Published: 17 April 2024 Updated: 22 April 2024
Table of contents

What is a priority?

FRDC’s advisory structures – Research Advisory Committees, Industry Partnerships Agreements, Coordination programs – have a critical role in reviewing and recommending Research, Development & Extension (RD&E) priorities that have clear end users and beneficiaries, ensuring FRDC’s investment delivers positive impact.  

A priority is any potential issue or opportunity that might require RD&E investment.

Who can submit a priority?

Anyone can submit a priority! FRDC's Advisory structures consider priorities identified through a range of sources, such as strategic workshops, resource management & working groups, recommendations of completed R&D, as well as from a variety of stakeholder groups and individuals.  

If you would like to highlight and submit a priorities, this can be done through a discussion with a friendly FRDC representative. Please touch base with your relevant jurisdiction based FRDC Extension Officer or contact a relevant part associated with an FRDC Industry Partnerships Agreements or a Coordination program to submit your priority. 

If your priority progresses to a Call for Investment opportunity, you will be required to provide further details to FRDC. 

FRDC Priority Template

Priorities are presented in the FRDC priority template, which you can download as an editable word document here.


Descriptive priority heading 


Outline succinctly or in dot point form the opportunity or need to be addressed through RD&E investment 


Outline planned outcomes that could result from the outputs generated by the activity. Where possible, define optimal methods of delivery 


Define the expected duration of the activity, if known 

Outline the closing date for submissions 

End user 

Outline the end users of the RD&E outputs. This could be an individual or a group 


Jurisdictions/sectors that are requesting the application 

FRDC Outcome(s) 

Alignment with the Outcome(s) from the FRDC R&D Plan 2020-2025 


Any other supporting information 

What happens after a priority is submitted?

After a priority is submitted to the FRDC, it is shared with the relevant advisory structures for discussion and review. FRDC management also reviews all priorities. 

When reviewing priorities, FRDC and the advisory structures consider several factors – such as other developments and activities relevant to the issue; the likelihood of adoption & impact; alignment or overlap among priorities & existing activities; and alignment to FRDC R&D Plan as well as other relevant strategic documents.  

Priorities that go through the advisory structures and are successful form the basis of FRDC’s Call for Investment Opportunities, which is an open and competitive process that seeks applications for funding submitted through the FishNet portal

Importantly, funded activities that result from priorities must be consistent with FRDC’s funding guidelines. The following below activities have been deemed by FRDC Board as inappropriate for FRDC investment. 

Agri-political activity 

FRDC will not invest in agri-political activity. FRDC believes that this type of activity is more appropriately undertaken by industry. FRDC may invest in tools for assisting industry with promotion activities. 

Fisheries restocking 

FRDC will not invest in fisheries re-stocking. FRDC may invest in the RD&E components of fish re-stocking related projects providing those components meet the basic requirements of RD&E in terms of being innovative and resulting in new knowledge, processes and technology. 

Fishery or enterprise level certification 

FRDC will not invest in the direct costs of fisheries certification for individual fisheries or enterprises to gain quality or environmental certification [e.g. Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), and Friends of the Sea)] or in the on-going roll out of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) or Codes of Practice. It may invest in tools for assisting with these activities; such as tools to develop certification processes and procedures; or novel tools for EMS development.  

Stock assessment and fishery monitoring  

FRDC will not invest in stock assessment, the data required to undertake a stock assessment, or the development, updating, or running of stock assessment models unless the collection or method for collection or assessment is new and innovative or supports developmental fisheries. 

Similarly, FRDC will not fund projects associated with other management activities such as the maintenance and running of harvest strategies and management strategy evaluations associated with a fishery or stock or transferring techniques and technology from one fishery to another. For example, where a fishery will be undertaking a harvest strategy for the first time using techniques and methods from other fisheries as examples, this is considered the core business of the management agency. However, FRDC may invest in the RD&E components of these activities, provided those components meet the basic requirements of RD&E in terms of being innovative, and resulting in new knowledge, processes and technology. This can include elements of technology transfer or adoption. 

RD&E around a new stock assessment method or refining an existing method would be considered.


FRDC does not invest in training when other funding sources are more appropriate; or where the benefit is clearly commercial. 


FRDC will not usually invest in capital that would be expected to form part of the research provider’s infrastructure capacity. 

FRDC does invest in novel or innovative capital items that can be used as a demonstration to other stakeholders on their utility with the view to further adoption. In these instances, FRDC will cover half the cost of the item with the other half being provided as a cash contribution by the applicant.  


FRDC will not invest in the direct funding of marketing activities such as advertising campaigns, store promotions and product placement.  

However, FRDC can provide funds to undertake market research that may be more broadly applicable to the jurisdictional and/or national industry sector. 

Retrospective activities FRDC will not fund expenditure related to activities that have been undertaken previously, prior to approval of funding.  

For more information on applying for funding and the application assessment process refer here

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