Innovation Seed Fund for Horticulture Development

Critical Dates

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Applications Open

Monday 31 October 2016

Applications Close

Early December 2016

Notification of outcomes


The Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative between the University of Melbourne and Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), pursuing innovative and high impact research projects that leverage the strengths of the two partners. The fund focuses on Horticulture industry development and aims to:

  • Create an environment where scholarship based on agreed high impact research and innovation priorities can flourish
  • Be a seed fund to develop quality collaborative projects that will have significant impact
  • Bring researchers from the University of Melbourne and DEDJTR together to develop innovative and inspiring projects
  • Develop the next generation of agricultural research professionals and research communicators.

The scheme will support research teams to develop and implement interdisciplinary and/or research projects that addresses one or more of the themes set out below and/or focuses on a topic relevant to the research objectives of both organisations. Applications must include researchers from both DEDJTR and the University of Melbourne.

Projects should demonstrate strong potential to:

  • Lead directly to applications for competitive research grants, such as ARC Linkage, Industry Transformation Research Hubs/Centres, Discovery grants, RDCs or other sources
  • Develop collaborative research initiatives between the two organisations
  • Produce high quality, high impact research outputs
  • Demonstrate impact beyond the academic and research communities.

Funding will focus on the following themes:

  • Boosting Victorian horticulture  industries’ productivity and competitiveness by innovation in  production systems (e.g. new growing systems; integrated approaches for nutrient, water and pest and disease management such as robotics or UAV)
  • Managing seasonal variability (e.g. manipulating fruit quality under covers; use of digital technology to predict and reduce risks of climate change impacts)
  • Improving horticulture management systems that produce high quality produce to meet the requirements/preferences of consumers (e.g. new approaches for storage , handling, logistics and supply management)
  • Optimising horticultural exports by developing market information and addressing issues (e.g. Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) management practices; improved market access protocols for target markets, obtaining and optimising market information for export development)
  • Building industry capability, capacity and supporting transition (e.g. innovative re-design of existing outputs  or processes such as products and labour;  development of value adding products or processes;  workforce and education attraction and skills for a smarter workforce)

However, consideration will also be given to project proposals that fall outside these themes.


The fund is comprised of contributions from both the University of Melbourne and DEDJTR, ranging from $5,000-$25,000. There is one funding round per year.

How to apply

  1. Review the funding guidelines

  2. Complete the application form and checklist

  3. Submit the application

    Submit a single PDF file containing the application and any supplementary information required to by the due date.

Supporting documents



Questions and primary email

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