Organics research centre to open in Northern Rivers


Thursday, 15 December, 2016


A collaboration between Southern Cross University and the NSW Department of Primary Industries will see a Centre for Organics Research created in NSW’s Northern Rivers region.

The Department will contribute $2 million during a five-year funding period, to be matched by the university, which will also contribute staff and facilities.

“The DPI has a presence at Wollongbar, Alstonville and Grafton and a deep understanding of the value of agriculture to our region. The university has a world-leading reputation in plant genetics and related fields. There is growing global interest and huge potential in all aspects of organics, so this is a big opportunity for our region,” said the Hon Thomas George, State Member for Lismore.

Southern Cross University’s vice chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker, said the interests of the centre would be broad.

“We expect to attract partners who will have their own research priorities and problems to solve. It is a contemporary field with great potential to innovate.

“The Centre for Organics Research will build on Australia’s reputation for food safety, security and export to key markets worldwide. It is also of great relevance to our region. It complements the work underway at our Lismore campus hosting the $13.8 million federal government Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot program, which is providing Australian farmers with knowledge and skills to boost their returns at the farm gate.”

DPI chief scientist Dr Phil Wright said this was an exciting opportunity to work in partnership with the university to invest in and conduct the critical science to underpin the future of the organics industry in NSW and Australia.

Recruitment for the director of the centre will commence shortly and a joint research symposium to launch the centre is being planned for the first half of next year.

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