28 October 2013
By Neil Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Sugar Research Australia
Update on the SRA Interim Strategic Plan
Last month I reported that our Interim Strategic Plan had been submitted to the new Minister of Agriculture.
Until we receive the Minister’s approval on the plan we are unable to start a number of key activities including releasing the timetable for the first round of contestable funding; consulting with industry to develop our 2013/14–17/18 Strategic Plan; and conducting our Member and Delegate drive.
We are working with the Department to gain approval so that we can kick-start these actions as soon as possible.
Appointment of the Milling Research Advisory and Production Research Advisory Committees
These committees will play an important role in ensuring that our funding process remains transparent, rigorous and focussed on delivering improved industry benefits.
The committees will assist SRA’s Research Funding Panel (RFP) by evaluating some of Preliminary Research Proposals that are received during our open research calls.
They will consider the potential benefits the proposal provides to industry and assess the likely adoption levels. Overall they will also assist the RFP in evaluating the impact that the successful project would deliver to industry.
CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council will help to select the committees in due course.
Appointment of the Directors Selection Committee Charter
The SRA Board has approved the Directors Selection Committee Charter.
The Committee’s role is to nominate persons for election or appointment as Chairperson or Directors of SRA.
The Committee is also responsible for determining the number of people needed for an election and ensuring that there is a good field of well-skilled and experienced candidates from which to choose nominees.
Transition of SRDC funded projects to SRA
The Sugar Research and Development Services (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2013 has now transferred the assets and liabilities of the Sugar Research Development Corporation (SRDC) to SRA.
This means that all prior SRDC funded projects now belong to SRA and the administration of the financial and project management for this portfolio will be conducted by SRA’s Research Funding Unit (RFU).
The SRA Board has agreed to fund all existing contracted research projects for the 2013–14 financial year.
Research projects which extend beyond this date will be assessed for their alignment against the SRA Strategic Initiatives of Industry Growth; Cost and Profitability; Environmental and Regulatory Issues; and Diversification.
This will ensure that an appropriate and balanced investment portfolio that delivers outcomes to industry exists.
The windup of BSES Limited
The BSES Limited Directors met on Tuesday 1 October 2013 to consider the draft audited financial statements for the period ending 1 August 2013, a Declaration of Solvency and a recommendation to Members to voluntarily windup BSES Limited.
A Special General Meeting to formally wind up BSES Limited will be held on Thursday this week.
Memorandum of Understanding with QDAFF
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Queensland has advised that they formally support the novation of the Memorandum of Understanding from BSES Limited to SRA Limited and have agreed to the proposed process for the Queensland Government funding as proposed by SRA.