We would like to announce that the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT) will be undergoing a name change and will continue its work as the Agrifood Innovation Institute (AFII) in the new year. The name change reflects the evolution of our mission and scope, as well as our status as an ANU Innovation Institute.
CEAT was established in July 2018 as a joint initiative between the ANU and CSIRO, with support and funding through the Priority Investment Program from the ACT Government. CEAT achieved ANU Innovation Institute status in 2020. The ANU committed a further $12 million earlier this year for CEAT to continue operations for a further five years. We see this as recognition of CEAT’s achievement and impact to date. Our re-branding into the Agrifood Innovation Institute follows several months of strategic planning for the next five-year phase of our journey, and reflects the evolution of our mission and scope in the agrifood domain to encompass more than just agri-technology. Building upon the foundations of CEAT, AFII will have a wider scope that will tackle complex agrifood challenges using the full interdisciplinary capabilities of ANU including those in both the STEM (science, technology and engineering) and HASS (humanities, arts and social sciences) domains.
Over the next five years, AFII will focus on strategic issues facing the agrifood sector, its structure, pain points, challenges, aspirations and stakeholders’ needs. The Institute will seek to leverage the capabilities of the ANU to help the agrifood sector shift to a more sustainable, profitable and equitable future. We will continue to do this through our three programs: Research Translation, Innovation Training, and our Innovation Hub.
We will be focussing our efforts toward six thematic interests over the next five years. These are:
- Climate Ready Crops: Improving crop productivity and climate resilience
- Biosecurity and One Health: Minimising the impact of pests and diseases
- Bioeconomy: Capitalising on changes in consumer demands for sustainable food production
- Trade and Supply Chains: Developing transparent, equitable and efficient food supply chains
- Agrifood Energy Transitions: Boosting profitability/sustainability through renewable energy technologies
- Emissions and Climate Adaptation: Reducing emissions and increasing climate resilience
We are also pleased to announce that AFII has appointed a new Deputy Director, Associate Professor Alison Bentley. A new Board has also been appointed to replace the former Governance Committee. They will help steer the strategy and performance of the Institute over the next five years. Other operational elements remain largely unchanged.
We look forward to building on our existing relationships and developing further collaborations and partnerships across this space. If you are interested in working with us to tackle complex agrifood challenges, reach out to us at [email protected].