Transformational change needed to revitalise Aus agriculture

Following on from the Drought Resilience workshop hosted by CEAT in April, researchers, policy makers and industry representatives gathered again on 3 June to identify what a revitalised Australian agri-innovation system might look like.

Australia’s existing agri-innovation system focuses primarily on incremental short to medium term changes in the system. In the face of interacting and escalating global challenges, including climate change, geopolitical instability, changing energy dynamics and shifting market preferences towards sustainable and ethical agri-food systems, it is clear this slow pace of change will not be enough. To succeed, transformational change will be needed.

At the workshop, Policy Partners, through facilitated dialogue with participants, sought to:

  • identify the hallmarks of an innovation system capable of supporting transformation
  • pinpoint indicators of success for a responsive innovation system
  • frame principles for how the national research and development effort could be galvanised to facilitate transformation.

In doing this, they identified key features of a revitalised innovation system as:

  • anticipating and responding rapidly to global risks and opportunities
  • driving structural reform through national policy leadership
  • coalescing to address national research priorities
  • focused on collaborative models of innovation and drawing on capabilities beyond the agri-innovation sector.

CEAT is seeking through this body of work to identify and advance governance, institutional and policy settings that facilitate the agri-innovation system to deliver transformational innovation. This will enable Australian agriculture to remain globally competitive, provide leadership in innovation, strengthen sustainability practices in the value chain and assist us to address the complex challenges and future we are facing.

The third, and final, workshop was held on 27 June and focused on the capabilities required for transformative change. A report on the outcomes of workshop three and the next steps for this work will feature in a future edition of CEAT Innovation News.

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