Research funding from the Center for Produce Safety could include joint projects between Australian and U.S. scientists.
One of the center’s new partners is Fresh Produce Safety Australia & New Zealand, an initiative of the University of Sydney and Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand.
Any projects accepted would be funded from both countries and comprise a small portion of the overall $3 million in awards to be announced in the fall. March 28 is the application deadline for researchers.
Past funded projects can be viewed online.
“We will split the funding costs probably 50/50, but without seeing the proposal it’s hard to know,” said Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive director of the University of California, Davis-based Center.
“The reason there will be a U.S. scientist and an Australian scientist is that we can easily see benefit to both areas,” she said. “The Australian industry is recognizing that the center has done a number of research projects they want to be able to look at and say, ‘How do we apply that information to Australia?’ And we’re looking at what we can gain from the relationship. All of these questions are within our research priority list.”
The center and the Australian group plan to pursue two sets of issues:
- agricultural water; and
- compost, soil amendment fertilizer use and cultivation practices.
The amount of the Australian contribution to funding was yet to be determined as of Feb. 13.
FPSANZ will share in the technical review of applications. At its first produce research forum, held in November in Sydney, speakers included representatives of the center; the Produce Marketing Association and its Australia-New Zealand counterpart; Horticulture Australia Limited; and the University of Sydney.
“We are developing a research model where we will be building upon existing research and information from around the globe,” Robyn McConchie, associate professor and head of plant and food science at the University of Sydney, said in a news release.