New research hub funding to optimise dairy innovation in Australian industry
A new Dairy Innovation Hub has been jointly announced today by Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd (DIAL) and the University of Melbourne. The key focus of this new $3.8 million Hub will be to address the major technical challenges faced by the Australian dairy manufacturing industry.
Led by University of Melbourne Professor Sally Gras, the Dairy Innovation Hub will focus on solving technical problems faced by industry partners, to drive research translation at Australian dairy manufacturing sites over three years.
The Hub will test, scale up and apply practical research solutions to increase the productivity, profitability and sustainability of dairy manufacturing. This collaborative approach will impact both the broader dairy manufacturing industry and provide tailored solutions for individual manufacturers.
The work done by the Hub will also focus on improving environmental sustainability and manufacturing processes, as well as deepen understanding and optimisation of product quality and functionality.
Translation and technology transfer of research outcomes will directly assist manufacturing companies through activities at manufacturing sites. Key project areas identified by industry include reduction and reuse of manufacturing by-products (for example brine and whey), optimisation of manufacturing processes for key export products and increased quality and functionality of new dairy products.
Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd (DIAL) Chairman Peter Boyden spoke of his strong support for the project.
“DIAL is really pleased to fund this new research initiative. With the decision to close down DIAL, directors felt that the establishment of this Dairy Innovation Hub with the University of Melbourne was the best use of DIAL legacy funds to further nurture R&D in dairy processing and to continue to provide manufacturers with on-going technical support.” Boyden said.
Director of the Dairy Innovation Hub and Professor in the University of Melbourne’s Department of Chemical Engineering Sally Gras welcomed the funding.
“The dairy sector is important to the Australian economy, with $3.3 billion worth of dairy products exported in 2019. We look forward to working with dairy manufacturers to maximise the translation of research findings and to achieve continued innovation for the dairy industry,” Professor Gras said.
The Dairy Innovation Hub follows six years of successful research and industry engagement through The ARC Dairy Innovation Hub, funded by The Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Program, DIAL and industry.
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Professor Sally Gras