The University of Newcastle, Australia

Case studies

The Central Coast Food Innovation Region Initiative

This initiative is leveraging the Central Coast’s existing strengths to grow the local food industry and boost economic and social outcomes through jobs and regional business competitiveness through innovation, education and research.

Building on a formal partnership between Regional Development Australia Central Coast and Central Coast Industry Connect, the Food Science Research Group is working to foster greater collaboration between industry, academia and government.

The Central Coast Food Innovation Region Initiative is working to concentrate expertise in specific fields across the food industry, growing a central hub of related food activity on the Central Coast. This will work towards making discoveries, strengthening capability and delivering holistic solutions, whilst building a network of partners to support research objectives and broader strategic initiatives. The Initiative will develop collaborative research partnerships and innovation platforms, giving SME’s the resources, knowledge, networks and infrastructure to transform ideas into enterprise.

The Initiative will similarly expand existing research facilities including laboratories, testing services, industrial scale workshops and large-scale demonstration plants enabling industry-ready applications. The partners will build a cohort of industry-ready graduates through these specialised research facilities and industry-focused research.

University of Newacstle and NSW Department of Primary Industries Working Partnership

An institutional strategic collaboration between The NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and the University of Newcastle is facilitating the development and implementation of science-based technologies. The NSW DPI is critical to the support of primary industries in Australia, providing a research portfolio across more than 50 disciplines. The Department works to improve the productivity, sustainability and biosecurity of the NSW primary industries through strategic partnerships.

Academics with research in nutrition, food, health and marine science are working through the DPI’s Centre of Excellence for Market Access and Greenhouse Horticulture on The Univerity’s Ourimbah campus on several join projects. Postharvest, supply chains and market access are the focus of novel innovative solutions to industry problems, developed by higher degree research students and supervising university researchers.

Specifically, these projects include;

  • Product quality and postharvest quality maintenance through the supply chain of a range of horticultural and agricultural products;
  • Reducing energy costs through optimising use of refrigeration in the supply chain;
  • Research to maintain and improve market access for a range of horticultural commodities;
  • Utilising waste in a cost-effective manner;
  • Improving the efficiency of low-medium technology greenhouse vegetable production in Australia;
  • The nutrition of leafy vegetables including Asian vegetables in hydroponics,
  • Improving the cultivation of indigenous vegetables;
  • Improving the nitrate nutrition of Australian grown green tea;
  • Medicinal cannabis;
  • Development of organic transistor-based biosensors for food-borne pathogens;
  • Circular economy and balanced land use promoting economic diversification.