The Australasian Pork Research Institute Ltd. (APRIL) recently issued its first call for research proposals to markedly enhance the competiveness and sustainability of the Australasian pork industry.
APRIL, which replaces the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC), is fully member based, with an initial investment in 2018-19 approaching $3 million (Australian). It is actively seeking new science and creative new ideas.
With the objective of commissioning research by the middle of 2018, basically 12 months before the close of Pork CRC operations, the APRIL call will ensure continuity of the current level of research and support opportunities for relevant researchers during the Pork CRC wind-down.
Pork CRC and APRIL chair Dennis Mutton is determined to drive Australia’s pork industry into areas it has never been before by encouraging fresh, game-changing ideas from incumbent and new researchers and harnessing a new wave of scientific power, the institute said.
“One of the ways the APRIL board has agreed to do this is by identifying and engaging with a previously untapped pool of talent and bringing new and creative thinking into the pork (research and development) R&D space to increase speed of discovery and delivery of profitable outcomes,” Mutton said.
Pork CRC chief executive officer Dr. Roger Campbell agreed, inviting researchers to apply if they think they can dramatically improve sow reproduction, for example, or lift the inherent feed efficiency of grower pigs.
“The same invite goes out to anyone with new ideas on how to reduce Australia’s reliance on global grains and soybean meal to reduce feed costs, or those with thoughts on how best to reduce antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance,” Campbell said.
APRIL is also interested in cost-effective engineering and precision farming technologies applicable to the pork industry.
The Australasian pork industry has a globally acknowledged track record in terms of the adoption of new technologies and ideas, Campbell said, but in an increasingly competitive global market, it has to be one of the best, if not the best, in the world.
“Our challenges are obvious, and they will all respond to high-quality research, but this has to be cutting edge if we are to ensure sustainability and profitability of our industry,” Campbell said.
“We have some great scientists, but we’re now looking outside the room for researchers who may not have previously considered the pork industry but who are good thinkers and who have new technologies and ideas that could be applicable to the pork industry," Campbell added.
Details can be accessed from the APRIL link on the Pork CRC website at www.porkcrc.com.au.