Published: 22 June 2022 Updated: 23 June 2022

Table of contents


Welcome to the FRDC Research and Innovation Investment Briefing for June 2022. 

In this briefing, we highlight the key elements of our Annual Operational Plan 2022-23 and the 10 national initiatives identified as part of the R&D planning process.

We also outline new investment opportunities and provide an update on our new application types that are FishNet. These new funding applications are:

  1. Pitch – shorter sharper template to pitch an investment idea or program to FRDC
  2. Prospectus – to allow for sponsorship investment in conferences and events
  3. Bursaries – to fund capacity and capability building, such as through training and information exchange and learnings

If you'd like help using FishNet, please refer to our quick start guide

We also provide an update on other FRDC initiatives, such as the community event in Hobart for the public to learn more about the research that assesses the effects of Atlantic Salmon aquaculture on Tasmania's marine environment at the Hobart Function and Conference Centre, 1 Elizabeth Pier, on June 25 from 10am – 3pm.

To stay up to date with other news and information from FRDC, including our monthly FRDC News, you can subscribe here. You can also follow us on LinkedIn and YouTube. Please drop us a line if you have any suggestions for news you'd like us to include in future briefings.  


Crispian Ashby 
General Manager Research and Development Investment 


Annual Operational Plan 2022-23

FRDC's Annual Operational Plan (AOP) for 2022-23 will be finalised on 30 June. The AOP will detail how we will deliver on the third year of our R&D Plan 2020-25 and contribute to the 2030 vision for fishing and aquaculture of

collaborative, vibrant fishing and aquaculture, creating diverse benefits from aquatic resources and celebrated by the community.

This AOP describes the research and development (R&D) activities we will fund to give effect to our R&D Plan and our forecast expenditure in 2022–23. 

The draft plan seeks to balance tackling strategic issues of national importance with working alongside our stakeholders in each jurisdiction and sector, to ensure individual needs continue to be met as part of a balanced portfolio.

During the life of the AOP, FRDC will invest and partner to build a platform for change that includes:

  • Investment through Agricultural Innovation Australia to tackle shared strategic issues across agriculture, fisheries, and forestry
  • Bringing together a collective to lay foundations for successful digital transformation
  • Exploring opportunities to enhance national sustainability reporting
  • Expanding FRDC's investment to build capability and capacity across fishing and aquaculture
  • Deploying a regional network of extension officers to aid R&D adoption

Leveraging off this integrated platform of investments will enable FRDC to work with our partners to tackle some of the bigger challenges facing fishing and aquaculture, including:

  • Improving resilience of fishing and aquaculture to a changing climate
  • Accelerating transition to a circular economy
  • Optimising equitable sharing and security of access to Australia's aquatic resources
  • Increasing opportunities for Indigenous communities in fishing and aquaculture
  • Understanding and responding to threats and opportunities presented by alternative proteins

Ten National Strategic Initiatives

As outlined above, FRDC is looking to progress 10 national initiatives identified as part of the R&D planning process

  • Collaborate across agriculture, fisheries, and forestry to target shared strategic issues
  • Bring together a collective to lay foundations for successful digital transformation
    • Partnering in the Australian Agrifood Data Exchange
    • Working and collaborating for an interconnected data highway for sharing, re-using and combining data
    • Working with jurisdictions, statistical working group and sectors to progress digitisation and data sharing, i.e. SAFs and Digitising Western Rock Lobster
  • Explore opportunities to enhance national sustainability reporting
    • 6th and 7th editions of Status of Australian Fish Stocks
    • Progressing broader than stock reporting/risk assessment tools
    • Consideration of other reporting elements – i.e. carbon, plastics, labour, animal welfare
  • Initiate a coordinated program to build capability and capacity across fishing and aquaculture. Board approved $5.18M over three years
    • Determine workforce and capability/capacity needs
    • Tools and resources to connect and support
    • Attract and retain great people
    • Connect and collaborate to drive meaningful change
    • Grow and nurture diverse people to thrive in uncertainty
    • Innovate, learn, and adapt
  • Deploy a regional network to facilitate greater R&D adoption. Board approved $4M over three years
    • Extension officers located in each of the 7 jurisdictions
    • Working independently across all FRDC stakeholders to connect them to our R&D and improve impact including these national initiatives
    • Connecting existing R&D outputs to end users to meet their needs
    • Assist in identifying issues and opportunities with the Research Advisory Committees
    • Advising researchers on best practice extension, leading to more impact with research
  • Activate program to improve the resilience of fishing and aquaculture to a changing climate. Board approved $6.33M over three years
    • Build awareness of enterprise-level risks and opportunities
    • Establish baseline of GHG emission performance
    • Build capability and capacity across fishing and aquaculture to trial solutions (alternate fuels, renewable energy solutions etc.)
    • Drive adoption/commercialisation of scalable options
    • Upscale stewardship targeting preservation and enhancement of natural systems including 'Blue Carbon'
    • Develop a plan outlining critical steps towards neutrality
    • Track what's working, what's not working, and adapt
    • Tell the story of fishing and aquaculture's efforts towards achieving neutrality
  • Activate program to aid transitioning of fishing and aquaculture into a circular economy. Board approved $2.11M over three years with the open call closing 1 June
    • Quantify the size of the opportunity afforded by more circular flow of materials across fishing and aquaculture and showcase success stories.
    • Provide support for enterprises and entities across fishing and aquaculture sectors to identify circular economy opportunities in their context.
    • Trial and scale solutions to convert waste into value.
    • Track what's working, what's not working, and adapt
  • Empowering Indigenous led economic participation in fisheries and aquaculture opportunities (under development)
    • The FRDC was a partner in the Economic Participation of Indigenous Communities CRC bid (EPIC CRC).
    • The bid was unsuccessful, and the FRDC is exploring new opportunities to continue advancing this strategic need.
  • Investigate opportunities to optimise equitable sharing and security of access to Australia's aquatic resources (under development)
  • Understand and respond to threats and opportunities presented by alternative proteins (under development)

Investment Opportunities

The latest Open Call for Investment Opportunities is now posted on the FRDC website. Requests for funds must be submitted by 11 July 2022, unless otherwise stipulated.

New Application Types

To meet the variety of investment opportunities FRDC has developed 3 new application types to complement the research application that is already available. These applications are:

  • Pitch – shorter sharper template to pitch an investment idea or program to the FRDC
  • Prospectus – to allow for sponsorship investment in conferences and events
  • Bursaries – to fund in capacity and capability building such as through training and information exchange and learnings

These application types will be rolled out in the new financial year.

End of financial year

As the end of financial year is approaching, FRDC has been chasing overdue reporting to meet its eligible expenditure target. The team has been contacting principal investigators and heads of research agencies to get overdue reporting in, so that they can be processed.

As part of its funding agreement, the FRDC has an eligible expenditure target that it needs to meet. This equates to 1% of the Average Gross Value of Production. If this target is not met, the following year's investment in the FRDC by the federal government is reduced.

Atlantic Salmon Science

FRDC is undertaking several activities to enable Atlantic Salmon aquaculture research to be more accessible to the public. The first of these activities is a new collaborative website between FRDC, CSIRO and IMAS. The website is designed to consolidate all the research that is either funded or conducted by the three organisations into one site. It is structured in an easy-to-read format. The website will be based around themes (environmental interactions, fish health, biosecurity and welfare, and social and economic impacts). It opens with high-level descriptions of these areas, outlines the work that has been done, and then filters down to increasing levels of technical information before the reader gets to the project reports.

Along with the website, FRDC, CSIRO and IMAS are holding a free community event in Hobart on 25 June. This event is an extension-based activity in which people can come and talk to researchers, see presentations and have access to materials/printouts, in an environment where they can easily consume the information and converse, at their own pace. The focus of this event will be on the research conducted on Atlantic Salmon farming in Tasmania.  Researchers involved in both the physical monitoring research and the computer model development will be in attendance. FRDC representatives will be on hand to explain who we are and how we work, in terms of our funding and prioritisation of research activities.

We will review the operation/success of this event to determine whether this type of activity may be undertaken for other topics and jurisdictions, by FRDC extension officers.

FRDC Extension Officer Network

FRDC has now deployed extension officers in each jurisdiction except for Tasmania.  Fisheries and Aquaculture organisations will be contacted by an FRDC extension officer in the coming days.  The extension officers are currently being inducted and will start reaching out to stakeholders.  For the first six months, extension officers will refine their work program in each jurisdiction based on preliminary engagement with stakeholders, particularly with Research Advisory Committees. 

FRDC Communications

The June 2022 edition is the final one for FISH magazine. FRDC News, a monthly electronic newsletter, is taking over from FISH. FRDC News will be the primary communications channel for sharing articles on the outcomes of research projects, new projects, upcoming fishing and aquaculture events and issues arising across our sectors. As a digital communications platform, FRDC News provides FRDC with the capability to share videos and storymap-style collateral, which will help bring research outcomes to life. 

FRDC is also sharing our articles and media releases with our partner organisations to expand distribution throughout the Indigenous, commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture sectors via hard-copy or electronic publications of our partners. 

Additionally, FRDC is expanding communications to the wider community through the distribution of media releases to print, broadcast and online media outlets and social media channels, to amplify and target our information to specific audiences. 

To subscribe to FRDC's communication streams visit

New position to help the FRDC forge new partnerships and opportunities

The FRDC R&D Plan 2020-25 is ambitious and seeks to respond to some of the larger challenges and opportunities ahead.

Responding to a need to do things differently, FRDC has engaged fishing sector professional and fisheries scientist Dr Jamin Forbes as FRDC Strategic Partnerships Manager. The core purpose of this role will be to help identify and build new partnerships to realise fresh opportunities, acquire additional resources and enable co-investment to tackle some of the major challenges facing fishing and aquaculture.

Jamin, who is based in Wagga Wagga, has a PhD in freshwater ecology, a master's degree in biotechnology and an undergraduate degree in medical science.

He was most recently director of business development at Charles Sturt University (CSU). During this time, he wrote a submission for the Southern New South Wales Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub and helped secure funding from the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment for the Biosecurity Training Centre established at CSU. He also helped to secure the $3.8m Next Generation and Water Engineering Hub at CSU, which aims to provide eco-hydraulic solutions to improve ecological conditions and fish migration in rivers.

Jamin previously worked for the NSW Department of Primary Industries as a research scientist, specialising in recreational inland fisheries for Murray Cod and Golden Perch and trout fisheries in the Snowy Mountains.

Seafood Directions

Join industry colleagues from September 13-15 in Brisbane for the Seafood Directions Conference, the industry's premier ideas, innovation and networking event. The conference provides an exciting platform for national and international speakers to share their expertise around the theme: One Voice, One Future.
The event will be a thought provoking and enjoyable few days tackling industry issues, from water to plate – bringing together leaders, innovators and disruptors from all sectors of the seafood industry.
The conference program will feature more than 45 informative sessions highlighting essential issues, seafood trends, innovation and technology all approached with a focus on togetherness and harmonisation. Ending with the industry's night of nights, the National Seafood Industry Awards Gala dinner.

To buy your tickets for this year's Seafood Directions Conference go to the Seafood Directions website.

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