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Arena 4 - Emerging Industries

Emerging Industries

Highlights and achievements

1. Developed an industry blueprint for the emerging seaweed industry in Australia. The project involved key representatives of Government, regulatory organisations, entrepreneurs, corporates, regulators, funders and a wide range of seaweed industry specialists and seaweed research organisations nationally to develop an understanding of the future key research development and extension priorities for seaweed to accelerate industry growth. The seaweed industry’s forecast growth is projected to create new coastal jobs helping protect and regenerate waterways and contribute to greenhouse gas reduction.

2. Development of sesame as a high-value summer cropping alternative in Australia with the rollout of commercial R&D field trials using new shatterproof varieties to improve harvest yield and to capitalise on new markets with increased global demand for sesame seed and sesame oil.

3. Created an unmatched DNA-based genomic resource for Australian livestock herding dogs, including 12 whole-genome sequences from Australian Kelpies and electronic DNA scan data from 320 Kelpies, as well as smaller numbers of samples of other breeds. A new genetic database and new knowledge relating to the value of livestock herding dogs in Australia and identified key traits.

4. Generated a business case to support the development of a world first industrial hemp variety trial program nationally across Australia. The business case outlines the system to enable the independent assessment of industrial hemp varieties that consistently deliver high quality and high yielding products across a range of Australian locations and environments for the commercial benefit of growers and the entire supply chain.

Summary of program

In 2019-20 AgriFutures Emerging Industries program further developed a refined three phase maturity model to guide investment and provide support to the many industries targeted for growth. The three major phases have included:

1. Building early stage clusters (actual industry GVP up to $2 million per annum),

  Early stage support of up to one year to conduct viability assessments, identify areas for potential RD&E, and portfolio building or market development activities that will help guide industry formation, feasibility and growth

2. Growing industry capability (actual industry GVP $2 million and up to $10 million per annum),

  Funding of up to two years for collaborative RD&E projects to resolve key technical challenges and RD&E programs to accelerate growth and development to achieve a GVP of $10 million

3. Expanding toward established and/or levied industries – (actual industry GVP $10 million per annum or greater)

  Projects up to two years to support continuity of a newly emerged industry to sustain growth and development.

This has enabled greater clarity towards accelerating industries towards $10 million GVP per annum.

Procurement in 2019-20 has been guided by the three-phase approach and also resulted in greater value chain integration for all newly contracted projects with most projects having commercial partners in their R, D and E projects.

Deliverables for 2019-20

High-potential emerging rural industries established.

In 2019-20, several research projects delivered for the Emerging Industries program including:

  Methods for improved tenderness of alpaca carcases using different processing techniques

  Determining pregnancy status in camel   Fact Sheet Australian Hemp Conference 2020 - Proceedings

  Seaweed Industry Blueprint – Strategic Plan

  Insect RDE Strategy

  Australian Truffle Orchards Pest and Disease Field Guide

  Australian Truffle Orchards Integrated Pest and Disease Management Manual

  Pests and diseases of truffles and their host trees in Australia - handbook

  National Industrial Hemp Variety Trial Fact Sheet

Advisory Panel Members:

  Brian Ruddle (Chair)
  Susan Wilson (Deputy Chair)
  Angeline Achariya
  Mila Bristow
  John Lever
  Ann Ross
  Ian Smith
  Will Taing

 Christopher McLoghlin

 Tom McCue

Total program expenses 2017-18: $1,644,300

Total program expenses 2018-19: $1,217,133

Total program expenses 2019-20: $2,588,926

Projects completed in 2019-20

Outcomes in 2019-20


Determining pregnancy status in camels

Fact Sheet

The project successfully developed and validated a reliable blood sampling tool for determining pregnancy status of feral camels. It is expected that the technique will be easily adopted by veterinarians working with feral camels.


Commencing implementation of a genetic evaluation system for livestock working dogs

The project successfully developed a system, tools and resources for the genetic evaluation of valuable phenotypic traits of working dogs. It also established a new database resource that will enable the collection, curation and analysis of livestock herding ability in dog performance data.


Leptospermum Plant Breeding Program for Development of High Grade Manuka Honey

The Leptospermum Plant Breeding program achieved many trait objectives in the green house and in field trials.


Catalysing a $10M Australian Insect Industry: an industry-led RD&E plan

Development of a roadmap to provide the Australian insect industry with growth strategies, market differentiation with other proteins/animal feed sources, and positioning for downstream processing and markets. Furthermore, it will fast-track the Australian industry towards being recognised as a global leader in insect farming and enable producers to capitalise on Australia’s unique opportunities and competitive advantages.


Australian Industrial Hemp Conference 2020 – Proceedings

AgriFutures sponsored the Conference held in Fremantle and proceedings that culminated from 247 delegates, 47 expert speakers and 20 exhibitors including topics on:

Industrial hemp production for cannabidiol (CBD); seed supply for Australia; crop agronomy; food and health products; fibre and material products and Industry cooperation and investment opportunities


Research and Development Extension for the Truffle Industry

Published: Australian Truffle Orchards Pest and Disease

Field Guide

Published: Australian Truffle Orchards Integrated Pest and Disease Management Manual

Published: Pests and diseases of truffles and their host trees in Australia

This communications focused project catalogued and described the most destructive of truffle pests and set the framework for the DNA survey of soil to assist in determining the presence of pest species, which otherwise may not have been noticed because of their cryptic or nocturnal activities