Oysters Australia has provided national coordination of RD&E since 2011 following the successful Oyster Consortium trial through the Seafood CRC. Prior to this, the industry invested on a state-by-state basis via the FRAB system, and often in isolation to each other. There are considerable advantages of RD&E collaboration across states, however funds are required to facilitate consultation and to coordinate investment.
This consultation includes the establishment of an R&D Committee, which enables members to learn about cutting-edge oyster research and discuss changing priorities. It also supports the development of up-and-coming researchers by exposing them to industry leaders in the sector.
In 2020, following a lengthy development process, Oysters Australia launched a new Strategic Plan 2020-2025 (FRDC project 2019-208). Accompanying this release, OA also made a call for projects and received 22 EOI's requesting funds totalling almost $10m. Working through the R&D Committee, OA are systematically reviewing these applications and will be recommending a suite of projects to progress to full application in FishNet and subsequent funding through the Oysters IPA.
Further calls for applications will be made to strategically address industry priorities over the next 5 years, as outlined in the Oysters Australia – FRDC IPA agreement.
In addition to guiding investment through the IPA, OA is also frequently pulled into other RD&E issues and exposed to opportunities of potential national importance to the oyster industry. This includes Centre of Excellence and Cooperative Research Centre proposals, negotiations regarding the aquatic EADRA, the Australian Governments AquaPlan, SafeFish and various other programs.
This project will enable Oysters Australia to continue providing national support on such matters, and to guide further industry investment in priority RD&E.