Shepparton News

Uni project to boost business, create jobs

- By Darren Linton

A University of Melbourne innovation project will create 87 jobs at the university’s Dookie campus and drive efficiency in the Goulburn Valley food production and agricultur­al sectors.

Victorian Higher Education Minister Gayle Tierney launched the $4.7 million NorVicFood­s Agri-Food Innovation Cluster project, which will explore innovative and digital solutions to grow and increase the efficiency of the food and

agricultur­al sectors.

The project will be based at the University of Melbourne’s Dookie campus, which is a gateway to local agri-food businesses, including SPC, and the companies that support them.

The project team will initially work with at least five Goulburn Valley producers and businesses on tailored solutions, then support them to secure private investment and grants to implement solutions.

“This new project will deliver real-world solutions for our valuable food and agricultur­al businesses — while also giving fantastic opportunit­ies to local researcher­s and students,” Ms Tierney said.

The Victorian Government has contribute­d $2.7 million towards the project which will look at a range of innovative practices like aerial technology to improve fruit harvesting practices, real-time GPS trackers to monitor milk quality and delivery and technology to better regulate the quality of red-meat products like mince and meatballs in internatio­nal markets.

It will create about 87 jobs, including six full-time research positions, as well as 30 student internship­s at local companies.

Goulburn Valley businesses are being encouraged to sign up at norvicfood­s

Victorian Agricultur­e Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said the investment would support the Goulburn Valley agricultur­e and food sector.

University of Melbourne Dean of Veterinary and Agricultur­al Sciences John Fazakerley said the project allowed University of Melbourne knowledge, expertise and facilities to be applied to provide real-world solutions for Goulburn Valley producers that would benefit “the economy, the consumer and everyone in between.”

 ??  ?? Good for business: The innovation project will support SPC and other Goulburn Valley food producers.
Good for business: The innovation project will support SPC and other Goulburn Valley food producers.

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