Universities welcome food precinct plan (Issue 4, 2013)

La-Trobe-Research-and-Development-Park La Trobe University and RMIT have welcomed the Federal Government announcement that both institutions will partner to create a new Food Industry Innovation Precinct in Melbourne.

The decision was announced by the former Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet and the former Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joe Ludwig.

Under the partnership between La Trobe and RMIT the precinct will be initially hosted at La Trobe’s Research and Development Park, adjacent to the Melbourne Campus. La Trobe and RMIT are foundation members of the food precinct.

Vice Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the partners were the logical choice for the precinct, given their location and expertise.

‘La Trobe University is committed to delivering innovative food and agricultural research and partnering  with the food production and manufacturing industry to translate our research into real world benefits for industry and consumers,’ Professor Dewar said.

‘The University is undertaking world class research in agricultural biosciences in the new agricultural biosciences facilities, AgriBio, a joint venture with the Victorian Government to protect and enhance Australia’s agricultural production.

‘As part of the Future Ready Strategy to help combat some of the major issues facing our community, we have a focus on cross-disciplinary research related to securing food, water and the environment,’ he said.

RMIT University acting Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Gill Palmer, said she was delighted with the announcement by the Australian Government.

‘The precinct is a boost for the northern corridor and we look forward to close collaboration with La Trobe University, as well as industry partners and government,’ Professor Palmer said.

The Vice Chancellors said the research and academic strengths of La Trobe University and RMIT covered the whole food supply chain from pre to post-farm gate, with a focus on small and medium sized businesses and also had an important symbolic location in the food manufacturing hub of Melbourne’s north.