Rural Research and Development for Profit

​The Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit programme implements a government election commitment to boost funding to the rural research and development corporations (RDCs) and fund nationally coordinated, strategic research that delivers real outcomes for Australian producers. The​ Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper announced the government’s decision to extend the programme for a further four financial years and provide an additional $100 million in grant funding.

The total funding available for the programme has therefore been increased to $200 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 2 Rural Research and Development for Profit - now closed

Round two of the Rural R&D for Profit programme was launched by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP on Wednesday 23 September 2015 and closed on 1 December 2015.

Round two guidelines set out the eligibility and assessment criteria, programme priorities and other important information.
It is important for all parties to an application to read and become familiar with the Rural R&D for Profit guidelines

Round 1 Rural Research and Development for Profit

The Minister for Agriculture, 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

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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.


Round two applications closed at 5:00 pm (AEDT) on Tuesday 1 December 2015.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will negotiate terms of the grant agreement with the applicant only. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain and retain written letters of agreement or support between partner organisation(s) relevant to the application, where a partner has made a cash or significant in-kind commitment to the application.

Only eligible round two applications will be assessed.

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.

Co-investment requirement

This is a co-investment programme, requiring funding (cash or cash plus an in-kind contribution) from the applicant and/or partner organisations. The programme guidelines provide details.

Assessment of applications

The merits of eligible round two applications will be assessed by an expert assessment panel. Information on the panel constituted for round one of the programme is available at expert assessment panel.

Contact us

Telephone: 02 6272 5603
Email: Rural R&D

Postal address:

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

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Related​ forms

Last reviewed:
09 Dec 2015