Rural Research and Development for Profit

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit programme boosts funding to the rural research and development corporations (RDCs) for nationally coordinated, strategic research that delivers real outcomes for Australian producers.

The total funding available for the programme is $190.5 million over eight years, ending on 30 June 2022.

Keeping Australian farmers at the cutting edge

The Rural R&D for Profit programme aims to improve farm-gate productivity and profitability and deliver real outcomes for Australian farmers.

To be eligible for grant funding, RDCs must partner with one or more researchers, research agencies, RDCs, funding bodies, businesses, producer groups or not-for-profit organisations, and the partnership must provide funding (cash or cash plus an in-kind contribution) at least equal to the requested Australian Government grant funding. The programme guidelines provide further details of the eligibility and funding criteria.

Round 3 Rural Research and Development for Profit

Round three applications are now open. Round three will close at 5pm AEDT on 6 December 2016.

Applications must be lodged by the lead RDC. The application form, guidelines and grant agreement are available on this page. If you have any difficulty accessing any of these forms please contact the Rural R&D for Profit team on 02 6272 5603 or by email at Rural Research.

Following the assessment and ministerial decision process outlined in the programme guidelines, applicants will be advised whether their project will be funded and grant agreement negotiations will begin with grantees.

Round 2 Rural Research and Development for Profit

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, approved funding of $52.2 million (GST exclusive) for 17 projects under round two of the programme.

The projects cover a range of innovative and cross-sectoral research activities including improving productivity and profitability for pollen dependant crops, technologies to better measure meat value chains, reducing the use of phosphorus fertiliser in pasture grasing systems, investigating the use of virtual fencing technology for livestock and improving nitrogen use efficiency in cotton, dairy, sugar and horticulture industries.

Round 1 Rural Research and Development for Profit

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, approved funding of $26.7 million (GST exclusive) for 12 projects under round one of the programme.

The projects cover innovative R&D projects including improved irrigation practices, biological control of weeds and pests, using the latest imaging and robotic technologies to improve yield from some tree crops and development of the Southern Australia aquaculture industry.

About the programme


The Rural R&D for Profit programme aims to realise productivity and profitability improvements for primary producers through:

  • generating knowledge, technologies, products or processes that benefit primary producers
  • strengthening pathways to extend the results of rural R&D, including understanding the barriers to adoption
  • establishing and fostering industry and research collaborations that form the basis for ongoing innovation and growth of Australian agriculture.

Research projects must address one or more of the new rural research development and extension (RD&E) funding priorities announced in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, which fall into four areas:

  • Advanced technology, to enhance innovation of products, processes and practices across the food and fibre supply chains through technologies such as robotics, digitisation, big data, genetics and precision agriculture;
  • Biosecurity, to improve understanding and evidence of pest and disease pathways to help direct biosecurity resources to their best uses, minimising biosecurity threats and improving market access for primary producers;
  • Soil, water and managing natural resources, to manage soil health, improve water use efficiency and certainty of supply, sustainably develop new production areas and improve resilience to climate events and impacts; and
  • Adoption of R&D, focusing on flexible delivery of extension services that meet primary producers’ needs and recognising the growing role of private service delivery.

More details on the RD&E priorities can be found in the programme guidelines.

Who can apply

The 15 rural RDCs are eligible to apply for funding. The RDCs invest in RD&E across many primary industries including meat and livestock, dairy, grains, horticulture, fisheries and forestry.

The RDCs must collaborate with other partners such as researchers, funding agencies, universities, producer groups and the private sector to be eligible for funding.

If you have an idea or a proposal you think could be researched, developed or adapted for use in agriculture, fisheries or forestry get in touch with one or more of the 15 ​RDCs.

Contact us

Telephone: 02 6272 5603
Email: Rural Research

Postal address:

Rural R&D for Profit
Rural Research and Innovation Branch
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601​​