Project call 2017/2018
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Sugar Research Australia (SRA) is calling for Preliminary Research Proposals (PRPs) that address sugar industry research priority areas identified within the SRA Strategic Plan 2013/14-2017/18 (2015 Update).
The Strategic Plan identifies eight Key Focus Areas (KFAs) for research, development and extension (RD&E) investment as follows:
Key Focus Area 1: Optimally-adapted varieties, plant breeding and release
Key Focus Area 2: Soil health and nutrient management
Key Focus Area 3: Pest, disease and weed management
Key Focus Area 4: Farming systems and production management
Key Focus Area 5: Milling efficiency and technology
Key Focus Area 6: Product diversification and value addition
Key Focus Area 7: Knowledge and technology transfer and adoption
Key Focus Area 8: Capability development, attraction and retention
In addition, the SRA Board have identified issues that fall within these focus areas that require an increased intensity of activity and investment in the short to medium-term. These prioritised Impact Areas have been defined as:
- Yellow Canopy Syndrome (YCS);
- Plant Breeding (both conventional and genetically-modified (GM));
- Adoption; and
- Maximising Productivity along the Value Chain.
For Impact Areas #1 and #4, SRA research investment is being driven outside of this project call through a program approach with significant external and industry input. SRA is not seeking new investment proposals addressing YCS, GM aspects of plant breeding or the harvest losses component of the value chain at this time.
SRA is moving towards a program structure for the delivery of components of its investment portfolio. This may result in individual research proposals being combined, merged or integrated into larger, structured programs of work. The SRA Board is particularly interested in developing a program structure to deliver soil health outcomes.
SRA has conducted an analysis of its research portfolio and has identified opportunities for prioritised research investment. These opportunities are described below against their relevant KFA. There are some KFAs for which there were no prioritised opportunities defined. For research investment which sits outside of the Impact Areas, priority will be given to research proposals addressing identified opportunities over those which address other KFA objectives.
PRPs are to be completed using SRA’s SugarNet online application portal (available at https://grants.sugarresearch.com.au). SugarNet opens for PRP applications on September 1, 2016 and project applications need to be finalised no later than COB on October 9, 2016. Proposals will not be able to be submitted after this date.
In order to maximise the likelihood of being shortlisted, each PRP should clearly outline an alignment to relevant research priorities. The application must specify the industry need for the proposed research, reference previous and current research relevant to this specific industry need, provide a clear description of strong outputs and outcomes and describe plans for their subsequent adoption. Successful projects are expected to demonstrate a significant industry return on the project investment and contribute to triple bottom line benefits.
SRA will run a two-stage assessment process for research projects, with a shortlisted selection of PRP applicants invited to submit a Full Research Proposal (FRP). Successful applicants are expected to be contracted to begin project activities from July 1, 2017 onwards.