Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) has called for expressions of interest for its expert advisory panels, and has opened submissions for horticulture projects that align with its key themes identified in its co-investment fund.
The grower-owned industry body launched its new funding model earlier in 2015, which divides funding into two pools; Pool One invests A$60m from levies into R&D and marketing annually; Pool Two is the ‘co-investment fund’ using A$20m in government seed funds, which will be directed into specific programmes.
Hort Innovation has identified five ‘critical’ themes as part of the co-investment fund, which includes building capacity, driving growth, stimulating productivity, managing risk, and ensuring sustainability.
Under the ‘driving growth’ theme, Hort Innovation has establish its ‘Asian Markets Fund’ as one of five foundation funds that also include the Leadership & Development fund; Fruit Fly fund; Health, Nutrition & Food Safety fund; and the Green Cities fund.
The Asian Markets fund will focus on building market access and identifying growth opportunities to boost Australia’s fresh produce exports into markets across Asia, with a focus on long-term, sustainable projects.
As part of the fund, Hort Innovation has opened expressions of interest from experienced individuals to sit on the Asian Markets Expert Advisory Panel that will assist in developing projects under its four research themes: understand the market; collaborative relationships; set the standard; and value chain innovation.
Hort Innovation is also taking preliminary project proposals that fit into the key themes of the Asian Markets Funds, as well as for its other funds, which will then be shortlisted by Hort Innovation in consultation with the Asian Markets Expert Advisory Panel.
The projects are expected to be co-funded, with Hort Innovation to match each dollar co-invested.
Expressions of interest for the expert advisory panel are open until Friday 15 January 2016, while the deadline for project proposals is Friday 29 January.