Grants open for agriculture innovators

With individual grants of up to $22,000 on offer, young agricultural innovators are being encouraged to apply for the 2021 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Applications close at 5pm AEST on Friday 2 October 2020.

Dr Robyn Cleland, acting chief scientist (agriculture) with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, urged applicants to start working on their applications now.

“The Science Awards is a rewarding and valuable grant opportunity that funds innovative projects that will address long standing issues in the agriculture sector,” Dr Cleland said.

“The range of projects we receive each year from our next generation of researchers, innovators and others impress me with their creative approaches to a wide range of industry issues. So I’m looking forward to seeing the applications in the 2021 round.

“I’d encourage anyone committed to the future success and sustainability of Australia’s agriculture sector to visit the Science Awards website and get started on their application.”

The Science and Innovation Awards is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the industry award partners which support the 10 award categories.

“The contribution from our industry partners in supporting each of the award categories is an essential part of the success of the grant program, and I thank them for their continued support and investment,” Cleland said.

The Science and Innovation Awards is a competitive grants program open to 18-35 year olds to undertake new and creative scientific-based research to benefit Australia’s agricultural industries.

There are 10 individual award categories available, with the opportunity to share in up to $220,000 in grants.

Grants keep food supply businesses going

Food production businesses and farms in Victoria will be supported in making their workplace safe and keeping supply chains uninterrupted due to support from the Victorian Government.

Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes, recently launched the Business Adaptation grants program – part of the Working for Victoria Agriculture Workforce Plan – to support food supply chain businesses in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas.

Under the program, individual grants of between $10,000 and $300,000 will support eligible businesses to meet the costs of adapting their workplaces to meet health, safety and social distancing requirements or adapt to business changes imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Adaptations may include changes to transport used to take employees to and from work to ensure physical distancing, changes to employer-supplied accommodation, or the creation of extra washrooms and other facilities.

Grants can also be used to buy machinery or appliances needed by businesses to adapt to maintaining operations during the pandemic.

Each grant will cover up to 50 per cent of the costs of individual adaptation projects, with the remainder to be covered by the business.

The Business Adaptation grants are part of the broader $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan supporting regional businesses across Victoria during the coronavirus pandemic. The Plan is supporting businesses within key agriculture and food processing industries through job-matching, case management, worker relocation needs, transport and training.

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