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Truss welcomes $4.5 million support for Australian livestock research and development.



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HON WARREN TRUSS MP MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

AFFA01/230WT 23 August 2001

Truss welcomes $4.5 million support for Australian livestock research and development

The Federal Government has announced a $4.5 million grant to the Australian livestock industry to develop the International Livestock Resources and Information Centre.

The grant was one of 15 to be provided under the $155 million Major National Research Facilities Program which was announced as part of the Commonwealth's $3 billion Backing Australia's Ability statement, a five-year commitment to strengthen innovation.

"The 15 successful proposals will provide Australia with the scientific infrastructure required to build leading-edge research capabilities," Mr Truss said.

"The $4.5 million grant to the Australian livestock industry will go towards assisting livestock research through the development of a comprehensive data communications and virtual research facility based at the University of New England.

"The main purpose of the new facility will be to operate a high speed communications centre and provide a substantial livestock resource knowledge database.

"This grant will further support research essential to maintain Australia’s leading position in the global market place in livestock industries through advanced genetic evaluation procedures, development of new animal health products, software development and the establishment of an electronic data warehouse for livestock research information.

Mr Truss said that the bid for the grant was prepared by the Agricultural Business Research Institute based at the University of New England.

"The livestock industry makes a very significant economic contribution to the economy of rural and regional Australia with livestock industries currently producing $14.8 billion at farm gate."

A fact sheet about the project is attached.

Backing Australia's Ability

Major National Research Facilities Program

Facility name: International Livestock Resources and Information Centre

This project will assist livestock research with the development of a comprehensive data communications facility and computing capacity to facilitate a significant increase in the accumulation and dissemination of information to livestock industry organisations. This virtual research facility will be based at the University of New England, Armidale.

Grant: $4.50 million. Principal Proponent: University of New England

Description and Objectives: The proposed International Livestock Resources and Information Centre (ILRIC) is a virtual research facility. The facility will operate as a high-speed communications centre and will provide a substantial livestock resource knowledge database.

The objectives are to:

coordinate the activities of existing research and livestock industry organisations associated with the University of New England; ●

develop software to harvest large volumes of livestock data and install high-speed servers and communication links to permit analysis of very large data sets; ●

enhance research aimed at doubling the rate of productivity improvements in the Australian livestock industries; and ●

use the knowledge base of the ILRIC to provide modern business intelligence solutions via the Internet to livestock enterprises throughout Australia. ●

Outcomes of the facility: The facility will support research essential to maintain Australia’s leading position in the global market place in livestock industries. Research supported by the facility includes:

advanced genetic evaluation procedures to be applied across all livestock species; ● acceleration of discovery of gene markers for performance, efficiency, adaptation and product quality traits; ● use of vast international databases to identify elite genetic material; ● development of new animal health products; ●

improved systems of livestock management; and ● development of Internet systems for collecting and warehousing livestock data and delivering results via modern business intelligence solutions to increase profitability. ●

There is significant potential for Australia to benefit from this facility. Livestock industries currently produce $14.8 billion at farm gate. The International Food Policy Research Institute and collaborating research organisations have identified a "livestock revolution" in which overall production of meat and milk is expected to double by year 2020, from a 1983 base.

Contact details:

Graeme Dennehy, Executive Director, Business and Administration, University of New England, (02) 6773 3895 (phone), (02) 6773 3509 (fax), email: gdennehy@metz.une.edu.au

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

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Last updated 23 August 2001

URL: http://www.affa.gov.au/ministers/truss/releases/00/01230wt.html Commonwealth of Australia 2001