Universities welcome food precinct plan

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

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

Under the partnership between La Trobe and RMIT the precinct will be initially hosted at La Trobe’s Research and Innovation Precinct, adjacent to the Bundoora 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.

‘RMIT University is the largest provider of graduates to the Australian food industry and has extensive national and international linkages with world-leading food companies and research organisations.

‘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.

RMIT has specific expertise in food and beverage manufacture (product development, process design and development, non-thermal food processing technologies, texture and rheology of foods; food microbiology and safety, consumer testing, shelf-life studies, sensory evaluation), nutrition and health, packaging design and development, chemical engineering, supply chain management and logistics, food regulation and market insights.

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 SMEs and also had an important symbolic location in the food manufacturing hub of Melbourne’s north.

Media contacts

La Trobe: Tim Mitchell 0437 457 780
RMIT: Paul Noonan 0409 239 021