Rural Research and Development for Profit

​​​​​​​​​​​​The Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit program boosts funding to the rural research and development corporations (RDCs) for nationally coordinated, strategic research that delivers real outcomes for Australian producers.

The total funding available for the program is $157 million over eight years, ending on 30 June 2022.

Keeping Australian farmers at the cutting edge

The Rural R&D for Profit program aims to improve farm-gate productivity and profitability and deliver real outcomes for Australian farmers.

To be eligible for grant funding, RDCs must partner with one or more researchers, research agencies, RDCs, funding bodies, or businesses. The program guidelines provide further details of the eligibility and funding criteria.

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Round 4 Rural Research and Development for Profit

Round four applications closed on 5 December 2018.

Successful round four projects will be announced in due course. Projects currently announced are listed below.

Project titleApplicantGrant funding awarded
(GST excl)
Applicant/partner contributions (GST excl.)ContributorsSummary
Honey bee genetic improvement programRural Industries Research and Development Corporation$ 1,646,838.00$1372500 cash
$721,223 in-kind
NSW Department of Primary Industries, University of Sydney, University of New England, Wheen Bee Foundation, Better Bees WAThe project will benefit multiple industries by creating a more profitable and sustainable beekeeping industry, improving crop pollination efficiencies, and enhancing the security of pollination services. This project aims to foster a sustainable national genetic improvement program using innovative breeding technologies to transform the performance of honey bees in Australia - benefiting the honey industry and horticulture and broadacre industries dependent on honey bee pollination. Improving the genetics of honey bees is expected to generate gains of over $41 million in honey production, essential for ensuring the economic viability of beekeeping. This becomes vital given the annual economic value of pollination services provided by honey bees in Australia is estimated at $14.2 billion, which is 140 times greater than the $100 million annual value of honey produced.

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Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit Program Guidelines PDF31186 KB
Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit Program Guidelines DOCX31272 KB

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Mid program evaluation

Grosvenor Management Consulting were engaged to undertake a mid-program evaluation of the Rural R&D for Profit program. A final report was delivered to the department of 15 December 2017, which indicates the program is on track to achieve long term objectives. Further detail can be found in the full report.

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Evaluation of the Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit program PDF811.33 MB
Evaluation of the Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit program DOCX81272 KB

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Round 3 Rural Research and Development for Profit

Round three applications closed at 5pm AEDT on 6 December 2016.

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, approved funding of $35.8 million (GST exclusive) for seven projects under round three of the program.

The projects cover a range of collaborative and innovative research activities including turning animal industry waste into profitable products, improving plant pest management through the use of new technologies, using dung beetles to improve animal and soil health in the livestock industry, and improving forecasting and management of extreme climate events.

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Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit Grant program guidelines PDF15260 KB
Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit Grant program guidelines DOCX1584 KB

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Round 2 Rural Research and Development for Profit

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, approved funding of $52.2 million (GST exclusive) for 17 projects under round two of the program.

The projects cover a range of innovative and cross-sectoral research activities including improving productivity and profitability for pollen dependant crops, technologies to better measure meat value chains, reducing the use of phosphorus fertiliser in pasture grazing systems, investigating the use of virtual fencing technology for livestock and improving nitrogen use efficiency in cotton, dairy, sugar and horticulture industries.

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Rural R&D for Profit round two guidelines PDF16786 KB
Rural R&D for Profit round two guidelines DOCX16447 KB

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Round 1 Rural Research and Development for Profit

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, approved funding of $26.7 million (GST exclusive) for 12 projects under round one of the program.

The projects cover innovative R&D projects including improved irrigation practices, biological control of weeds and pests, using the latest imaging and robotic technologies to improve yield from some tree crops and development of the Southern Australia aquaculture industry.

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Rural R&D for Profit round one guidelines PDF14620 KB
Rural R&D for Profit round one guidelines DOCX14406 KB

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About the program

Objective

The Rural R&D for Profit program aims to realise productivity and profitability improvements for primary producers through:

  • generating knowledge, technologies, products or processes that benefit primary producers
  • strengthening pathways to extend the results of rural R&D, including understanding the barriers to adoption
  • establishing and fostering industry and research collaborations that form the basis for ongoing innovation and growth of Australian agriculture.

Research projects must address one or more of the new rural research development and extension (RD&E) funding priorities announced in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, which fall into four areas:

  • Advanced technology, to enhance innovation of products, processes and practices across the food and fibre supply chains through technologies such as robotics, digitisation, big data, genetics and precision agriculture;
  • Biosecurity, to improve understanding and evidence of pest and disease pathways to help direct biosecurity resources to their best uses, minimising biosecurity threats and improving market access for primary producers;
  • Soil, water and managing natural resources, to manage soil health, improve water use efficiency and certainty of supply, sustainably develop new production areas and improve resilience to climate events and impacts; and
  • Adoption of R&D, focusing on flexible delivery of extension services that meet primary producers’ needs and recognising the growing role of private service delivery.

More details on the RD&E priorities can be found in the program guidelines.

Who can apply

The program’s funds have been fully allocated over the four funding rounds. No further rounds will be offered and no further applications can be accepted.

The 15 rural RDCs were eligible to apply for funding. The RDCs invest in RD&E across many primary industries including meat and livestock, dairy, grains, horticulture, fisheries and forestry.

The RDCs were required to collaborate with other partners such as researchers, funding agencies, universities, producer groups and the private sector to be eligible for funding.

Contact us

Telephone: 02 6272 5603
Email: Rural Research

Postal address:

Rural R&D for Profit
Agricultural Policy Division
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601

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Rural R&D for profit video

Transcript DOCX [24 KB, 2 pages]