Igniting the new horticulture generation

The Leadership Fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative, identifies, builds and empowers future industry leaders at all stages of their career, so that the most effective integration of land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship occurs in horticultural production.

A recent study commissioned by Hort Innovation and conducted by the University of Queensland suggested the Australian horticulture industry outperforms the average Australian business in the innovation field – with almost 80 per cent of horticultural producers reporting some form of innovation, whether it was new to the farm or new to the industry. However, the same study showed 72 per cent of horticulture growers are aged over 50.

The Leadership Fund looks to broaden the leadership pipeline, taking into account the current ageing demographic and the increasingly fast-moving technological landscape that horticulture is. The fund provides opportunities for horticulture professionals at all stages of their careers to advance along the ladder of leadership. Significant resources are directed to attracting a new generation to Australian horticulture by showcasing the dynamic careers paths that exist.


Featured Leadership Fund projects

Attracting new entrants into Australian horticulture – promoting careers in horticulture

Project Code: LP15006

Service Provider: Rimfire Resources

This project, under the Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund, will increase graduate interest in careers across the horticulture sector and build a new pool of industry leaders by drawing on the networks of young professionals to drive innovation across the... Read more
Churchill Fellowships
National PhD scholarship scheme – driving research innovation
Masterclass in Horticultural Business
Horticulture Alumni

Become involved

The process

Do you have a concept you’d like us to consider for Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative?

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, as far as possible, 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.



Hort Innovation’s co-investment calculator

More information

Sharyn Casey
Business Development Manager

T 02 8295 2379
M 0414 257 616
Send an email

Bianca Cairns
R&D Manager

T 07 3198 6757
Send an email

Expert Advisory Panel

About the panel

The function of the Leadership Fund Expert Advisory Panel is to provide expert advice and oversight of the fund, including providing input into proposed projects/research and recommendations on potential methods to address future gaps or deficiencies in the existing body of research. The panel will provide impartial assessment and commercially relevant scrutiny of research proposals, fostering external confidence in Hort Innovation’s ability to rigorously assess, and will assist to provide evidence and merit-based recommendations to the Board.

Panel members

Name Organisation Location
Christopher Downs CSIRO Food and Nutrition
Jeremy Badgery-Parker Primary Principles
Professor Jim Pratley Charles Sturt University
Dr Callum Wilson Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania
John Maher Ruralco Holdings
Tania Chapman
Jan Vydra Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs
Sharyn Casey (Facilitator) Hort Innovation
Stuart Burgess (Ex-officio) Hort Innovation