SRA has committed to a more directed investment process that reflects the prioritisation of industry needs. To assist SRA in developing a rational and defendable investment prioritisation process and framework that is based on industry needs and economic modelling, a formal Milling Research Program was developed to define SRA’s strategy for funding milling research and determine where the short (2 years), medium (5 years) and long term (10 years) investment priorities lie for Australian milling RD&A. Extensive industry consultation involving interviews with mill CEOs, workshops with researchers and technical experts from mills, and commercial input from milling companies, provided the basis for developing this program.
The Small Milling Research Project (SMRP) investment scheme is an initiative to invest in lower cost, short-term, industry-identified and preferably industry-led research projects to develop a product, service or process that will solve targeted problems in sugar mills and deliver tangible outputs with almost immediate outcomes.
In the process, the scheme will strengthen collaborations between industry and research through the direct involvement of the milling sector in SMRPs and increase research skills and capability in sugar mills.
SMRP investment by SRA will be restricted to a maximum of $75,000 per project, with the entire scheme capped at $250,000 per year. There is also a capital expenditure restriction on SMRP investments to a maximum of $5,000 per project. All successful projects are expected to be completed within 12-months of the starting date.