Cultivating a shared vision for agricultural innovation

​Our agricultural innovation system is world-leading but Australia’s agriculture sector faces unprecedented change. Changing global markets, increasing international competition, technological disruption, changing industry structures, and climate and water related risk present a myriad of opportunities and challenges for Australian agriculture.

The department, in conjunction with Ernst & Young (EY), will undertake a comprehensive consultation process with stakeholders across the agricultural innovation system, including research providers, rural research and development corporations, industry representatives, governments, investors, start-ups and accelerators, producers, grower and farm systems groups, processors and retailers.

This project will create a shared vision for the future of the agricultural innovation system and enable opportunities for a vibrant agricultural sector. The vision will be designed through engagement with stakeholders who were involved in the consultation.

We want to hear from stakeholders who participate across the many components of the agricultural innovation system to develop a clearer pathway for research, development and extension to boost productivity and growth in the agricultural sector.

The project will also investigate best practice systems for innovation across Australia and around the globe, both within and outside the agriculture sector.

Key areas of focus include:

  • improving adoption of Australian research outcomes, including faster commercialisation of products
  • increasing private and foreign investment in Australian research and Agtech development
  • optimising rural research and development investments, so that our investments are targeted to activities that will maximise productivity and ensure the long term prosperity of the Australian agriculture sector
  • improving collaboration across the agricultural innovation system and reducing duplication.

Have something to contribute? You can contact the team with your suggestions. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #cultivateaginnovation

Project insights

Over the coming months, we will publish regular updates on the results of our stakeholder engagement and the developing vision.

15 October 2018

The joint EY and department team have now conducted more than 120 interviews in the first phase of the project.

The team has have interviewed a wide range of stakeholders involved in the agricultural innovation system in all capital cities and will shortly be heading to some of our regional centres to continue gathering information.

Opinions on the future of agricultural innovation vary but most stakeholders interviewed to date agree that innovation is key to encouraging transformational productivity growth in the sector. The agricultural sector must be prepared to meet the challenges of the coming decades and a shared vision for a future-fit agricultural innovation system is a vital part of that work.

Some topics that have been regularly discussed include:

  • the need for greater collaboration throughout the system
  • addressing the challenge of attracting, developing and retaining the next generation of talent across the agricultural sector
  • an increased focus on the end-user and consumers’ needs to encourage the development and adoption of validated innovation across the full value chain.

International research and consultation is underway with a focus on countries with strong innovation models such as the USA, Israel, China, the Netherlands and Brazil.

Workshops are the next key phase of the project as we begin to develop and test the themes identified for the shared vision with a number of key stakeholders.


14 September 2018

A vision for farming and a road map to rural innovation — Minister David Littleproud media release

Consultation dashboard

The joint department and EY consultation team will travel across the country to meet with stakeholders across capital cities and regional centres. We will be meeting face-to-face, holding workshops, getting on the phone and attending agricultural events to hear what is working and what needs to be improved.

The consultation will involve two phases. Phase one will focus on listening to a wide range of stakeholder views to identify options for ensuring our agricultural innovation system is fit for the future.  Phase two will test our key findings from the first phase and focus on co-designing the shared vision. The insights gathered through these two phases will be supplemented by research of best practice from around the globe.


11–13 SeptemberCanberra
14 SeptemberWagga Wagga
17–18 SeptemberAdelaide
19–21 SeptemberMelbourne
24–26 SeptemberSydney
28 SeptemberCanberra
2–5 OctoberCanberra, Perth and Melbourne
8–10 OctoberLaunceston and Hobart
11–12 OctoberBrisbane

Further consultations to be scheduled

​ ​