The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) will benefit from a $2.6 million research infrastructure investment announced by Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, and Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash, at the facility.

The grant was announced under the Federal Government’s new $1.9 billion Research Infrastructure Investment Plan, in response to the recommendations from the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap developed by a group of experts led by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO.

(L-R) Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham – Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash – Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO – Nicolle Flint MP at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility’s Adelaide node

“Australia’s prosperity depends on the work being done in these research labs today and into the future. With the nearly $2 billion we’ve committed over the next decade to upgrade and strengthen Australia’s research facilities, our world-leading scientists and researchers will have the tools they need to support their vital work,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This investment will ensure our researchers and industry have greater access to state-of-the-art facilities and advances in research, driving economic growth, creating jobs, and producing outcomes that will be enormously beneficial for us all,” Minister Cash added.

This is welcome news to the APPF and our fellow NCRIS facilities, with long-term operations already assured through the $150 million per annum of indexed funding delivered in 2016 for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) under the National Science and Innovation Agenda. Our national research facilities support the ground-breaking work of Australian scientists including 2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons and Senior Australian of the Year, plant scientist Dr Graham Farquhar AO.

“The announcement is great news. This important funding will help us ensure our infrastructure and equipment remains at the cutting edge of technological science, and that the we can continue to offer a world-class facility supporting research into the development of new and improved crops, healthier food, more sustainable agricultural practices and improved biodiversity management,” said the APPF’s Dr Bettina Berger.

Dr Bettina Berger with Minister Birmingham, Nicolle Flint MP, Alan Finkel AO and Minister Cash in one of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility’s Smarthouses