17 February, 2016

Significant funding investment strategy kicks into next gear

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Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) has taken the next step in its strategy to invest more than $40 million into long term, strategic cross-industry research and development projects to address challenges facing the nation’s horticulture industry.

Hort Innovation Chief Executive Officer John Lloyd today announced the membership of four expert advisory panels who will work with the sector to drive the investment into new research across four key focus areas including Health, Nutrition and Food Safety; Green Cities; Leadership and Development; and Asian Markets.

He said each panel reflects a key focus for the horticulture industry.

“Now more than ever consumers are making smarter food choices leading to the need for industry to develop new products, technologies and processes – hence the Health, Nutrition and Food Safety panel,” he said.

“The Green Cities panel exists because it’s vital that we invest in strategic longer term research which drives a measurable increase in urban green space to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians.

“The Asian Markets panel will help us build a globally competitive, unified, agile and profitable Australian horticulture industry through advice on investments in high value and high growth Asian markets.

“And the Leadership and Development panel will help facilitate a globally competitive, resilient and profitable industry though investment in programs which develop people at all stages of their career.”

Mr Lloyd said each panel will perform an advisory role to help Hort Innovation make investment decisions on projects with delivery timeframes of one to 15 years.

“The finalisation of these panels marks the next step in getting the horticulture industry future-ready,” he said.

One of the first roles of the panels will be to assess a pool of project concepts that were submitted to Horticulture Innovation Australia for co-investment in January.

Each of the four panels features a broad cross section of specialist representatives – including growers, subject matter professionals, and State Government experts.

Mr Lloyd said recruitment was conducted via a public expression of interest process with a panel of two independent experts working with Hort Innovation relationship managers to determine the successful panellists. There is scope to expand panel membership as required.

“Hort Innovation is confident it has formed the most effective, diverse, transparent and experienced advisory panels possible in the interest of supporting Australia’s bright future in horticulture exports.”

For more details on the panels, including membership, see the Horticulture Innovation web page.

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