The Former Minister for Industry and Science, The Hon. Ian Macfarlane officially opened the Convention, reinforcing the importance of innovation in agribusiness and highlighting Australia’s poor record of converting research and development (R&D) investment into commercial outcomes.

“The Australian food and agribusiness industry spends $541 million a year on R&D and, while ranked the 17th most innovative nation in the world, is listed very poorly at 116 out of 142 countries when it comes to converting those research dollars into innovation and commercial success,” Mr Macfarlane outlined. He stated that the industry has a responsibility to commercialise innovation, grow the economy and provide long-term, well-paid jobs in Australia.