Supporting the future of smart farming

Hort Innovation is forging partnerships with top local and international researchers, innovators, commercial enterprises and Australian growers through a new and exciting multi-million dollar Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative – the Advanced Production Systems Fund.

The purpose of the Advanced Production Systems Fund is to increase farm productivity and profitability of the Australian horticulture industry by implementing R&D programs in all fruit, vegetable, amenity and nut crops to deliver “future smart farming” systems.


To remain globally competitive, Australian horticultural farms need to significantly increase farm productivity through crop intensification, protection and disruption. Future smart farms will offer state-of-the-art cropping systems, including ultra-high density plantings and protected cropping; deployment of a plethora of sensor technologies to better manage the input resources and assist growers in the decision making for on farm operations such as fertilisation, irrigation, nutrition and harvest. Farm automation including autonomous tools will be key to improve efficiency and reduce labour requirements. Superior planting materials backed by next-gen innovative genetics and other technologies will lay the foundation of future smart farms.

Expert Advisory Panel

Each Hort Frontiers Fund is guided by an Expert Advisory Panel (EAP). The EAP for the Advanced Production Systems Fund is:

Ingrid Roth, Roth Rural & Regional; David Bell, Hidden Valley Plantations; David Cliffe, Narromine Transplants; Edward Fagan, Mulyan Pty Ltd; Lachlan Donovan, The Avolution; Mark Uebrergang, Agromillora; Ian Bally, DAF Qld; Grant Thorpe, Plant & Food Research Australia; Stuart Burgess, Hort Innovation; Alok Kumar, Hort Innovation.


Become involved

The process

Hort Innovation is continually seeking new investment opportunities. Ideas can be submitted at any time on Hort Innovation’s website using the concept form. The form allows Hort Innovation to understand your basic concept, with a big-picture view of the aims and outcomes rather than detailed methodology. This approach aims to protect IP associated with innovative ideas, whilst capturing opportunities that can be shaped into full proposals should there be an identified alignment between the concept and strategy that guides investment in the Fund.

The investment analysis process involves filtering and potentially combining concepts for procurement. Once approval has been granted for investment in a concept, a Request for Proposal will be prepared, asking delivery partners (open or select, depending on size and scope) to provide a detailed submission that address key criteria. All responses will then be evaluated against the key criteria before the investment is contracted. To make sure your project is what we’re looking for, please read the Strategic Intent Document first.

More information

Alok Kumar
Business Development Manager

T 03 9691 3521
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