Team WA beefs up research strength in ag

Will mergers and alliances be the new trend for the 20s, as institutions seek to achieve scale and influence, adapting to changes in the international student market post-COVID and the Accord?

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the UniSA-University of Adelaide merger proposal, WA universities have clustered together with Government, industry and the CSIRO to create a united voice for the west in agriculture.

The WA Agricultural Research Collaboration is headed by sheep and grain farmer and experienced peak group leader Dr Kelly Pearce and aims to give the State famed for hogging more than its fair share of GST revenue a stronger arm in something other than mineral extraction.

The Collaboration brings together researchers from UWA, Curtin, Edith Cowan and Murdoch Universities as well as CSIRO, focusing on key issues that concern the people in the paddocks, aiming to bring a ‘Team WA’ approach to research and development.

Dr Pearce has an extensive background not just as a farmer, but also researcher, CEO and lobby group head and will oversee research across six applied areas: Northern Agriculture, Grains Transformation, Climate Resilience, Agricultural Technologies, Aboriginal Participation and Capacity Building and Extension.

There are explicit, simple goals set out for each theme, which commit to reducing fertiliser and fuel inputs, reducing carbon emissions, doubling Aboriginal participation in agriculture and driving a 20% improvement in margins of the leading 10% of producers by 2035 through technology projects – all outlined on the Collaboration’s website.



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