CSIRO in new commitment with Victoria on food

tHE CSIRO has established the Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences this month in a new research collaboration with the Victorian Government.

The new Division maintains the full food and nutrition research capability and research portfolio that was operated by Food Science Australia (FSA), a joint venture of CSIRO and the Victorian Government, and CSIRO Human Nutrition.

FSA CEO Professor Alan Bell said that the creation of the new Division will enable both CSIRO and the Victorian Government to maintain their commitment to provide research to support the Australian food industry and the well-being of the Australian community.

“Food industry viability and sustainability, food security and safety, and the prevention of diet and lifestyle related diseases are important issues, both in Australia and globally, and our science has an important role in assisting government, industry and the community to deal with those issues,” Professor Bell said.

“This new arrangement will lead to better research partnerships between all levels of Government and industry throughout Australia, ensuring we use our unique combination of food manufacturing and nutrition research capability to develop a healthier Australian food industry and a healthier Australian community,” Prof Bell said.

Dr Bruce Kefford, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Primary Industries of Victoria (DPI) said that the continued relationship with CSIRO will ensure support to Victoria’s food industry.

“Victoria is home to a large part of Australian food manufacturing, Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, so we’re pleased that our partnership with CSIRO forged through Food Science Australia since 1997 will continue, albeit in a different form,” he said.

CSIRO and DPI are negotiating a new research agreement that will enable continued long-term strategic cooperation and co-investment in food and nutrition research.

Food Science Australia will continue until the new agreement takes effect to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements.

Professor Bell indicated that CSIRO is presently conducting an international search for a Chief to lead the new Division, which builds on a formal link established between FSA and CSIRO Human Nutrition in 2005.

“Internally we’ve been working towards this for some time, so while the transition from FSA to CSIRO will occur over the rest of this year, it will be a smooth and beneficial transition as far as our clients and research partners are concerned.

“Ultimately it will lead to better outcomes for industry and community,” Professor Bell said.

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