Published: 16 October 2012
Alliance to beef up research across northern Australia
Scientists from The University of Queensland, the Queensland Government and the CSIRO have joined together to form the Northern Beef Research Alliance (NBRA).
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman today launched the new research alliance designed to help boost the fortunes of the $5 billion northern beef industry.
UQ's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj joined Mr Newman, Dr Greg Harper from the CSIRO and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh to launch NBRA.
UQ's Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) will coordinate research efforts with colleagues from the Queensland Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and Australia's national science agency, the CSIRO.
Professor Høj said applied research had a proven record in stimulating economic growth, and the alliance would pool the expertise of about 100 researchers with a focus on the northern beef industry.
“UQ's standing as a top global university includes a ranking of 12th in the world for agriculture and 18th for plant and animal science, and we are pleased to lend this strength to improve the competitiveness of a key industry in a tough trading environment,” Professor Peter Høj.
Mr Newman said the NBRA brought together scientists from UQ, the Queensland Government and the CSIRO and would improve the coordination of scientific expertise that would drive the prosperity of a vital Queensland industry.
“The Queensland Government is delighted to be partnering with UQ and CSIRO to deliver State-wide returns for beef producers through a more coordinated approach to research,” Mr Newman said.
“The NBRA will identify shared research projects to improve the productivity and profitability of Queensland's beef industry and will bring together the nation's leaders in beef cattle genetics, reproduction, nutrition, health, welfare, husbandry and grazing land management,” he said.
“This work will help meet the Government's target of doubling food production by 2040.”
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the development of Queensland's beef industry was vital, not only for Queensland but for the nation generally.
“The NBRA is one of several new strategies which will underpin Queensland's wider economic growth, resulting in a more productive and resilient economy,” Mr McVeigh said.
“The Government expects its research partnership with UQ, the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), to continue to play a key role in the development of productivity gains in the agriculture sector,” he said.
“There is considerable potential for the northern beef industry to provide significant and sustained wealth creation.”
Dr Greg Harper, Director of External Engagement, CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences, said the Northern Beef Research Alliance was an ideal way to make the most of precious resources.
“This Alliance continues CSIRO's long history of partnering for innovation for the northern beef industry,” Dr Harper said.
“It makes good sense to team up to find solutions to industry challenges and take advantage of innovation opportunities.”
“The Northern Beef Research Alliance will work together to solve some of the key questions affecting northern production such as reproduction efficiency, optimisation of growth pathways and low stress animal husbandry procedures.”
Collectively NBRA members are currently responsible for some $9 million in northern beef research projects, forming a solid foundation for future scientific investigation targeted at the needs of industry.
Media: QAAFI: Ron Hohenhaus – 0417 425 510
The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) is a UQ research institute which was formed under an alliance with the Queensland Government in 2010. QAAFI draws together 100 research teams specialising in plant, animal and food sciences from 12 UQ and Queensland Government sites across the state, and remains focused on improving tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors through high-impact science.
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