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Australian Research Council to fund important food safety projects in fresh produce industry through University of Sydney and Fresh Produce Safety Centre

Photo: Ruth Hartnup / Flickr, CC BY 2.0

FPSC: Professor Robyn McConchie and other researchers from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney received a $2.2 million Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre grant and will work closely with more than 20 industry partners under a new Centre ‘Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry’.

Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney, congratulated all research groups within the University who won ARC industry linkage grants, saying: ‘Our world-class researchers are committed to working closely with industry and community to find novel ways of translating their work into practical solutions through partnerships with industry.’

The Centre’s aim is to create an innovation platform of food safety researchers and industry personnel who can significantly advance the safety of fruit and vegetables in Australia.

The research will be conducted over four years and include nine projects that were identified as priority areas by industry.

‘The new research projects will be collaboratively managed with the industry partners including the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand,’ said Professor McConchie, who is also a Director of the FPSC. ‘The FPSC has been focusing on research to improve food safety in the vegetable and fruit industries since its inception in May 2014. It has gained widespread industry support for its research projects, which are communicated to growers and producers through its website, publications, e-newsletter, professional development events, workshops, seminars and conferences.

‘The FPSC works with companies, researchers, peak industry groups, growers and producers to provide focused, science-based research outcomes of importance to industry that can be implemented to increase fresh produce food safety.’

The ARC Linkage Projects scheme provides funding to support research and development collaborations between university researchers, industry and other research end-users. The scheme also provides opportunities for internationally competitive research projects to be conducted in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to high-quality research.