Funding boost for Grains Centre of Excellence

The Victorian Government is strengthening Wimmera Southern Mallee’s leadership in grains innovation with new funding to advance the region’s competitive advantage in agri-science.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford has announced $250,000 towards developing a business case for a Networked Grains Centre of Excellence to build on its industry networks.

Ms Pulford said the grains industry in the Wimmera Southern Mallee has a proud history of government and industry partnerships in grains innovation.

The Networked Grains Centre of Excellence will be a virtual centre with a focal point located at the Grains Innovation Park (GIP) in Horsham.

GIP was established as a partnership between the Victorian Government and industry in 1960. It provides the local grains industry with access to technology and expertise to support innovation.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership identified the Networked Grains Centre of Excellence as a priority in 2016, and the Labor Government provided funding in the 2017/2018 Victorian Budget.

Enhancing the Centre’s strategic partnerships with a new business model will create an opportunity to attract innovative enterprises and investment into the grains sector, and grow the reputation of Horsham as an internationally recognised innovation centre.

The announcement today follows last week’s joint funding deal with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Labor Government for a renewed five year, $52 million research agreement.

Regional Development Victoria and Agriculture Victoria have worked closely with the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership on the terms of reference for a working group to progress the project. The working group will convene in late August.

“Last year’s Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership identified the Networked Grains Centre of Excellence as a priority – we’ve listened and now we’ve delivered,” said Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford.