Decade of cutting-edge agri research

La Trobe University and Agriculture Victoria are celebrating their 10-year partnership supporting the agricultural sector to improve productivity, be climate resilient and fight disease.

Established in 2012, Australia’s premier bioscience facility, AgriBio, has brought together the exceptional research capability of both organisations to create a dynamic research, development and education hub.

In partnership with industry, the hub addresses some of the world's most pressing challenges in food and agriculture. This includes improving productivity and sustainability, fighting disease, reducing environmental impacts and supporting agricultural education.

Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney visited AgriBio – the Centre for AgriBioscience – to celebrate the scientific contribution to the agricultural industry over the past ten years.

“The dedicated researchers at AgriBio are at the forefront of agricultural research and innovation – their contributions have improved farm productivity, protected the industry from pests and diseases and encouraged the next generation to think about a career in agricultural sciences,” Minister Tierney said.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said AgriBio has brought together diverse world-class researchers to make a difference at a global level.

“Located in the heart of La Trobe’s vibrant Research and Innovation Precinct, AgriBio’s considerable success over the past ten years is thanks to the coming together of exceptional research capability from both La Trobe and Agriculture Victoria which, in partnership with industry, is helping address some of the world’s most pressing challenges in food and agriculture,” Professor Dewar said.

Located at the La Trobe University Bundoora campus, AgriBio accommodates 400 staff and students of Agriculture Victoria and La Trobe University.

La Trobe University researcher Dr Travis Beddoe said research at AgriBio has been instrumental in developing effective responses to animal disease outbreaks including the abalone herpesvirus, Japanese encephalitis and liver fluke.

“Animal disease outbreaks can have a devastating impact on industries, and in some cases can pose a serious threat to human health as well,” Dr Beddoe said.

“The work we are doing at AgriBio plays a critical role in protecting livestock and other animals on farms, as well as enhancing food crops to make them more profitable and sustainable – in Australia and around the world.”

AgriBio plays an important role delivering Agriculture Victoria’s free Get into AgSTEM program for secondary school students. New education laboratories at AgriBio offer purpose-built spaces for engaging the next generation of scientists in agriculture.

The Victorian Government recently funded a $7.5 million expansion at AgriBio including new state-of-the-art laboratory and office spaces, an incubation hub to support start-ups, and a boost for biosecurity research and emergency response capabilities.

Media contact: Kate O'Connor, 0436 189 629, k.o'