UC Davis and Hort Innovation in Australia unite to meet global horticulture challenges

UC Davis and Hort Innovation Representatives Signing
(L-R) David Moore, general manager of research, marketing and investments at Hort Innovation, and Bryan Jenkins, distinguished professor and chair for the department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. (Tene Goodwin/UC Davis)

The grower-owned Research and Development Corporation, Hort Innovation, has signed a historic co-operative research deal with a leading U.S. research university, ranked among the top in the world for agricultural science programs, to support Australia’s $9.3 billion horticulture industry. 

The agreement was finalized after Hort Innovation and the University of California, Davis, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday (April 25, 2018), which saw both parties enter into a two-year research and information sharing agreement.

Hort Innovation CEO John Lloyd said the University’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has an international research reputation with celebrated academics and a wealth of growing, transferable knowledge that applies to key issues in Australian horticulture.

“With a research investment spend of more than $780 million per year, a faculty that is stacked with academic award-winners, and a wealth of other accolades for research excellence, UC Davis is the ideal institution with which to partner,” he said.

“In return, UC Davis will get the opportunity to work with leading Australian research providers through Hort Innovation to build on its knowledge and share resources to tackle some of the biggest issues our countries face in modern agriculture.”

Lloyd said the specific research priorities of the agreement are being discussed, and it is likely key areas of focus will include smart farming, pollination, food science and a Ph.D. exchange student program. 

Hort Innovation and UC Davis Representatives Shaking Hands
(L-R) David Moore, general manager of research, marketing and investments at Hort Innovation, and Bryan Jenkins, distinguished professor and chair for the department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. (Tene Goodwin/UC Davis)

He said the agreement marks the culmination of several months of talks with the University, which also has an esteemed reputation in the areas of innovation and technology.

“To say we are excited by this research MoU is an understatement,” Lloyd said. “The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of almonds and blueberries, and second largest producer of apples, strawberries, cherries and pistachios, and its academic commitment to advancing horticulture industries is second to none.

“This agreement will allow us to combine some of North America’s leading research minds with those of some of Australia’s top researchers to provide benefits to Australian horticulture for years to come."

UC Davis vice provost and associate chancellor of Global Affairs Joanna Regulska said, “Our collaboration with Hort Innovation provides a unique opportunity for research and innovation."

“It is only through these strong cross-border and interdisciplinary collaborations that global challenges can be solved.”

Hort Innovation, industry representatives, the Australian Government and UC Davis are scoping the research strategy with details expected to be released in the coming weeks. 

Lloyd said Hort Innovation would be calling for Expressions of Interest from potential research partners and co-investors in the coming months.


About Global Affairs at UC Davis

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 8,400 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty studying and researching internationally-and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world's most pressing problems through more than 150 international partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is now in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.


About Hort Innovation

Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit, research and development corporation. It delivers more than $100 million in research, development and marketing activities each year with funding from the Australian Government, grower levies and other sources.

Media Contact: Kelly Vorst-Parkes on 0447 304 255 or Kelly.vorst.parkes@horticulture.com.au

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