In 2022/23, the AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program will be implementing prioritised Research Development and Extension (RD&E) investment in target industries over a 5-year period. In the first year, sesame, seaweed, and insects will be the industries targeted for new research investment. These industries have been identified following a review of all current Emerging Industries. Further industries will be added each year, with industrial hemp to be added to this list during the 2023/24 financial year.
Within this investment, programs of research will be developed utilising an industry development framework and will include an exit strategy, with research topics to be determined through the priorities identified in the RD&E Plans as well as consultation with industry. Targeted investment calls, and other advertised engagement processes will occur to build the programs of research for each of the identified industries.
The Targeted Issues investment is intended to identify rural issues that are applicable to more than one new and emerging industry, and are either preventing, limiting, or providing an opportunity to increase industry growth.
Targeted investment calls will be advertised to address these cross-industry issues. The outcomes of these projects will impact more than one of our new and emerging industries.
Small-medium Business Innovation Grant
Building on the successful pilot of the Grant Stream in 2021, this investment program will continue in 2022/23.
The Small-medium Business Innovation Grants are targeted at small to medium businesses within emerging industries that have an idea to alleviate a key industry issue/problem that could be solved through a ‘non-traditional’ research project. For example, these could include ideas that trial a new technology to address an industry issue or work to reduce an export trade barrier.
All stakeholders across the Emerging Industries Program will have the opportunity to participate in capacity building opportunities, where relevant and appropriate. A skills audit of our emerging industries was conducted in 2021-22, which resulted in the development of a tailored capacity program. This program will be launch in the first half of the 2022-23 financial year.
In the Development Stream, there will be an opportunity for those industries who have not yet developed an RD&E Plan, business case or feasibility study to pursue this activity for their industry. Industries will then be able to use the RD&E Plan, business case or feasibility study to promote their industry and seek investor interest.