Production RD&E Advisory Panel meet for Avocado Ideation Workshop

A revised approach to the identification and creation of relevant and impactful research and development investments for the Australian avocado industry continues to gain momentum.

On the 10 October, the Production RD&E Advisory Panel members, along with guest growers and industry stakeholders from all the major growing regions, gathered in Brisbane for a Hort Innovation avocado investment ideation workshop.

They were charged with the task of providing input for further development of targeted concepts for projects aligned with the Avocado SIP.

The themes for consideration were derived from a range of areas including a SIP gap analysis, outputs from the recent Avocado R&D Forum, recent avocado topic reviews and summits and industry feedback.

The aim of the day was to agree on the strategic direction for a subset of concepts from within the Avocado SIP.

As many industry stakeholders would be aware, the Hort Innovation Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for the avocado industry was developed through a consultation process with levy payers and industry stakeholders in 2022 and forms the guide for investment of the avocado industry levy.

During the recent ‘reset and refresh’ process initiated by Hort Innovation, the avocado industry advice mechanism underwent some changes, including the formation of a Production Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Advisory Panel which has a key focus on production investments.

These investments align predominantly (but not exclusively) with Outcomes 2, 3 and 4 within the SIP:

  • Outcome 2 – Industry supply, productivity and sustainability: Improve industry productivity (inputs/outputs) to increase local and international competitiveness, while maintaining viability and sustainability of supply.
  • Outcome 3 – Extension and capability: Building capability and innovative culture
  • Outcome 4 – Business insights Improved decision-making in the Australian avocado industry through the use of consumer knowledge and tracking, trade data, production statistics and forecasting, and independent reviews.

With a keen focus to align RD&E investment with industry strategic priorities and be responsive to industry needs, this panel seeks to prioritise levy investments in order to deliver value to growers across the industry.

The day was a collaborative event with a strong feeling of shared goals. A range of concepts were fleshed out to articulate key challenges and desired outcomes.

From the outputs of the ideation, the Hort innovation R&D team will further consult with industry and researchers to scope recommendations for investments which will be brought forward to the Production RD&E Advisory Panel for consideration at the next advice meeting in December.

An outline of how the ideation process connects with the flow of research problems and opportunities through to projects is illustrated in this schematic here.

This article appears as part of the 27 October 2023 issue of the Guacamole enewsletter.

Author: Hort Innovation
Date Published: 24/10/2023