NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is constantly searching for new and better ways to put our customers and stakeholders at the centre of everything we do—and we know this requires finding better ways to collaborate and solve problems. So, we are launching a 4 year Grand Challenge program to convene multi-disciplinary groups of collaborators to focus on the most pressing problems facing Australian food and agriculture.
We’ll be putting DPI’s own spin on the ‘Grand Challenge’ methodology pioneered by recognised global innovators in government and philanthropy like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the X Prize Foundation, among others.
The challenges we will be working on are multi-faceted and complex and as such we are looking for a range of solutions including policy/regulatory, fundamental science, or commercial products and services.
Our focus on food traceability
Australian food and agriculture are bedrock industries of which our country is justifiably proud. With our ‘clean, green’ global image and ever-rising levels of productivity and quality, these industries are poised to lead a new wave of growth and prosperity for Australia in the coming decades. At the same time, there is increasing demand from international consumers, governments and supply chain actors for higher quality and greater traceability. Australian food and agriculture systems face a range of complex challenges—and opportunities!—in meeting those growing demands. After all, if our goal is to increase agricultural output from AUD $60 billion to $100 billion by 2030 while retaining Australia’s ‘clean and green’ imagine, nothing short of long-term efforts emphasising collective problem solving and learning will get us there.
In order to seize this opportunity, we know that Australian industry will have to make major strides in food traceability. Globally there are increasingly strong players advancing technical, policy and regulatory approaches and Australia must keep up if we are to retain market access and meet consumer demands.
So, we’re focusing our first Grand Challenge on food traceability because of its critical importance to the New South Wales and Australian economies and because DPI is uniquely positioned to help drive growth and collaboration in this area.
Identify and advance specific innovations in food traceability (whether policy/regulatory, fundamental science, or commercial products and services) toward implementation and/or commercialisation;
Build a long-term network of like-minded organisations and institutions interested in collaborating to advance food traceability in Australia;
Advance the diagnosis and shared understanding of the most critical and high-potential problems and opportunities related to food traceability in Australia.