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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2016-17
GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND RESEARCH PRIORITIES The Australian Government is a major investor in AWI, collecting and disbursing statutory levies and providing taxpayer funds for eligible industry research, development and extension (RD&E) activities. As the wool industry’s rural Research and Development Corporation (RDC), AWI is the Australian Government's primary vehicle for funding innovation in the wool industry. National RD&E Framework AWI’s plans for RD&E delivery align where relevant with the National RD&E Framework, an Australian Government initiative to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of RD&E delivery nationally. The initiative includes strategies for all agricultural sectors including wool, and cross sector strategies including animal welfare, biosecurity and climate change. The RDCs, including AWI, the State Government agencies, CSIRO and universities are all signatories to the initiative. AWI participates in the National RD&E Framework through its own sector strategy, the National Wool RD&E Strategy, and also through support for three cross- sectoral Strategies, in partnership with other RDCs – the National Animal Welfare RD&E Strategy, the Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries, and the National Animal Biosecurity RD&E Strategy. Wool Industry National RD&E Strategy 2011-30 A renewed Strategy was drafted during the year with focus areas across productivity gains, optimising adoption, grower capacity and confidence, risk management, value chain efficiency and declarations and market access and consumer confidence. Targets were set for these areas so the wool industry can monitor and evaluate its RD&E programs. The strategy also clarifies the links between existing R&D and industry strategies and does not duplicate other cross sector strategies yet aligns with the strategy for sheepmeats. The clear intent was that the strategy should be dynamic and living, by not only responding to changes, but also driving initiatives that benefit wool RD&E. The way in which this will be done is through an oversight committee made up of representatives from the collaborating organisations/agencies and producer/industry stakeholders, including WoolProducers Australia, the Federation of Australian Wool Organisations, State agencies, State sheep industry councils, universities, CSIRO, the Australian Wool Exchange, Australian Wool Testing Authority, MLA and of course AWI. Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI) AWI continues to participate in the CCRSPI. This initiative, undertook an extensive review this year to determine its focus for the coming stage of the program. Research funds are directed towards research projects and activities, and communicates with government policy makers on key climate issues facing the primary industries sector. National Animal Biosecurity RD&E Strategy (NABRDES) AWI has continued to support the NABRDES financially and operationally, and has continued to actively drive the wool sector’s own biosecurity RD&E strategy, through the Federation of Australian Wool Organisations (FAWO), and internationally, through the International Wool Textile Organisation’s (IWTO) Wool Biosecurity Working Group. Notable 2016/17 activities included: • Australian Wool Industry EAD Preparedness RD&E Strategy – FAWO, with assistance from AWI, updated the Australian Wool Industry EAD Preparedness RD&E Strategy for 2016/17-2018/19. • Wool bale disinfection – following a successful AWI-funded pilot trial, through Australian Wool Testing Authority Limited, a field trial of prototype bale spray disinfection unit is expected to commence in 2017/18. • Bale traceability – successful completion of a wool traceability review process, and implementation of a research project with DEDJTR to track and report on wool bale storage conditions and location. • Continued support for the internationally co-funded wool biosecurity RD&E information-sharing process, through the IWTO. National Animal Welfare RD&E (NAWRDE) Strategy Membership of the NAWRDE Strategy includes livestock RDCs (AWI, Australian Eggs Limited, Australian Meat Processor Corporation, Australian Pork Limited, Dairy Australia, LiveCorp, Meat and Livestock Australia, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation), Universities, State Government Departments and the CSIRO. The Animal Welfare Science Centre, University of Melbourne provide executive support and Australian Pork Limited manages strategy administration. Key activities during 2016/17 included: • A review and update of the NAWRDE Strategy document. • An annual forum investigating potential cross- sectoral projects in animal welfare. • Update of a project register and an audit of animal welfare research capability. • Development of a toolkit for use by producers in the event of an animal welfare crisis. R&D collaboration during 2016/17 R&D collaboration with other organisations during 2016/17 made AWI investments more efficient and effective by reducing duplication, maximising leverage and providing a greater platform for adoption. Collaboration, especially with other RDCs, also helped AWI and the collaborating parties address the Government’s national and rural research priorities – see the section below. AWI has a demonstrated history of collaborating on R&D projects with other members of the RDC family. AWI was involved during 2016/17 in a significant number of on-farm R&D collaborations with RDCs and other research bodies such as government departments of agriculture, industry organisations, CSIRO, universities and commercial partners. 56 GOOD BUSINESS
AWI Annual Report 2015-16