AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program Round 5 Open Call - November 2020

The AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program is calling for applications from emerging rural industries to partner with AgriFutures Australia to increase the production capacity and value of their industry. Applicants should be aiming to grow their industry by applying research, development and extension (RD&E) to overcome technical, market, supply chain and biological constraints. In planning and submitting proposals, applicants need to familiarise themselves with the application procedure and mandatory selection criteria.

We also welcome and encourage your collaboration with other providers to build research capacity where necessary to meet your objectives.

Applications will be assessed by the AgriFutures Australia Emerging Industries Advisory Panel, which comprises experts in industry development, the conduct of industry led R&D and product/service commercialisation.

This Open Call is for projects to commence in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years.

AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program Open Call closes on Friday, 18 December 2020 at 3.00 pm (AEDT).

StateLocal time
NT1.30 pm
QLD2.00 pm
WA12.00 noon
SA2.30 pm


AgriFutures invests in RD&E to accelerate the establishment of emerging rural industries. The RD&E expenditure for the AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program is funded by Australian Government appropriation.

AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program is dedicated to identifying and supporting the development of new and emerging rural industries that can meet changing demand and make a valuable economic, social and environmental contribution to Australia. RD&E investment has a clear goal to identify and support the emergence of agricultural industries that can reach or exceed a target of $10 million per annum threshold within five years. We are also supporting industries that currently exceed this $10 million threshold with the potential for further growth and where they have sustainable RD&E programs.

The AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program categorises emerging industries according to their maturity stage, which is measured by the gross value of production (GVP). It is essential that applicants of this Open Call estimate the current GVP. Applicants must also clearly demonstrate how their proposed project will contribute towards the industry GVP growth.

It is preferred that all applicant industries have an industry supported RD&E Plan to participate in this process. RD&E Plans can be submitted with project applications, or if your industry is in the process of developing an RD&E Plan, please include the details of the organisation drafting the Plan and an estimated time of development. If your industry does not have a RD&E Plan, you should include this as a priority activity in your application along with details as to how this plan will be developed.

RD&E investment opportunities are being offered to assist growth in GVP are detailed in Table 1 and include the following attributes:

1. Building early stage clusters (actual industry GVP up to $2 million per annum).
Early stage support of up to one year to fund RD&E plans, conduct viability assessments, conduct early stage production and processing RD&E, and other industry development activities that will help guide industry formation, feasibility and scaling.

2. Growing industry capability (actual industry GVP over $2 million and up to $10 million per annum).
Funding of up to two years for the development of RD&E plans, collaborative RD&E projects to resolve key technical challenges and RD&E programs to accelerate growth and development to achieve a GVP of $10 million.

3. Expanding toward established and/or levied industries (actual industry GVP $10 million per annum or greater).
Projects of up to two years to ensure continuity of the newly emerged industry to sustain growth and development.

Key Dates for Round 5

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 – Open Call launches

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 – Briefing webinar 11.00 am AEDT

Friday, 18 December 2020 – Open Call closes 3.00 pm AEDT

Briefing webinar

Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend the briefing webinar to be held on Tuesday, 17 November. This briefing will cover information on:

  • The assessment process
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Approaches to improve success

What is not eligible

  • Applications that are not supported by an industry RD&E Plan – where a strategy or plan is not available the application should include preparing an RD&E Plan.
  • Applications that exceed the guideline funding and project time limits in Table 1.
  • Applications that do not meet the minimum co-contribution requirements in Table 1.
  • Applications that lack a commercial focus (e.g. research proposals and/or travel awards that do not demonstrate clear linkages to industry needs or growth opportunities).
  • Applications without a detailed description of the proposed methodology to achieve the project outcomes.
  • Applications that do not:
    • Clearly demonstrate progression from earlier research; and/or
    • Recognise R&D of a similar nature.
  • Applications that do not contain a comprehensive project plan addressing the industry constraint or opportunity.
  • Applications where industry benefit is not clear (e.g. proposals that benefit a single entity rather than an industry).
  • Applications that do not clearly articulate who the project outcomes will be delivered to within the emerging industry.
  • Applications that include project teams with members that will be actively involved in project activities.

Please refer to Table 1: Investment Criteria for further details. Failure to meet the requirements set out in Table 1 enables AgriFutures Australia to reserve the right not to assess the application due to non-compliance.

Table 1: Investment Criteria

Emerging Industries Program Investment Criteria Table

Key documents to consider

New opportunities in new and emerging agricultural industries

The AgriFutures Australia funded report by Coriolis Australia scanned global food industries to identify new opportunities in emerging agricultural industries that have a potential $10 million annual turnover. Fifty-three industries were identified as having ‘global demand’ and ‘commercial presence’ in Australia. Of these, 26 priority industries with a combination of success factors, including premium products, health benefits and new or emerging cuisines, were profiled in the report.

Read the report.


Scan of new and emerging agricultural industry opportunities and market scoping

This work scanned the world for emerging industry opportunities in Australian agriculture. The approach to this scan focussed on consumer trends as the driver of value chains. Farmers, emerging leaders and new industry champions can use this report. It can provide input into designing strategies and investments to target success in these marketplaces.

Read the report.

Submitting a Preliminary Research Proposal (PRP)

AgriFutures Australia business with the applicant is facilitated by the online project management system Clarity. This system manages all stages of project administration.

Preliminary Research Proposals must be submitted online using Clarity. Users must create a Clarity account before submitting a proposal. If you have previously submitted an application via Clarity please use your existing name and password alternatively if your Research Organisation already exists in clarity, please use New User Request online form and we will assign your profile to that Research Organisation

New User Request

If your Research Organisation does not already exist in clarity, or you are unsure, please use the New User and Company Creation Request to create a New Research Organisation and User account simultaneously.

New User and Company Creation Request

Note: Usernames and passwords will only be issued until Monday, 2 March 2020.

User guide for submitting a Preliminary Research Proposal:

The Clarity submission approval process requires both the Principal Investigator and Administration Contact to approve the Preliminary Research Proposal, we advise allowing time for this process to occur.

For further assistance with navigating Clarity during your project application, refer to the Clarity resources and templates in the first instance.

Applicants should familarise themselves with the call for applications terms. Any proposals that do not address the stated requirements may be rejected or deferred at the discretion of AgriFutures Australia.

Where numerous proposals are received to address a single industry, AgriFutures Australia will undertake a preliminary assessment to determine which proposal(s) will progress to the Advisory Panel for review. AgriFutures Australia prefers single industry applications (‘industry led’) rather than individual companies and individual research institutions. The preference of the Panel is consortia consisting of at least an industry and research partner be established as the basis of these applications. Wider consortia (for example, industry-research-government collaborations) will be viewed favourably. A clear industry challenge or opportunity should be outlined as part of submission that aligns with the RD&E plan (unless the RD&E plan is the focus of the application). Proposals that are deemed to insufficiently address the emerging industry criteria will be rejected or deferred at the discretion of AgriFutures Australia.

What you must submit

In addition to completing all required fields of the Preliminary Research Proposal in Clarity, applicants must attach the following into the Clarity system for the submission to be accepted:

  • Industry letters of support for industry challenges and/or opportunities. Letters of support need to clearly outline the specific roles within the proposed project and ongoing extension activities. Please ensure all letters of support contain all contact details of the supporting industry organisation(s) (AgriFutures may validate claims).
  • Evidence that the works proposed build on any existing work conducted in the industry, including research that has previously been conducted.
  • Please ensure all budgets are identified in Clarity (including amounts contained in letters of support).

Please submit all the relevant attachments at the bottom of ‘Proposed Budget’ page in Clarity.

Please note: All attachments must be submitted prior to the closing date. 

Submission Checklist

Have you:

  • Obtained a Clarity User Login?
  • Completed all the fields within Clarity for your Preliminary Research Proposal (PRP).
  • Obtained letters of support and uploaded as attachments in Clarity (not to be received via email).
  • Ensured the approval process is completed in Clarity by the Principal Investigator and Administration Contact (both contacts must approve even if the same person) prior to the closing date.
  • Read and understood the applications terms and conditions. Ensured all budget (including cash and in-kind commitments are recorded in the project management system).
  • Registered for the Briefing Webinar on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 at 11.00 am AEDT.


A webinar was held on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 for prospective applicants to learn more about the project and ask questions regarding the Open Call and application process.

You can watch the webinar recording here:

Successful Preliminary Research Proposals

At the completion of Preliminary Research Proposal review the successful shortlisted applicants will be notified for progression to a Full Research Proposal (FRP) in February 2021. The successful applicants will be required to provide further information through a FRP round regarding:

  • Detailed project benefits for the emerging industry you are responding to.
  • The objectives and outcomes of the proposed project and the link to the RD&E objectives.
  • Confirmed candidates and detailed roles and responsibilities of who will be undertaking the majority of the work.
  • The plan for extension of research outcomes from the project activity work, i.e. beyond distribution of summaries and conference presentations.
  • Where relevant, proposals should include collaboration with experts and other funding organisations in the field, which may not be located in Australia.
  • The applicant’s understanding of past research or research gaps in this field.
  • Detailed and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound) Milestones and budget allocations) for each deliverable.
  • Detailed communication plan.


To discuss proposed project scope or application submissions please contact and the Emerging Industries Senior Manager or Coordinator will respond.

For any technical/Clarity based queries please contact

AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program Open Call closes on Friday, 18 December 2020 at 3.00 pm (AEDT).