40 percent of Australia’s economy.

“It’s our imperative and responsibility to drive an innovation system that enables Australian farmers, foresters and fishers to get ahead of future challenges and opportunities to position the agrisystem for growth, sustainability and prosperity.

We are already seeing the Rural RDCs to evolve and adapt, through initiatives such as the recently announced GrainInnovate partnership or the successful evokeAG event held in Melbourne.

“The Council is also continuing its focus on supporting and driving cross-RDC collaborations such as the successful Precision to Decision Agriculture project, and the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative.

“The history of collaborative activities is almost as old as the RDCs themselves, going right back to 1992. The Council met in Canberra yesterday and our discussions focused on how we can continue to drive positive improvements for Australia, including through new ways of doing business.

“We look forward to considering the full report when it becomes available. And of course we will continue to work with our industry and government partners to keep on building a globally-connected, high-performing knowledge and innovation ecosystem.”

The Vision 2050 paper and a summary can be downloaded at:


Media inquiries: Council of Rural RDCs Executive Officer Tim Lester, 0437 524 933

Australia’s food and fibre industries owe much of their success to research and development that focuses on Australia’s unique climatic, geographic and trading environments. Australia’s 15 Rural Research and Development Corporations form a network that enables primary producers through effective research, development and extension, and delivers substantial benefit at the traditional farm gate, and across the economy and Australian community.

For details of some of Australia’s current research and development success stories, visit