RIRDC to miss out on $11m funding under new budget

Monday, 19 May, 2014

The government’s commitment to rural research and $100 million investment in R&D over the next four years has been welcomed by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC). However, RIRDC says it anticipates cuts of $11 million over four years in base funding as a result of the 2014 Budget.

“As a statutory body it is not surprising that RIRDC has been required to ‘share the pain’ in a tight fiscal environment. However, RIRDC’s modest level of government funding is focused on genuine public good R&D that is an investment in the future of rural industries and their communities,” an RIRDC statement said.

“Over several years RIRDC has been responsibly and prudently cutting costs wherever possible in order to maximise the proportion of RIRDC funds allocated to direct R&D.”

Despite needing to cut staff as a result of funding cuts, RIRDC says it will remain focused on delivering demand-driven R&D to build productive capacity and innovation.

The RIRDC board says it hopes its bid for a new Northern Australian agriculture Cooperative Research Centre (the AgNorth bid) will remain a government priority and come to fruition.

In the coming weeks, RIRDC will advise its portfolio industries whose R&D projects will be impacted by the funding cuts.

RIRDC Chair Professor Daniela Stehlik says it is important to focus on assembling strong proposals for funding under the competitive grants program that will drive the allocation of an additional $100 million for rural R&D.

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