21 December, 2021
A series of workshops to formulate SRA’s future research investment plans will be conducted from December to March, with plans expected to be finalised by mid-2022.
SRA’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026 identified five research missions grounded in industry’s greatest challenges and opportunities – the things that ‘keep industry up at night’.
Executive Manager Commercial Development Duncan Ferguson said the move to a mission-orientated research agenda is about driving maximum impact and value and means a significant change in SRA’s approach to research investment.
“Emphasis will shift from investing in individual projects, to entire programs of research that support the development of solutions that can be adopted or commercialised,” Duncan said.
“We’ll define all of the components that are required to solve a problem and then strategically invest in those areas, he said. “It might be a test for disease, a digital solution and the decisions that need to be made on farm as the management practice. It’s about how all of those components come together.”
Duncan said the new approach would mean a different relationship with the research community and collaborators, and the formation of multi-disciplinary teams.
“It could mean working with a researcher, an ag supply company, an industry stakeholder themselves, or even someone who’s not in the industry right now but could bring a new technology or approach.
“Rather than just having them engaged in a project, we’ll actually get them engaged in a whole solution and have a very clear narrative about where their role sits. It’s about the solution to deliver biggest impact, in the fastest time, at the least cost.”
Duncan said the new investment approach required new processes and engagement models with industry and the research community, as well as prioritisation of the problems and issues to be solved. That’s where the research investment planning workshops are important.
“We’re going to work very closely with the industry and research stakeholders to identify what needs to be done.”