Statement of intent

​​​National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension Framework - Statement of Intent

Date: This Statement of Intent is dated 17 June 2009. Whilst this Statement of Intent is not a legally-binding document it is intended to capture the intention of the Parties to work collectively and collaboratively to develop and implement the National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension Framework (National RD&E Framework), and the underpinning national sector and cross sector RD&E strategies.

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Part I. Background

  1. ​​The Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC) in April 2007, with support from all Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) and the Australian Council of the Deans of Agriculture (ACDA) agreed to establish a National Framework for Primary Industries Research, D​evelopment and Extension (RD&E).​

  2. This document provides the structural arrangements and commitment of the organisations (collectively referred to as “the Parties”) to work collectively and collaboratively to implement the National Primary Industries RD&E Framework and underpinning sector and cross sector strategies.

  3. The concept of ‘National R with Regional D&E’, endorsed by PIMC in 2005, recognises that basic and strategic research (R) can be provided from a distance, with regional adaptive development (D) and local extension (E) required to improve the uptake of innovation by industry.

  4. The principles are intended to guide efforts to enhance the collaboration, coordination, efficiency and effectiveness of RD&E efforts nationally. In addition, continued and coordinated investment in RD&E helps to provide Australia’s primary industries with the necessary capability (people. infrastructure and information) to improve their productivity, sustainability and competitiveness.

  5. The Parties have responsibilities for primary industries RD&E investments and have agreed that implementing the Principles for Developing a National Primary Industries RD&E Framework will have benefits of fostering a strong culture of collaboration and coordination between the Parties and other stakeholders, and help to strengthen national research capabilities to better address sector and cross sector issues. The principles will promote continuous improvement in the investment of RD&E resources nationally by helping to ensure that they are applied efficiently, effectively and collaboratively and to, inter alia, overcome capability gaps, fragmentation and unnecessary duplication in the national system for primary industries RD&E.

  6. Parties

The commitment to implement the National Primary Industries RD&E Framework is made between all PISC agencies, RDCs and ACDA. The Parties include:

  • Australian Council of the Deans of Agriculture
  • Australian Egg Corporation Limited
  • Australian Government represented by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Australian Pork Limited
  • Australian Wool Innovation Limited
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • Cotton Research and Development Corporation
  • Dairy Australia Limited
  • Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
  • Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited
  • Grains Research and Development Corporation
  • Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation
  • Horticulture Australia Limited
  • Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited (LiveCorp)
  • Meat and Livestock Australian Limited
  • New South Wales Government represented by the Department of Primary Industries
  • Northern Territory Government represented by the Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources
  • Queensland Government represented by the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
  • Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
  • South Australian Government represented by the Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA, and the South Australian Research and Development Institute
  • Sugar Research and Development Corporation
  • Tasmanian Government represented by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment, and the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources
  • Victorian Government represented by the Department of Primary Industries
  • Western Australian Government represented by the Department of Agriculture and Food, the Department of Fisheries, and the Forest Products Commission

Part II. National Primary Industries R,D&E Framework

​​1. Purpose of National Primary Industries RD&E Framework

Innovation and RD&E are key drivers to improving productivity and competitiveness in the primary industries sector, and making best use of Australia’s natural resources under a changing climate.The National RD&E Framework will facilitate greater coordination among the different Commonwealth, State governments, CSIRO, RDCs, industry and university sectors to better harmonise their roles in RD&E related to primary industries and assure that they work together effectively to maximise net benefits to Australia.

The National RD&E Framework supports a strong culture of collaboration and coordination between the bodies, strengthens national research capability to better address sector and cross sector issues and focuses RD&E resources so they are used more effectively, efficiently and collaboratively, thereby reducing capability gaps, fragmentation and unnecessary duplication in primary industries RD&E.

2. National RD&E Framework Outcomes

The National RD&E Framework is expected:

  1. to provide shared strategic directions and priorities for national and sector level primary industries RD&E in Australia that enhance the productivity and sustainability of Australia’s primary industries;
  2. to provide research capabilities that will more comprehensively and holistically cover the present and future strategic needs of stakeholders nationally;
  3. that public research capability will become more integrated, interdependent and specialised, and have larger critical mass with less fragmentation across the nation;
  4. to improve efficiency and effectiveness of RD&E and as a consequence returns on investment will improve;
  5. that RD&E investment will improve the capability of the national system in priority areas and ensure effective and efficient use of resources, including infrastructure;
  6. that the Parties will collaborate to retain and build capability in fields strategically important to their jurisdictions and industries;
  7. the national research capability will be an integral component of a wider innovation agenda, supporting development and extension; and
  8. that research undertaken in one location will be developed and extended nationally for primary industries.

Part III. Principles

​​3. National Primary Industries RD&E Framework Principles

  1. The Parties will cooperate to encourage the establishment of a more efficient and effective research, development and extension (RD&E) system nationally.
  2. Recognising that the Parties will be subject to budget fluctuations, the Parties will endeavour to at least maintain RD&E funding levels for primary industries; and investments, including from savings, should be re-directed to improve the capability of the national system in priority areas.
  3. The Parties will share information, plans and priorities for investment in RD&E to facilitate development and implementation of the Framework and underpinning sector and cross sector strategies.
  4. The Parties will facilitate access to national research capability (people, infrastructure and information) by industry and research and development (R&D) partners across Australia.
  5. The Parties will support processes to refresh the rural R&D priorities and to encourage more consistent and rigorous monitoring of performance of R&D targeting and delivery.
  6. The Parties recognise the importance of investing in extension of R&D to facilitate rapid uptake of research and innovation.
  7. The Parties agree to work cooperatively to improve the administrative processes and effectiveness of information sharing and management.
  8. The Parties agree to freely share the knowledge generated through the Primary Industries National RD&E Framework, including minimising barriers to RD&E created by intellectual property protection.
  9. The Parties will monitor, evaluate and report on the performance of the National RD&E Framework and the sector and cross-sector strategies developed and implemented under the Framework.

Part IV. Roles and Responsibilities for Primary Industries R,D&E

​​4. Parties' roles and responsibilities for Primary Industries RD&E

Parties have a range of roles and responsibilities but have shar​ed interests in enhancing primary industries reseach, development and extension (RD&E) investments and have shared responsibility for implementing the National Rural RD&E Framework, and developing and implementing the underpinning sector and cross sector strategies.

The parties agree and acknowledge:

  1. the National RD&E Framework provides the principles and structure for the development and implementation of the sector and cross sector strategies by the Parties;
  2. there are other important contributors to primary industries RD&E in addition to the Parties including industry bodies, producers, funders, researchers, producer groups, and the like; and
  3. ongoing investment by government and industry in RD&E is required to deliver a core capability for primary industries.

5. Outline of roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders

5.1 Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC)

The objective of PIMC is to develop and promote sustainable, innovative and profitable agriculture, fisheries/aquaculture, and food and forestry industries.

PIMC's role in relation to the National Primary Industries RD&E Framework is to:

  1. implement and review policies and strategies for achieving agreed national RD&E approaches to the development of sustainable primary industries;
  2. actively liaise with other Ministerial Councils and other bodies on matters relevant to the activities of the Council; and
  3. direct the work of and consider matters submitted by its Standing Committee.

All Australian/State/Territory and New Zealand government ministers responsible for agriculture, food, fibre, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture industries/production and rural adjustment policy are members of the PIMC.

5.2 Primary Industry Standing Committee (PISC)

Primary Industry Standing Committee (PISC) supports PIMC. PISC's main objectives are to support the PIMC in the achievement of it's objectives and to develop cooperative and coordinated approaches to matters of concern to PIMC.

Having regard to PIMC and its role in relation to the National Primary Industries RD&E Framework, PISC:

  1. secures cooperation between members;
  2. directs the work of its subordinate committees;
  3. PISC will maintain a R&D sub-committee for the purposes of the National RD&E Framework; and
  4. monitor the progress of the development and implementation of the National RD&E Framework and sector and cross-sector strategies, and will report to PIMC regularly on progress and on the review of the Framework.

All department heads/chief executive officers of Australian/State/Territory and New Zealand government agencies responsible for agriculture, food, fibre, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture industries/production and rural adjustment policy issues are member of PISC.

5.3 PISC R&D Subcommittee

The primary function of the PISC R&D Subcommittee is to:

  1. develop the scope of the National RD&E Framework for approval by PISC and PIMC;
  2. work with the Parties to identify the co-leadership and support roles;
  3. define, oversight and monitor a broad process for sector and cross-sector strategy development;
  4. develop the necessary agreements to ensure the National RD&E Framework functions effectively;
  5. at a level above the individual strategies, to work cooperatively to foster collaboration and change management plans and stakeholder engagement; and
  6. establish a process for reporting on the implementation of the National RD&E Framework.

The PISC R&D Subcommittee has a role in developing broad communication and other plans to facilitate the dissemination of national research to relevant regions.

The PISC R&D Subcommittee comprises representation from all PISC agencies, representatives of research and development corporations (RDCs) and the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture.

5.4 Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations' Chairs

The role of the Chairs of the RDCs is to ensure the RDCs:

  1. are collectively continuing to contribute to a sustainable and profitable Australian primary industries sector,
  2. focused on implementing the National RD&E Framework, and
  3. monitor the progress of the development and implementation of the National RD&E Framework and sector and cross-sector strategies, and will report to PIMC regularly on progress.

5.5 Governments

The Australian Government has established National Research Priorities and complementary Rural Research and Development Priorities to direct and ensure the R&D objectives of the Australian Government and the primary industries are met. The Australian Government and State and Territory Governments invest substantially in primary industries RD&E in partnerships with industry (including through RDCs) and the private sector. All governments also invest in providing critical research infrastructure.

In the context of the National RD&E Framework and the development and implementation of the relevant sector strategies, individual governments (including States, Territories, and Commonwealth) will perform a:

  1. national leadership role where there is a major priority for the relevant government, and the government endeavours to give a high priority to funding research, including infrastructure, for that sector.
  2. support role where they undertakes some research, but the major activity is provided by another government jurisdiction or party.
  3. link where they undertake little or no research but access information and resources from other jurisdictions or parties to meet industry needs through D&E.

5.6 Industry sector

The Parties acknowledge that the 'industry sector' (non-research agencies representing primary industries such as peak industry councils) is both an investor and beneficiary of RD&E, and has the complementary knowledge and understanding of relevant industry RD&E priorities, and therefore will need to be engaged in the development of sector and cross-sector RD&E strategies.

The Parties will proactively engage the relevant industry agency/agencies in development and implementation of sector and cross sector RD&E strategies including strategic discussion of resource location and infrastructure.

5.7 Rural Research and Development Corporations and Industry Owned Companies

The 15 rural RDCs form a partnership between industry and government to prioritise, coordinate and integrate the demands of industry and government and align the capabilities of research providers responsible for primary industries RD&E. The Parties acknowledge that the RDCs have complementary knowledge, skills and resources necessary to jointly progress the objectives of the RD&E Framework.

The RDCs will perform a national leadership role for developing and implementing relevant industry sector strategies and support roles where relevant for other strategies.

5.8 University sector

The Parties acknowledge that the university sector is a major contributor of RD&E and has complementary knowledge, skills and the resources necessary to support the objectives of the National RD&E Framework.

The University sector will provide research services and access to information and resources to support implementation the National RD&E Framework and sector and cross-sector RD&E strategies. It will also provide high level education and training to ensure the manpower needed for the future supply of RD&E skills is available for implementing the Framework.

Part V. National Approaches to Primary Industries R,D&E

​​​6. National Strategy

The National RD&E Framework is a process by which the Parties will work together to advance strategic planning for the direction, delivery and sustainable resourcing of the national RD&E system in a holistic manner.

7. Sector and cross-sector strategies

The sector and cross-sector strategies for nationally coordinated primary industries RD&E are a method by which the Parties will address the agreed principles to establish a more efficient and effective national RD&E system. The Parties agree to develop, prepare and implement the sector and cross-sector RD&E strategies that form schedules to the National RD&E Framework Statement of Intent. Sector and cross-sector strategies set out priorities for the Parties to cooperate on a national basis to address the strategic RD&E needs of an industry sector or a cross-sector area.

The implementation of the National RD&E Framework strategies will:

  1. define a set of national priorities for each sector and cross-sector to guide research investment;
  2. identify gaps, and mechanisms to address these gaps, in national research capability on a regular basis;
  3. establish a process to allocate resources across priority areas and the ongoing maintenance of national capability and effort;
  4. establish a process for monitoring and review of the system's effectiveness;
  5. establish a process for the management of intellectual property and innovation to maximise the benefits to Australia's primary industries;
  6. establish a process to ensure research findings are readily available and adopted rapidly.

8. Contents of sector and cross-sector strategies

The following guidelines apply to the development and implementation of sector and cross-sector RD&E strategies; this does not preclude variations from being made to accommodate the needs of particular strategies:

  1. Sector Overview: Description of scale, distribution, importance, trends, opportunities and threats;
  2. Current resource analysis: Current investment in RD&E, public and private, amounts, trends, focus. Current RD&E (human and infrastructure) capability including locations, focus, trends for both public and private sectors;
  3. Future RD&E plan: Establish future strategic objectives and priorities for the sector.
  4. Capability analysis against the plan: Compare information from current resource analysis and the requirements to address the future RD&E plan in order to identify future capability needs and gaps;
  5. Change plan: Develop a detailed change plan to establish and implement the new national RD&E sector strategy, including agreements between parties for capability and management arrangements and information sharing, including IP;
  6. Consultation and approvals: Describe and establish consultation arrangements with stakeholders (including PISC Agencies, Universities, RDCs, etc);
  7. Implementation arrangements: Timeframes and responsibilities, including monitoring, reporting and review.

9. Priority Sector and cross sector strategies

The initial sector strategies that form schedules to this framework are in relation to:

  1. beef;
  2. cotton;
  3. dairy;
  4. fisheries & aquaculture;
  5. forestry;
  6. grains;
  7. horticulture
  8. pork;
  9. poultry;
  10. sheep meat;
  11. sugar;
  12. wine;
  13. wool; and
  14. new and emerging industries.

The initial cross-sector strategies that form schedules to this framework are in relation to:

  1. climate change;
  2. food and nutrition;
  3. animal biosecurity;
  4. plant biosecurity;
  5. animal welfare;
  6. biofuels and bioenergy;
  7. water use in agriculture.

The PISC R&D Subcommittee, following consultation with the Parties, will recommend to PISC and PIMC future priority sector and cross sector strategies.

Part VI. Monitoring and Evaluation, and Review

​​10. Monitoring and Evaluation

10.1 National RD&E Framework Monitoring and Evaluation Criteria

The Parties will build on existing research, development and extension (RD&E) evaluation frameworks, including that developed by the research and development corporations (RDCs), to develop monitoring and evaluation criteria to review the performance of the National RD&E Framework.

10.2 National RD&E Framework RDE Strategies Monitoring and Evaluation

The Parties will build on existing RD&E evaluation frameworks to develop monitoring and evaluation criteria to review the performance of the sector and cross-sector strategies.

As part of this process Parties will also determine the information (management information) which needs to be collected to enable performance against key performance indicators to be monitored and reported upon.

11. Reporting

The Parties will regularly report to PISC and the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations' Chairs (CRRDCC) to keep them informed of progress being made in the implementation of the National RD&E Framework and the sector and cross-sector strategies.

12. Review of the National RD&E Framework

12.1 Review of the National RD&E Framework

Parties agree that within three years from commencement of this Agreement, there is an independent review of:

  1. the implementation of the National RD&E Framework;
  2. the effectiveness in achieving its stated objectives and outcomes;
  3. the effectiveness of the National RD&E Framework in achieving its objectives and outcomes; and
  4. other such relevant matters as required.

The review must seek input from all the Parties and key RD&E stakeholders and provide a report including recommendations for any improvements identified to PISC and the CRRDCC.

12.2 Report to the Ministerial Council

The Parties will ensure that a report is prepared on the independent review of the National RD&E Framework performance and that the report is provided to PIMC. This will be within three months of the review being completed together with comments on the outcome of the review and recommendations for improvements, including possible changes.

Part VII. Miscellaneous

​​​13. Working Cooperatively

Parties agree to work cooperatively and collaboratively to develop and implement the National RD&E Framework and sector and cross sector strategies within the agreed timeframe.

14. Amendments to the National RD&E Framework

Amendments to the National RD&E framework can be made by agreement between the Parties.

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