The Future Food Systems research team is drawn from six leading Australia research and teaching universities, three state and territory government R&D bodies and The George Institute for Global Health. Covering all skillsets relevant to the food value chain, the consortium brings integrated capability and a world-class network of laboratories to Australia’s future food industry.
A primary aim in forming the consortium was to accelerate uptake of advanced STEM technologies across the sector. Many CRC projects bring together specialists from fields not typically associated with the food industry, such as AI and computing, digital analytics, medicine, energy and urban planning. This creates exciting opportunities for cross-fertilisation and will help build the skilled future workforce our agrifood sector needs to be globally competitive.
Also important was ensuring a wide geographic and cultural range. Future Food Systems has a research presence in key future food regions in Western, Eastern and Northern Australia as well as in urban and regional communities and client bases.
The involvement of government research bodies in Western Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory, and of international research group the George Institute, adds critical expertise across regulatory, market development and policy fields.
University of New South Wales (UNSW)
As a leading global STEM-based research and education institution, University of NSW brings advanced laboratories equipped with cutting-edge equipment and instrumentation and a wealth of expertise across the disciplines of food science, biomedical and chemical engineering, advanced manufacturing, information technology, robotics, urban and peri-urban infrastructure planning, medicine and community health, and environmental solutions (energy, water, waste).
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Through its specialised research centres including the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities (CTCB); Institute for Future Environments; and Central Analytical Research Facility (CARF), Queensland University of Technology brings expertise across urban planning; logistics; advanced robotics; high-value tropical and indigenous crops and products containing them; and digital, interactive spatial data visualisation, as well as expertise in Northern Australian industry and environment. Its state-of-the-art facilities include campuses and annexes across Southern and Northern Queensland.
Murdoch University brings advanced facilities and capabilities to Future Food Systems projects around provenance, health and nutrition as well as crop health and productivity through its Food Futures Institute (FFI), Health Futures Institute (HFI) and world-leading, Bruker-equipped Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC). The university’s Asia Research Centre has valuable data and expertise on markets for Australian food, beverage and nutraceutical products across the Asian region.
Western Sydney University (WSU)
A national leader in horticultural innovation, Western Sydney University (WSU) brings critical expertise in plant science and agronomy to Future Food Systems. Its state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories for protected-cropping research include the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) and 18,000m2 National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre, the latter a joint venture with Hort Innovation. WSU also houses the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), with laboratories and clinicians specialised in developing plant-based nutraceutical and precision nutrition products.
University of New England (UNE)
Located in Armidale, at the heart of NSW’s Northern Rivers agricultural region, University of New England (UNE) brings expertise across agronomy; agricultural productivity; agrifood-related policy and economics; biological science; digitally enabled ‘smart’ farming; and, via its Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Centre (AARSC), remote sensing technology – and maps based on this technology – to Future Food Systems.
Charles Darwin University (CDU)
Charles Darwin University in Australia’s Northern Territory brings valuable knowledge about tropical and arid environments; sustainable production solutions for ephemeral wetland crops; the cultivation and uses of indigenous crops and foods, including health claims for traditional medicinal plants; and community health initiatives to Future Food Systems, in particular through its Northern Institute and Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL).
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
NSW DPI’s research and development arm conducts field research at experimental trial sites statewide, providing valuable datasets on land use, crops, weeds and other variables. It brings significant expertise in industry development; trade; policy innovation; sustainable production systems; and the implications of regional crop and food-related developments for policymakers and communities to Future Food Systems.
WA Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development (DPIRD)
Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) works with nine Regional Development Commissions across WA. It has strong capabilities in planning and implementing regional development and drives industry capability and export readiness across WA’s agrifood sector. The department also supports food industry innovation and the growth of regional food clusters and agribusiness ventures statewide, notably at the new Food Innovation Precinct Western Australia (FIPWA) and its Food Technology Facility (FTF), supported by Future Food Systems.
NT Department of Primary Industry & Resources (DPIR)
The Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT) has offices and research stations in each major region of the NT and aggregates many of the key functions that drive economic development on NT lands, coastal areas and inland waterways, including energy, fisheries, livestock, horticulture and agriculture. Its regulatory and research functions extend across Aboriginal economic development and community engagement; and agribusiness enterprise development, investment attraction and market development. DITT plays a key role in initiatives to develop and commercialise innovation crops and production systems in the NT.
The George Institute for Global Health
The George Institute for Global Health produces high-quality, high-impact evidence to inform policy, guidelines and practices across the world and is a leader in the global drive to improve health outcomes through better nutrition. Its FoodSwitch program has a national and international database on packaged foods and comparisons among them with respect to various health and nutritional attributes. The George Institute has global expertise in planning, implementing and analysing the outcomes of large-scale community-health initiatives; comprehensive epidemiological datasets; and the labs, equipment and personnel needed to conduct clinical trials.