Today (Thursday July 1) marks ‘day one’ of an exciting era of sugarcane research, development and adoption (RD&A) investment for the Australian sugarcane industry, with Sugar Research Australia (SRA) officially commencing a new five-year Strategic Plan.

SRA CEO Roslyn Baker said that the Strategic Plan 2021-2026 had been developed with extensive consultation and feedback over the last 18 months and had culminated in a new plan built on five specific pillars of value.

These pillars are: strong foundations, a high-performing research portfolio, translation expertise, world-class sugarcane varieties, and commercial benefits and rewards.

“By focusing on these five strategic pillars, we have created a new direction for SRA that puts the company in the best possible position to deliver on our new vision,” she said.

SRA’s new vision is to be: A trusted partner, shaping the future prosperity of the Australian sugarcane industry and regional communities through innovation and ingenuity.

“This plan represents the biggest transformation of SRA since the company began operation in 2013,” Ms Baker said.

“Our plan is a growth strategy for research and development for the sugar industry. We are focused on delivering immediate value by providing valuable industry services, while also ensuring long-term sustainability and outcomes through re-invigorating the research investment portfolio and focusing on potential commercial opportunities.”

SRA’s new strategy will:

  • Support a portfolio approach to investment in RD&A to ensure a balance of investments that address both the current-day productivity and sustainability constraints for the industry, while anticipating the future opportunities and challenges ahead.
  • Leverage SRA’s internal research capability and regional footprint to increase the awareness and use of research knowledge to improve regional productivity and sustainability, facilitate regional collaboration and partnerships, and boost co-investment opportunities.
  • Continue to evolve and modernise our world-class sugarcane variety development program to meet the current and future needs of the industry.
  • Strategically invest in innovative crop protection that uses new science and technology so that the Australian sugarcane industry can lead the world, and exceed community expectations, in protecting our precious natural environment.

Ms Baker said she was grateful for the industry support and guidance for the development of the plan, as well as strong support from the SRA staff and Board.

“We have reshaped SRA to deliver the best bang for the buck when it comes to the investment that our government and industry stakeholders make in SRA,” she said. “We have also aligned our new plan strongly with the innovation agendas being targeted by the Australian and Queensland Governments.

“We look forward to talking with all of SRA’s partners and investors in coming weeks and months about our new strategic direction and how we can all work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for the industry.”

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