A mid-term strategy review was completed by Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI) members to confirm the vision, purpose and strategic goals of the Initiative.
The PBRI Strategy 2018–23 provides a high-level framework and direction for coordinating cross-sectoral priorities for national plant biosecurity RD&E. The PBRI Vision is to support excellence in cross-sectoral plant biosecurity RD&E to protect Australia’s plant industries with benefit to the environment and regional communities.
PBRI activities aligning with this strategy aim to protect Australia’s plant production industries with benefits to regional communities, the economy and the environment.
In Phase I of the PBRI (2017–20) there were fifteen successful collaborative projects coordinated and contracted through PBRI members, with a total value of $50 million (cash and in-kind).
The seven collaborating RDCs, Council of Rural RDCs, Plant Health Australia, and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment re-committed to PBRI’s direction and to build on the successful collaboration model that minimises duplication in plant biosecurity RD&E investment.
An independent review was undertaken in April 2020 to assess the progress of the PBRI and to consider any improvements to the model. This review, by RM Consulting Group Pty Ltd, found the PBRI plays an important role in brokering and facilitating collaboration, project concepts and investment. Critical to PBRI’s success has been a collaborative model with:
- “the right people at the table with strong connections”
- “strong relationships built on trust”
- “a high degree of commitment and goodwill”
- “recognition that collaboration will result in better outcomes”
The revised strategic goals are:
1. Identification of targeted cross-sectoral plant biosecurity innovation for co-investment.
2. Responsive coordination and leveraging high-value cross-sectoral investment in plant biosecurity innovation.
3. Promotion and facilitation of collaboration for better plant biosecurity outcomes for industry, their communities and the environment.
The independent review also found that “strategic international partnerships with Better Border Biosecurity (B3) New Zealand and European Phytosanitary Research Coordination (Euphresco), were considered important to PBRI’s position in global biosecurity RD&E”, and recommended that further partnerships be supported where relevant.
An investment plan for 2020–23 was developed to support the implementation of the strategy and an accompanying ‘monitoring and evaluation framework’ will measure achievements against the strategy. A calendar of high-priority RD&E workshops will be delivered across 2021 as part of the rollout of this investment plan.
The independent review found “that stakeholders acknowledge the critical importance of PBRI in driving collaboration of national plant biosecurity RD&E and they envisage even greater benefits from the next phase of the PBRI.”