$3.6 Million to Address Australia’s Food Security Data Challenges

The ARDC is co-investing $3.6 million to address pressing research data challenges for Australia’s food security.
Field of wheat with sun setting in the distance

In partnership with key stakeholders in food security, the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) is investing in developing innovative digital infrastructure solutions with the aim of improving research into Australia’s production, consumption and distribution of safe and high-quality food.

The ARDC is pleased to announce $3.6 million investment in the following projects, with a total of over $5.7 million in co-investment from our partners.

Consultation and Collaboration — The Key to a National Approach

The ARDC conducted 11 months of targeted consultations, including a series of facilitation meetings and participatory design workshops with over 150 stakeholders to identify the data challenges in food security research. This process identified priority areas for national digital research infrastructure to improve Australia’s capability in food security research. To fill the strategic gaps in digital infrastructure and address these priority areas, the ARDC has co-designed the following projects in collaboration with key national stakeholders from the research and public sectors as well as industry and not-for-profit organisations.

Dr Adrian Burton, Director of Data, Services and Policy at the ARDC, said, “The new digital research infrastructure being created through the Food Security Data Challenges program will address critical data challenges facing research, government and industry. We’re thrilled to partner with leading organisations from across the public, academic and industry sectors to secure Australia’s food supply and production into the future.”

New Projects to Improve Australia’s Food Security

We are pleased to announce the projects and partners that will develop digital infrastructure to improve Australia’s food security as part of the ARDC’s Food Security Data Challenges program. For more information about the projects, visit the Food Security Data Challenges project page.

1. Increasing food security through liberation of fishing and aquaculture data

Lead: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)

Partners: South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia Government (DPIRD), Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries Ltd, Spencer Gulf & West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association Inc., Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania

2. Data Sharing Initiative

Lead: Federation University

Partners: Food Agility CRC, National Farmers’ Federation (NFF)

3. Connecting/Federating stable isotopic data resources


Partners: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Geoscience Australia (GA), National Measurement Institute (NMI)

4. Improving food security through pathogen resistance tracking and analysis

Lead: Cooperative Research Centre for Solving Antimicrobial Resistance in Agribusiness, Food, and Environments (CRC SAAFE)

Partners: The University of Queensland, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia Government (DPIRD), Water Research Australia, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), Food Innovation Australia (FIAL), Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), Curtin University, Ausveg

5. Multi-scalar Crop Characterisation Network (MCCN)

Lead: Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF)

Partners: TERN, Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), SmartSAT Cooperative Research Centre, CSIRO, University of Adelaide – The Plant Accelerator, The Australian National University Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology, Australian Scalable Drone Cloud, QDAF (Emerald), UQ (Gatton Research Facility), University of Sydney (Narrabri Research Station), Western Australian Government (DPIRD), Federation University (AgReFed), South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)

6. Enhancing the Apparent Consumption of Foodstuffs dataset to inform food consumption patterns

Lead: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

Partners: Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

7. Mapping Food Insecurity and Food Relief in Australia

Lead: Foodbank Australia

Partners: OzHarvest, SecondBite, The Art of More, Big Village Research, University of Technology Sydney, Solutions Supporting Household Food Security in Australia through Research and Evidence (SHARE), Tjindu Foundation

8. Building a traceability data infrastructure to track provenance and quality in Australian seafood supply chains

Lead: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Partners: University of Technology Sydney (UTS); Sydney Fish Market (NSW); commercial mud crabbers and seafood supply chain operators across Qld, NSW and NT; Agriculture Victoria

9. Implementing GS1 traceability standards for orchard chemical use and beehive movements

Lead: Agriculture Victoria

Partners: Spatial Vision, Unique Micro Design, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, NSW Department of Primary Industries, GS1 Traceability Advisory Group, Federation University, Deakin University, Pollination Security Cooperative Research Centre (under development)

For more information about the projects, visit the Food Security Data Challenges project page.

Next Steps

To be kept informed about this program and projects, please register your interest via the Food Security Data Challenges program page.

The ARDC is funded through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) to support national digital research infrastructure for Australian researchers.