The Mallee Regional Innovation Centre (MRIC) will be a leading partner in the University of Melbourne’s Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub which will receive $8 million in funding over the next four years from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.
The Research and Adoption program will help farmers and rural and regional communities build drought resilience through investment into collaborative research, development, extension, adoption and commercialisation (RDEA&C) activities.
Adoption and Innovation Hubs
Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs are a key feature of the program.
Each hub will focus on collaboration. They will:
- Provide networks for researchers, primary producers and community groups to work together to enhance drought resilient practices within their focus region.
- Become flagship precincts for agricultural innovation.
The hubs will be located in regional areas that reflect the key agricultural and climatic zones across the country. Each must have a regional university as a member.
- Southern NSW
- Southern Queensland / Northern NSW
- South-West WA
- Northern WA/NT
- Tropical North Queensland
- South Australia
Hubs will be consortia of research providers and research users, with a regional focus. They will come together to address local drought resilience research, development, extension, adoption and innovation priorities.
The hubs will aim to ensure agricultural research is useful and accessible, increasing opportunities to commercialise innovation.
An independent advisory committee has been appointed to provide oversight across the hubs, connecting the hubs to each other and to national priorities and advances.
Initially, 4 years of funding will be provided to the hubs. Funding beyond this will be considered as part of the 4-yearly review of the Drought Resilience Funding Plan.
Innovation Grants, facilitated through this program, will also be available in 2021. The grants will provide opportunities for collaborative drought resilience projects to assist primary producers and communities to adapt and transform.
We will also develop a Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Investment Plan to:
- Identify national drought resilience priorities over the short and long-term
- Inform other Future Drought Fund investment.
- The R&A Investment Plan will be delivered by 30 June 2021.