The approaching end of 2022 offers us a chance to reflect on our achievements, our people and our business.

As Chair of the APPF Board, I am incredibly proud of the year that was. On behalf of the Board, I would like to acknowledge our team and thank them for making APPF so successful.

The APPF team is spread across three nodes – The Plant Accelerator® at the University of Adelaide Waite Campus, The Plant Phenomics Group at the ANU Research School of Biology in Canberra, and The High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre at CSIRO Black Mountain, Canberra.

As a distributed national research infrastructure, we offer Australia’s agriculture industry open access to state-of-the-art plant phenomics technologies, tools and expertise at a scale and breadth that is unavailable in the public sector anywhere else in the world.

Throughout 2022, feedback from our numerous clients provided clear endorsement of our team, their service, and the support that underpins highly credible research. We have captured some of our achievements in fact sheets, stories of impact, and blog posts which can be viewed here.

You may also like to review our published research from 2022.

This year, the APPF Board (comprising four independent members and three members representing our node host institutions) worked closely with management to develop an ambitious future strategy and investment plan. This will see us continue to grow and service new demand across a wide range of agricultural sectors, from broadacre grains to horticulture to plant-based medicines.

This vision is outlined in the latest APPF Prospectus.

More recently, the Board has been active providing oversight of APPF initiatives in the data management space, with significant progress being made in our data management strategy and companion data management plan. This has helped refine our objectives for APPF’s national data architecture and significantly improved the availability of our nationally significant data assets for future re-use.

As a research-focused organisation, funding is always a significant topic for APPF. We are proud to have developed the APPF Investment Fund as a key strategic tool, and of securing additional funds from the Department of Education during its ‘Capability Gap’ NCRIS funding round. This will support development of novel tools and technologies in areas as diverse as stomata phenotyping, advanced hyperspectral phenotyping, refined environmental simulation in specialist growth chambers, and enable us to begin scoping work for future projects in vertical farming.

In our governance role, the APPF Board maintained oversight of risk management, performance monitoring KPIs and milestones, which were all met or exceeded. We also welcomed senior officials from the Department of Education for Board discussions and site visits.

We appreciate our close working relationship with the NCRIS Team and their ongoing support of APPF. The Board has engaged with our host organisations, industry stakeholders, and government supporters over the year, to ensure all remain happy with the evolution of our value proposition and their part in shaping our direction.

APPF’s commitment to cutting edge technology was again demonstrated this year with the roll-out of new capabilities such as the X-Ray CT Scanner in Adelaide, in-field phenotyping services, growth room chambers and imaging, and the upkeep of critical infrastructure across our suite of controlled environment and field activities.

As our numerous achievements carry us forward into 2023, the APPF team and Board look forward to providing an irreplaceable service to the agriculture industry, underpinned by sound governance, guidance and support.

On behalf of the APPF Board, I wish you safe and happy festive season.

With kind regards,

Ron Sandland
APPF Chair

Please note that the APPF National Office will close from 22 December 2022 and re-open on 3 January 2023. We wish everybody a safe and happy festive season.