Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said Murdoch University had received a $3 million Grains Industry Infrastructure Grant to establish the WA Crop Research Hub under collaboration between Murdoch University, Curtin University and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
Minister Joyce said the government knows how critical research and development (R&D) is to productive and profitable industries and that’s why this government is investing an unprecedented amount under various programmes in to R&D.
“This innovative project will draw on the specialist research skills from each party to develop new research in crop pathology, plant physiology and genetic improvement,” Minister Joyce said.
“The outcomes of this research will be applied to improve crop productivity and resistance to disease, strengthening the national grain industry and profitability for Australian grain growers,” he said.
GRDC chairman John Woods said for the GRDC to deliver on its purpose of investing in R&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers it was essential for research partners to have the critical capacity they required.
“Our R&D partners need good infrastructure and the right tools to deliver for the grains industry,” Mr Woods said.
“For the first time GRDC has gone out nationally to support our research partners in creating critical capacity and capability to deliver greater profitability for growers. This is essential to ensure a sustainable grains industry to underpin strong rural communities and a healthy economy,” he said.
“This partnership, of two Universities, a State Government Department, the Federal Government and a rural R&D Corporation, is a perfect demonstration of genuine collaboration to address key grower priorities.
“This newly created Grains Research Hub designed to significantly improve the efficiency of crop research in Western Australia would not have been possible without everyone working together.”
Murdoch University’s $3 million grant will be coupled with a co-contribution of $2 million by the project partners.
This collaboration is part of the Grains Industry Infrastructure Grants programme, administered by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, with 15 recipients sharing in $15 million in competitive grants.
The grant funding will go towards the development of glasshouses at Murdoch and Curtin Universities as well as 2.8ha of irrigated, netted field plots and additional infrastructure works
The total amount of funding available under the grant program was $15 million, with recipients vying for an amount between $20,000 and $3 million aimed at constructing glasshouses, greenhouses, irrigation works and new laboratories.