University of Queensland to launch food innovation group

Thursday, 25 November, 2021

University of Queensland to launch food innovation group

The University of Queensland has been awarded $2.5 million in funding by the government to develop its Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, which should see new Australian foods reaching shelves here and around the world.

The funding was awarded as part of the Strategic University Reform Fund, a $40 million grant scheme by the government that aims to direct universities to pursue research in areas that are of a commercial or industrial interest to local businesses in Australia.

The Agri-Food Innovation Alliance would bring interesting food opportunities to market by working with businesses and helping them to develop their products into viable commercial foods. Food producers of all sizes will work together with the organisation to boost their products into the market.

The University of Queensland is well-versed in bringing interesting and unique foods to market. It has previously worked to introduce native ingredients to marketable products, such as the lemon myrtle-flavoured lozenges, desert lime jubes, bunya and boppal brittle, and quandong and burdekin plum sherbet in the image above.

“The project will bring together cutting-edge science, education and entrepreneurship — it’ll be South-East Queensland’s Wonka factory for new-and-emerging Aussie food and beverages,” said Professor Melissa Fitzgerald, Deputy Associate Dean for Research Partnerships for UQ’s Faculty of Science.

“We’re particularly excited to be working with small businesses, and we have kick-starter grants ready to go.

“These range from new animal feed supplements to new food product development from camel milk, new processing methods for gelatine, sustainable packaging and developing a digital twin for Australian agri-food supply chains.

“UQ is well positioned to value-add to these businesses, giving Aussie businesses the expertise and support they need to reach new or more distant markets. And we aim to attract multinational companies to the region, so it’s really an investment that will continue to underpin the local economy and its development.”

Image credit: University of Queensland

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