New ARC Training Centre in Plant Biosecurity

10 Aug 2023

Biosecurity is a critical part of Australia's efforts to prevent, respond to and recover from pests and diseases that threaten the economy and environment.  

The Australian National University (ANU) has been awarded $5m in funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to bolster the nation's capabilities in plant biosecurity.

The money will be used to establish an ANU-led Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Plant Biosecurity.

The Training Centre will transform the plant biosecurity sector to protect Australia's natural and productive ecosystems.

Professor Peter Solomon, Director of the Training Centre, said the cohort of highly skilled and innovative PhD students and early career researchers would focus on three key areas: novel diagnostic technologies, data-driven decision platforms, and addressing barriers to biosecurity adoption.

"Our future leaders in plant biosecurity will need not only technical skills, but the skills to communicate, collaborate and engage with multiple stakeholders," he said. 

"I'm excited to lead this Training Centre, which is a collaboration with industry, government and universities that will equip people for a career where they can make a real and significant impact for Australia." 

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt congratulated those involved in securing funding for training centres that will support Australia's future research professionals.

"This achievement recognises the commitment of ANU to look to the future, drive innovation, cultivate knowledge and create solutions that address the complex challenges of our time," he said.

The Training Centre will commence in 2024 and expressions of interest are now open to future PhD students with an interest in plant biosecurity and protecting Australia's natural and productive ecosystems.

Partners on the Training Centre

The Australian National University (ANU) is leading the Training Centre in collaboration with James Cook University, the University of Canberra, and over 20 partners from across industry and government. Partners include Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), industry representatives, Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, and research and technology organisations.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Keith Nugent said that ARC Training Centres provide PhD and early career researcher training for industries vital to Australia's future.  

"ANU is delighted to be collaborating with partners across government, academia, and industry towards a shared vision." 

For more information, please contact Sarah Adams, ANU Business Development Manager,, +61 459 341 281

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