The Australian Food and Grocery Council has welcomed the first round of the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Program, saying it will boost innovation and productivity capability in the food sector.
The Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Program offers funding schemes to both university-based researchers and industries, encouraging R&D projects that could help solve the big problems facing industries today.
The program will deliver more than $23m to drive innovation and productivity in the food industry.
AFGC CEO, Gary Dawson, said "Innovation is of critical importance to Australia’s $110b food and grocery manufacturing industry. This important investment will be a significant boost to Australia’s potential to become a food manufacturing hub for the Asian Century.
"The AFGC has long supported enhanced collaboration between the food industry, research agencies and both large and small companies in the food manufacturing sector to unlock the innovative capacity of Australia’s advanced food manufacturing sector," he said.
Dawson congratulated food companies Kraft Foods Australia, The Smith’s Snackfood Company Limited and Simplot Australia for being part of successful applications.
"The preparedness of globally significant companies to make major co-investments in establishing research hubs and training centres signals confidence in the strength of the Australian food manufacturing sector," he said.
Dawson also used the opportunity to share his excitement on a similar project, supported by the AFGC and aimed at combatting international competition.
"We are also pleased that the University of Queensland, with the support of the AFGC and member companies Simplot Australia, SunRice, Goodman Fielder, Pepsico ANZ and Campbell-Arnott's can begin work on its $2.7m project that aims to help food processing and manufacturing companies meet the increasing threats of international competition. This training centre project further underlines the collaborative working partnership between our two organisations," he said.
"Innovation is at the heart of the industry's vision for a competitive future and it maintains a huge potential for growth into Asia. The Industrial Transformation Research Program will greatly benefit the food processing industry to able to compete on a global stage and maintain its strong domestic operational presence."