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AU: Hort Innovation hosts Strategic Investment Forum with CSIRO

Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) and CSIRO representatives met at a recent Strategic Investment Forum to discuss opportunities for potential partnerships for the benefit of the Australian horticulture sector.

The purpose of the Forum was to gain a deeper understanding of each organisation’s vision, strategic direction, structure and key initiatives so areas of shared investment and potential collaboration could be identified for Hort Innovation’s new Strategic Co-investment Funding Pool (SCIFP) (Pool 2).

Hort Innovation’s SCIFP (Pool 2) will match strategic co-investment funds with at least $20 million of government seed funds annually to address cross-industry challenges and opportunities of strategic and long-term importance to Australia’s horticulture industries.

CSIRO and Hort Innovation representatives helped form the future investment strategies at the Forum, where four areas of shared alignment were identified:
1. Food safety, health and nutrition
2. Novel technologies
3. Market access
4. Consumer insights.

Hort Innovation and CSIRO agreed to share existing data sets and information to develop these areas. Additionally, three areas for ongoing collaboration and methods for evaluation of success were identified at the Forum:
1. Explore opportunities with market access to India including value chain dynamics and market intelligence
2. Identify deeper market and consumer insights of horticultural produce to ensure they are accessible to the industry and commercial value chain users
3. Explore value add opportunities of horticultural produce.

Hort Innovation CEO, Mr John Lloyd said the Forum identified key areas for strategic collaboration and the processes required to drive these initiatives forward.

“Hort Innovation is committed to working with a strategic co-investment partner like CSIRO on initiatives including Research and Development (R&D),” Mr Lloyd said.

“Our priority is to make strategic investments that seek to increase the productivity, farm gate profitability and global competitiveness of Australia’s horticulture industries.”

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