Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) is taking a new investment model to industry that promises to revolutionise how horticulture addresses the key strategic R&D issues that underpin the long-term viability of the sector.
The model prioritises long-term investments for the horticulture industry, while continuing to support sector specific investment, through the establishment of two separate investment pools.
Releasing a consultation paper - Determining the Strategic Investment Priorities for the Australian Horticulture Industry – today, HIA Chairman Selwyn Snell said the new not-for-profit, grower-owned structure of HIA provided an opportunity to address more strategic research areas.
"Numerous reviews and investigations identified the need for longer term investments in large key strategic projects that will ensure a sustainable and competitive industry into the future," Mr Snell said.
"To achieve this, a Strategic Co-Investment Funding Pool (Pool 2) will be established specifically to address research priorities that will have an impact on the viability of the horticultural sector."
Approximately $20m worth of seed funding will eventually be allocated to this strategic pool and it is expected that co-investors will help to more than double the amount of money available.
The consultation paper – and an invitation to growers and other stakeholders to make submissions on priority areas and solutions – will be the first stage in extensive consultation to confirm research priorities for Pool 2.
"The paper identifies priority areas like market access, supply chain pressures, labour, climate and biosecurity as essential to creating a sustainable and competitive Australian horticultural industry, and which typically require long term investment."
"We want feedback on the priority areas identified in the paper, as well as any other issues or areas that growers feel are important," Mr Snell said.
HIA will consult directly with industry stakeholders, and by mid-year will release a whitepaper that identifies the strategic R&D investment priorities, explains the decision process and allocates funds to priority areas.
While looking to advance strategic investment, Mr Snell said the Board recognised that levies paid by growers need to be reinvested in those respective industries to meet industry specific challenges and opportunities.
"Under the new structure, an investment pool of approximately $60m (Pool 1) will be available for individual industry R&D and marketing activity."
He said the new structure (Pool 1) offers industry an opportunity to ensure maximum return on their levy investment.
"I urge growers and stakeholders to make submissions, and actively become involved in the process of determining their industry’s future."
CLICK HERE to view the HIA Consultation Green Paper
The paper is available at http://www.consultingis.com.au/our-services/strategic-business-planning/hia_green_paper