- The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) will receive $60 million in core funding over the next five years.
- The funding aims to expand APPF’s network and accelerate the development of improved crops.
- The University of Adelaide hosts the APPF headquarters and is supported by the Australian Government National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).
- The investment will be matched by contributions from university partners, state governments, and industry, totaling nearly $135 million.
- The funds will be used to expand to nine partner nodes, providing a greater diversity of controlled growth environments and field phenotyping facilities.
The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF), hosted by the University of Adelaide and supported by the Australian Government National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), will receive $60 million in core funding over the next five years. The funding aims to expand APPF’s world-leading network of facilities across Australia and accelerate the development of improved crops.
Multi-Million Dollar Investment
The $60 million NCRIS investment will be matched by contributions from university partners, state governments, and industry, bringing the total investment to nearly $135 million. “The University of Adelaide is proud to host this truly world-leading facility,” said University of Adelaide Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Anton Middelberg.
Expanding Research Capabilities
The funds will expand APPF’s national network to nine partner nodes. This will enable researchers to study plant development across the full range of Australian growing conditions and support job opportunities in plant science around the country.
Advancements in Plant Phenomics
Plant phenomics is a rapidly developing field that combines biology, engineering, robotics, and data to measure how plant genetics are expressed under different growing conditions. The funding will support high-throughput multispectral imaging and measurement of plants, making it easier to identify and isolate desirable traits in new cultivars.
New Infrastructure Investments
The new infrastructure investment will include additional controlled environment growth facilities, fixed field sites for evaluating new plant types, mobile phenotyping equipment, advanced environmental sensors, and a standardized national data infrastructure.
APPF has established itself as a global leader in plant phenomics with facilities to simulate conditions of drought, heat, and salinity precisely. “This expansion will mean APPF can accurately evaluate new advances in grain, tree crop, horticulture, and fiber crops across cool, temperate, and tropical regions,” said APPF Interim Executive Director Richard Dickmann.