Ripe for the picking: Expertise sought to grow “next gen” emerging rural industries

24.06.20

Investment in rural industries tipped to be the next big thing such as coffee, sesame, industrial hemp and hazelnuts is at the forefront of the AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program and individuals and organisations being invited to share their expertise to bolster the potential of priority industries.

The AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program is hitting its stride, calling for new applications for projects that can support the emergence of rural industries that can reach or exceed $10 million revenue by 2022.

With an ambitious and exciting target in sight, the fourth round of applications is focused on project investment that can deliver clear commercial growth strategies.

AgriFutures Australia’s Tom McCue, Senior Manager, Emerging Industries said the latest investment opportunity is designed to increase the production capacity and industry value through targeted research, development and extension (RD&E) to achieve industry growth.

“AgriFutures Australia is in a unique position, we’re the only nationally recognised funding source investing in the future of Australia’s emerging industries and offering a formalised structure to grow smaller industries to major industries in their own right,” said Mr McCue.

“Early program research by Coriolis Australia identified 26 high potential rural industries that can make a substantial contribution to the national economy and we have our sights set on creating pathways for successful industry ventures so they can strategically move towards an ‘emerged’ status.”

This latest investment call in emerging industries is about supporting industry projects rather than individual companies so they can become “the next generation” of levied industries, said Brian Ruddle, AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program Advisory Panel Chair.

“We really want to focus on supporting projects which will unlock key challenges for that industry and help them grow,” said Mr Ruddle.

“That’s why we are asking industries to develop RD&E Plans as part of the process so we can tackle the highest growth prospect issues which are industry owned and endorsed.”

The open call is based around a three-phased approach which focuses initially on prospecting for projects with a Gross Value Production (GVP) of under $2 million per annum; the second phase is looks at projects with a GVP of between $2-$10 million and the third phase is supporting industries greater than $10 million.

Mr McCue said moving emerging industries through the phased approach will be key to identifying opportunities to invest in RD&E, focusing on real commercial growth and industry participation.

Mr McCue added: “With global environmental and market trends impacting food consumption, there is opportunity to identify emerging food and fibre types to meeting changing demands and make a valuable economic, social and environmental contribution to Australian agriculture.”

AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program Open Call: Round 4 – June 2020 (for projects in 2020-21)
Applications close Monday, 13 July 2020.