rural research


Rural R&D for Profit program - $100m in research funding

Agribusiness Bulletin

In May 2014, the Commonwealth Government formally announced the establishment of the Rural R&D for Profit Program comprising $100 million of new money available for profit enhancing research projects.

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The main points of the Program are as follows:

  • Guidelines about the program will be released this year which will include details on research priorities for the first round of funding
  • Generally, proposed research must be practical, accessible to primary producers, and aimed at lifting farm productivity and profitability
  • In assessing applications, the program will seek a balance between R&D needs in the areas of production, natural resource pressures and driving better returns.

Funds from the Rural R&D for Profit initiative will be disbursed to Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) who partner with researchers, producers, and other funding sources.

RDCs exist across 15 agriculture, fishery and forestry industries to facilitate and fund practical research into improvements to primary production or processing activities that benefit the industry and improve Australia’s competitiveness and sustainability. They include:

  1. Australian Egg Corporation Limited
  2. Australian Pork Limited
  3. Australian Wool Innovation Pty Limited
  4. Cotton Research and Development Corporation
  5. Dairy Australia Limited
  6. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
  7. Forests and Wood Products Australia
  8. Grains Research and Development Corporation
  9. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
  10. Sugar Research and Development Corporation
  11. Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation
  12. Australian Meat Processor Corporation
  13. Meat and Livestock Australia
  14. Horticulture Australia Limited
  15. The Australian Livestock Export Corporation Ltd (LiveCorp)

RDCs are funded primarily through levies on production and by matching research grants from the Commonwealth.

Both researchers and agribusiness companies should be aware of the opportunities that RDC funding can present.

By bringing together the practical experience of producers and the specialist skills of researchers, RDCs have been able to expand and improve farming practices while ensuring a strong indirect return on investment for the taxpayer.

In the past, successfully funded RDC projects have completed valuable research in diverse topics ranging from the eco-efficiency of dairy manufacturers and pig feed conversion efficiency to the public health benefits of salmonella control in eggs and the control of bacterial blight in walnuts.

The priorities of subsequent grant rounds will be guided by the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, anticipated for release by the end of 2014.

If you have a research project in mind, this new Rural R&D for Profit initiative may be suitable for you.

Additionally, state and federal governments provide a number of other government assistance programs to assist businesses who are taking on new employees or expanding their plant and equipment capabilities.

The Deloitte R&D and Government Incentives team can provide expert advice on accessing government funding to support your projects and investment plans.

Detailed Rural R&D for Profit application information, including the timing of the first round of grants, is expected in the coming months.


Danica Sekulovska
Partner | Tax

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