2020/21 Research alignment: Identified research priorities

The CRCNA’s investment in several strategic research collaborations (situational analysis projects) has identified further priorities for investment in the beef, rice, broadacre cropping, forestry, aquaculture and health sectors. The CRCNA is seeking Expressions of interest (EOI) which are industry-led and address issues specifically raised in our foundational research.

The relevant reference reports for each of the situational analyses are available by clicking on the links below.

Note - with this EOI we are seeking a research collaboration to deliver similar strategic research for the Northern Australian horticulture sector, as well broader R & D proposals across the agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture and food production sectors.

Reference reports (as background information only)


1. Agriculture production and supply chain innovation  


  • Research projects which support the adoption of existing R&D that provide significant improvements in productivity and profitability across multiple enterprises.
  • Research that creates vertical integration opportunities. This includes trialling alternative business models.
  • Research projects which enable investment in supply chain and on-farm infrastructure that deliver productivity gains, allowing the sector to grow.                


  • Coordinated research and development with other industries, such as with sugarcane and assess different environments and improve the diversity of cropping options.
  • Research into the local milling, drying and storage infrastructure that supports the development and expansion of rice production in the North. 


  • Identify and prioritise infrastructure needs to overcome supply chain and services gaps, as well as generate synergies to support the development of production hubs. 
  • R&D on disease transmission pathways and develop ‘farm guides’ for early identification of disease.


  • Identify key challenges and opportunities facing the Northern Horticulture industry, explore potential solutions and/or identify the most strategic research efforts needed for further investment. This will include and not be limited to infrastructure, policy, investment, environmental, production, workforce development, knowledge, training and human capital gaps and the strategic actions and research and development solutions to address them.


  • Develop a framework for ‘best practice’ engagement and capacity building with Traditional and Indigenous landowners in native forestry management and supply.
  • Further test and evaluate silvopastoral systems for delivery of enhanced enterprise profitability. Key drivers include: income diversification and early cash flows to offset tree establishment costs and delayed harvest returns, and weed and grass control.

Broadacre Cropping

  • Research which validates previous production potential (based on models) and can be used to underpin evidence-based decisions by growers and policy makers.
  • Research into the optimisation of storage and handling including on farm, up country and at port that maximises efficiency in supply chains and assists growers strengthen their supply and marketing options.
  • Research and extension to assist northern Australian growers maintain grain quality through best-practice storage management in the tropical north of Australia.

New or emerging research across agriculture, aquaculture and food production sectors

  • The CRCNA will still consider R&D that delivers new approaches, solutions, technologies, innovations or knowledge processes that grow and improve existing or  new agricultural industries by supporting  value-adding to existing products or processes, to create new markets, improving existing supply chains and enhance productivity.

2. Develop Northern Australian health service delivery and models of care

The CRCNA has recently completed a Northern Australian health service sector situational analysis which identified and prioritised several research areas. EOI proposals should address one or more of the following research priorities:

  • The recommendation to map community need, against existing service delivery and workforce Including RFDS, FIFO, Hub & Spoke, NGOs, NDIS, student-led services, for Northern Australia.
  • An opportunity to grow Northern Australia’s health service export sector by presenting data on existing and potential health exports from Northern Australia, including from jurisdictional authorities, Austrade and university/TAFE/health sector/hospitals (public and private) and investigating how to grow this sector.
  • The desire to develop and trial new models of care which show improved health outcomes for Northern Australians.
  • Identify gaps in integrated care in Northern Australia and present solutions with economic modelling. 

3. Identify new models and approaches of developing Traditional Owner-led business development

Research which increases Traditional Owner capacity to consider and develop opportunities and enhance the stability of agreements for developments, including proposals which address one or all of the following: 

  • Map existing resources and develop appropriate options which consider risk-averse implementation strategies which emphasise, where plausible, incremental capitalisation that does not assume ultimate commitment to large scale or highly intensive operations.
  • Develop strategies and frameworks which acknowledge preferences for development are often based on prior related employment as well as match of activities to traditional use and practice, rather than full local evaluation of  what the optimal economic or business opportunities are in a modern context.
  • Identify and test governance structures that support long-term, sustainable,  commercial development. 

Submit your expression of interest