Developing the Drought Resilience Research & Adoption Investment Plan

Drought is an enduring feature of the Australian landscape. It has significant economic, social and environmental impacts.

The Australian Government has established a $5 billion Future Drought Fund to enhance the public good by building drought resilience. The Fund will provide secure, continuous funding to help primary producers and rural and regional communities become more prepared for, and resilient to, future droughts.

The Fund’s Research and Adoption Program will provide $88 million a year for four years to support agricultural innovation (research, development, extension, adoption and commercialisation) activities.

The Research and Adoption Program has four interconnected elements:

  • Adoption and Innovation Hubs
  • Innovation Grants
  • a Science to Practice Forum
  • a national Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Investment Plan.

The Investment Plan will identify national and regional priorities and help to shape the Future Drought Fund’s future research and adoption investments. The Investment Plan will include input from the Hubs, help link the Hubs to national priorities and will be updated periodically.

A consortium of Alluvium Consulting, Natural Capital Economics, the Australian Farm Institute and Climate Comms will undertake national consultations and prepare the Investment Plan. Our priority is to involve agricultural producers and communities in all aspects and at all stages of developing the Investment Plan, from identifying innovation priorities through to identifying possible solutions.

This site will help us to engage with communities and key stakeholders that use and produce drought resilience research and adoption services. The engagement process will help us to:

  • Develop and verify a shared understanding of what drought resilience means - in practical terms for research and adoption users and providers.
  • Develop a shared understanding of the challenges and barriers to achieving drought resilience in the short, medium, and long term. These include challenges and barriers related to:
    • Effective adoption of drought resilience research.
    • Knowledge gaps that we need to fill with new research and development.
  • Use the information above to identify innovation gaps and needs.
  • Develop a shared understanding of what actions we jointly need to take to improve the drought resilience of agricultural communities, enterprises, and ecosystems.
  • Share and seek feedback on current investigations of possible priorities.

To engage as widely as possibly with regional communities and research and adoption service providers, we will facilitate online workshops in three phases of engagement:

  1. Research and adoption users such as agricultural producers, natural resource managers and rural community members.
  2. Research and adoption providers such as universities, and funders such as government departments.
  3. Collaborative engagement between research and adoption users, providers and funders.

We will present the findings from these online workshops to and seek further input from the Adoption and Innovation Hubs and stakeholders at the Science-to-Practice forum in a fourth phase of engagement.

Additional Resources

Research and Adoption Stocktake: A stocktake of current drought resilience research, development, extension and adoption (RDE&A) was undertaken in 2020 by ACIL Allen Consulting to improve understanding of the current investment in RDE&A in Australia and inform the development of the Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program.

The report makes information on drought resilience RDE&A publicly available and identifies current RDE&A activity and capability focused on drought resilience.

  • Phase 1: Drought resilience research & adoption needs workshops

    Four online workshops divided into regional groups, plus an online survey, for people who live and work in rural and agricultural communities.

    29 April and 6 May 2021

  • Phase 2: Research & adoption translation workshops

    Online workshop with research and adoption partners.

    2 June 2021

  • Phase 3: Preliminary plan and prioritisation

    Targeted engagement with the Adoption & Innovation Hubs

    June 2021

  • Phase 4: Drought Resilience R&A Plan finalisation

    Presentation at Science to Practice Forum.

    Week Commencing 28 June 2021