A new era in drought resilience research and innovation

19 April 2021
  • Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs launched across Australia
  • The eight Hubs are part of the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund and the centrepiece of the $88 million Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program
  • Each Hub will provide a shopfront where farmers, agribusinesses and communities can connect with drought resilience expertise
  • A Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs Advisory Committee will oversee the national coordination of Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs
  • An Investment Plan will identify national research and adoption priorities and inform investment in drought resilience.

Eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs will now be established as part of the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund.  

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said a $66 million investment from the Australian Government has leveraged an additional $114 million in co-contributions with a total of 143 partner organisations across the eight Hubs. 

“These Hubs will bring together farmers, industry, agribusinesses and communities to connect with drought resilience expertise and contribute to the design of innovative technologies and practices. 

“Innovation, driving the development and adoption of new drought resilient technologies and practices, is a central strategy under the Fund.

“Each Hub will service a broad area and respond to the needs and conditions of their region. A ‘hub and spoke’ model is being used to provide shopfronts across regional Australia.

“The hubs bring together organisations working across research, development, extension, adoption and commercialisation, and get them working together in response to the needs of farmers, agribusiness and communities in their region. 

“There’s a lot of good research already being done. These Hubs will focus on translating research into impact through a focus on development, extension, adoption and commercialisation. 

“This will be done with farmers, not to farmers, through a strong focus engagement, co-design and collaboration with the ultimate users of innovation support – farmers, agribusinesses, natural resource managers, and farming communities.

An independent Advisory Committee, chaired by Brent Finlay, will provide oversight across the Hubs. The Committee will be supported by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

“Using their broad range of expertise the Committee will connect the Hubs to each other, to national priorities and identify opportunities to support transformational change,” Minister Littleproud said.

“In addition to the Hubs identifying regional priorities a National Investment Plan will be developed to assist shape future investment in drought research and adoption. 

“Development of the National Investment Plan will involve close engagement and be co-designed with our farmers, industry, farming groups and communities, agri-research and extension sectors, the Hubs and the Research and Development Corporations. 
“Once finalised the National Investment Plan will also ensure activities of regionally focused Adoption and Innovation Hubs are informed by national, as well as regional priorities.”

The Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs Advisory Committee are independent of the Future Drought Fund’s Consultative Committee who advise on the Drought Resilience Funding Plan, ensuring all Future Drought Fund programs are consistent with the Plan.

Find out more about the Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program here https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/future-drought-fund…

Fast Facts:

  • The eight Adoption and Innovation Hubs are:

           - Southern NSW Hub, Wagga Wagga (hub lead, Charles Sturt University)
           - Tropical North Queensland Hub, Cairns (hub lead, James Cook University)
           - Southern Queensland/Northern NSW Hub, Toowoomba (hub lead, University of Southern Queensland)
           - Victoria Hub, Dookie (hub lead, University of Melbourne)
           - Tasmania Hub, Hobart (hub lead, University of Tasmania)
           - South Australia Hub, Roseworthy (hub lead, University of Adelaide)
           - South West WA Hub, Merredin Dryland Research Institute (hub lead, Grower Group Alliance)
           - Top End NT/WA Hub, Darwin (hub lead, Charles Darwin University)

  • The Hubs are a centrepiece of the $5 billion Future Drought Fund.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will lead the co-ordination of the Hubs, supporting them to become interconnected agricultural innovation precincts.
  • An independent Advisory Committee, chaired by Brent Finlay, will provide oversight across the Hubs. Committee members are Emeritus Professor James Rowe, Caroline Welsh, Dale Park, and Trent De Paoli.
  • The R&A Investment Plan will be developed in close engagement and co-design with both providers and users of innovation. Registration for workshops can occur via the project website https://consultnce.engagementhub.com.au/droughtresilience. Once you register, you will receive invitations to events and regular updates.