R&D Planning and Priorities


Strategic planning is central to the FRDC’s business. Core to this is a five year R&D Plan guides investment. Supporting this and actualising the investment is an Annual Operational Plan which is updated each year following the FRDC scanning its business environment, gaining stakeholder feedback on priorities and reviewing existing investments to ensure its portfolio is balanced and well directed. Below are the key planning documents that drive the FRDC investment.


Annual Operating Plan

The FRDC is required by its enabling legislation to develop an Annual Operating Plan (AOP) each year. The AOP, provides context for the FRDC’s operating environment and highlights the key strategic areas of investment for the coming financial year. When looking to apply for funding the AOP is a key strategic document that should be referred to by stakeholders.


FRDC R&D Plans


The FRDC's R&D Plan 2020-2025

The Assistant Minister Jonathon Duniam approved the FRDC Research and Development Plan 2020-2025 on 18 June 2020. The R&D Plan commenced 1 July 2020.

View the FRDC's R&D Plan 2020-2025 online.

Fore more details of how the plan was developed, visit this page or preview the PDF version.


FRDC RD&E Plan 2015-2020

The FRDC's Research, Development and Extension Plan 2015–2020  is its primary strategic document relating to the fishing industry. As the principal source of information about the FRDC’s policies, programs and operations, the plan:

  • highlights the key priorities for the FRDC over the next five years;
  • describes the FRDC;
  • defines its business environment;
  • lays down, against the business environment, the FRDC’s planned outcomes for the period 2015 to 2020; and
  • outlines the framework for RD&E investment that will address national strategic challenges and priorities, and contribute to achieving its planned outcomes

The FRDC’s current RD&E Plan runs from 1 July 2015 through to 30 June 2020. 


FRDC RD&E Plan 2010-2015

Investing for tomorrow’s fish: the FRDC’s Research, Development and Extension Plan 2010–2015

This is the fifth statutory strategic plan that the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) has published since its inception in 1992. At that time, the major focus was on research concerning the management of commercial wild-catch fisheries and, to a lesser extent, aquaculture. Since 1992, the scope has widened greatly to encompass economic, environmental and social aspects of the entire fishing and aquaculture industry — that is, the recreational and indigenous customary sectors in addition to the commercial wild-catch and aquaculture sectors.


FRDC RD&E Plan 2005-2010

Investing for tomorrow’s fish

This plan takes account of forecast changes to the FRDC’s business environment during the next 20 years, driven by the need for the FRDC to be responsive to long-term changes on a wide front.

Making long-term forecasts is fraught with difficulty. Significant developments in the course of world events are often triggered by factors that, individually, may be minor. It is the combination of these triggers that is almost always unforeseeable. Consequently, detailed scenarios of the future usually prove to be wrong. Planning should not therefore be concerned with describing such scenarios but with identifying specific factors that are likely to be important in future. Such identification is a continual process for the FRDC.

At the same time as it takes a 20-year perspective in framing its vision and strategic challenges, the Corporation adopts a 5-year perspective for its detailed planning. While recognising the practical limits to the funds available for fisheries R&D, the FRDC constantly seeks to expand its investment and to maximise returns on behalf of the industry and the Australian people.


Other planning documents and references 


National Primary Industries RD&E Framework

The over-arching framework for primary industries RD&E is the National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension Framework, to which governments, the research and development corporations, research providers and primary industry peak bodies have contributed. The Framework aims to encourage greater collaboration and promote continuous improvement in the investment of RD&E resources nationally. The document that outlines the future RD&E directions of the fishing and aquaculture industry within that framework is Working Together: The National Fishing and Aquaculture RD&E Strategy.


National Fishing and Aquaculture RD&E Strategy 2015-20

The establishment of the National Fishing and Aquaculture Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Strategy provides direction to improve the focus, efficiency and effectiveness of RD&E to support Australia’s fishing and aquaculture industry. The Strategy builds on the platform established by the first and provides a nationally agreed, common vision for the industry over the next five years, guiding the investment of millions of dollars of state and national research funding.