A workshop to assess gaps and cross-sectoral RD&E opportunities in the collective PBRI project inventory (264 projects) was held on 30 January in Canberra.
Biosecurity R&D program managers or their equivalent from each RDC, DAWR and PHA were invited to participate in this exercise. Each PBRI member presented their organisation’s perspective on R&D gaps, identifying where the PBRI could invest in future cross-sectoral activities.
Each of the 264 investments was grouped according to the PBRI’s six Key Focus Areas and obvious gaps in RD&E investments were identified, particularly in the areas of ‘Biosecurity Capability Building’ and ‘Industry Resilience’ (business continuity promoted through partnerships in Biosecurity decision-making).
At least 21 PhD candidates were identified to be working across industry in the field of plant biosecurity and are supported by industry scholarships (or stipend top-ups) administered by the Plant RDCs.
One priority discussed at the workshop was to strengthen the plant biosecurity student cohort across industry under the PBRI. This will be achieved by offering networking opportunities and targeted professional development for these students.
There were 54 priorities RD&E investment areas put forward at this workshop, each was aligned to our six Key Focus Areas and will form the central part of the PBRI Strategy. A draft of this Strategy will be tabled at the next PBRI meeting (15 May, Canberra).