Drought Hubs to broaden their focus

6 October 2021
  • The eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs will be given $20 million in additional funding to undertake broader agricultural innovation activities
  • The Hubs will also be able to expand their remit into fisheries and aquaculture
  • Trialling new technologies and practices is a high priority
  • This funding builds on the $66 million commitment to the Hubs through the Future Drought Fund

The Australian Government is expanding the focus of the eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs across the country to catalyse agricultural innovation, drive commercialisation and create jobs.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the Australian Government was providing a further $20 million to develop regionally focused and responsive innovation and adoption strategies and to undertake activities.

“This investment is the next phase in the evolution of the Drought Hubs from being just drought focused to being focused on innovation more broadly,” Minister Littleproud said.

“These hubs are key to unlocking the potential of the agricultural innovation system, enabling people to collaborate and deliver regionally targeted productivity gains.

“The hubs will further build connections between researchers, technology developers, investors, producers and agribusinesses to drive innovation and digital technology uptake across industry and the supply-chain.

“The hubs will always be a shopfront for farmers to access innovative technologies and practices that enable them to be more prepared and resilient to drought.

“Now, as part of the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda, we are extending their remit into broader agricultural innovation activities and outcomes.

“Expanding the existing Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs beyond their current remit of drought resilience into broader agricultural innovation activities and outcomes is a key part of the agenda. 

“The Hubs already provide an important physical platform for stakeholders from across the agricultural innovation system to come together and translate research and knowledge to make real impact on the ground. 

“Now they can extend their plans beyond drought preparedness and bring additional stakeholders from the broader agricultural innovation system into that process. 

“We will be working with the Hubs over the coming months to co-design and determine how they can expand to support the delivery of the priorities.

“We will continue provide the right conditions and help the agricultural sector to modernise, improve, innovate and grow.”

For more details about the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda visit here

For more information about the Hubs visit here

Fast Facts:

  • Under the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda, the government is providing additional funding to the eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs to expand beyond their current remit of drought resilience to broader agricultural innovation outcomes. 
  • $20 million in additional funding for the Hubs to undertake broader agricultural innovation activities will lead to uptake of innovation by producers, stimulate collaboration and increase commercialisation.
  • The key activities of the hubs will include: 
    • developing regionally focused and responsive innovation and adoption strategies 
    • providing a local “shopfront” to access to knowledge, advice and support
    • collating knowledge relevant to the region so it is accessible and available for adoption, and to understand knowledge gaps and priorities
    • trialling of new technologies and practices that are high priority 
    • demonstration, extension and communication to support uptake and scaling up of successful innovations
    • working with researchers to improve their ability to co-design research, so it delivers to end-user needs and context
    • developing and supporting use of information and decision support tools that help farmers understand and respond to risks and opportunities
    • attracting commercial investors and supporting commercialisation 
    • building regionally-based entrepreneurial skills and leadership
    • linking with the Research and Development Corporations, where it makes sense
  • The hubs were established through the forward-thinking Future Drought Fund – a long term, sustained investment of $100 million each year to build drought preparedness and resilience.
  • An independent Advisory Committee chaired by Mr Brent Finlay provides oversight across the Hubs, supporting them to become interconnected agricultural precincts.
  • The eight existing Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs are located in regional areas that reflect the key agricultural and climatic zones across the country, including:
    • Southern NSW
    • Southern Queensland/Northern NSW
    • South-West WA
    • Victoria
    • Northern WA/NT
    • Tropical North Queensland
    • South Australia
    • Tasmania