New training centre to revolutionise food security

9 September 2022

A new ANU-led multi-disciplinary training centre has commenced, with the aim of revolutionising scientific training, supercharging agriculture, and improving global food security. 

Led by Professor Barry Pogson (Director) and Dr Lauren DuFall (Chief Executive Officer) at the ANU, the ARC Training Centre for Accelerated Future Crops Development aims to create real-world change in the way science is done while improving outcomes in food security for communities. 

Its approach intends to overcome historic difficulties in translating research into impact, by bringing together key stakeholders in the research and development pipeline.  

The ANU will partner with research collaborators, and more than 20 industry partners in Australia and internationally. In doing this, the Training Centre will empower industry-relevant research and development, informed by community needs and benefits, in a space where previously, new technologies that enable increases in yield and nutrition in our most common staple food crops have not always been readily accepted by the community. 

Barry Pogson, Training Centre Director, said the project will bring together science researchers, social scientists and members of local, national and international industry.

"The Training Centre's unique approach involves collaboratively training the next generation of leaders, policymakers and researchers and forming a community of best practice that endures past the life of the Centre," he said.

To recruit the best candidates, it will provide generous, up to four-year PhD stipends. 

Stuart Roy, Training Centre Deputy Director (Industry), said the Centre will offer a first-of-a-kind training program combining a non-traditional range of skillsets across research, leadership, policy-making and community engagement critical to responsible innovation. 

"Industry partnerships are engrained in the Training Centre's approach and will include research-led training courses, industry-led internships, and more, ensuring a two-way learning opportunity as a way of strengthening both industry and research activities," he said.

This engagement, together with research training, aims to better equip our community to improve the yield, nutritional value, and availability of crops that sustain the world's population. 

The Centre officially commenced on 1 September 2022 and will shortly recruit six Innovation Fellow postdoctoral positions and at least 20 PhD students across the two Universities.

The Training Centre for Future Crops is partially supported by the Australian Government through the ARC Linkage Program funding scheme. More information here.


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