Central Coast food innovation vision becomes reality


Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC) was today proud to host the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER)’s launch of the first ever Australian Food & Agribusiness Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) here at the University of Newcastle’s Ourimbah Campus.

Officially opened by Parliamentary Secetary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch MP, the DTC will bring together students, academics and industry leaders from the agribusiness arena to achieve better solutions across this globally important sector.

For RDACC Chair, Lawrie McKinna, the DTC highlights the Central Coast as an emerging leader in the agribusiness sector and marks a key milestone of the Central Coast’s Food Innovation Initiative.

“With the increasing pressure on food producers, manufacturers and farmers to deal with population growth, food security and climate change, food innovation and agribusiness development is a focus point for the Central Coast to boost our economic and social outcomes,” says Mr McKinna.

“Back in 2018, RDACC and Central Coast Industry Connect recognised a formal partnership with the University of Newcastle (UoN) to build on our region’s existing strengths and establish ourselves as a leader in the food and agribusiness sector.

“One of the main objectives of this Food Innovation Initiative was to establish a ‘Centre of Excellence’ with industry, business and government partners to inspire new ideas, new ways of working and to help find smarter solutions to the challenges this industry faces.

“The opening of this landmark centre here on the Central Coast is another vital step to delivering this aim and gives our region even greater credibility as a central hub of food and agribusiness innovation”.

NEIR’s Doctoral Training Centre’s operate across a number of critical industry sectors, bringing together research collaborators to solve global resource challenges by experimenting with new technologies, teaching and learning approaches, policy concepts, cultural ideas, and commercial innovations.

PhD candidates work on research projects developed in collaboration with industry partners and are supported by a multi-disciplinary, solutions focused academic team to enhance knowledge, outcomes and skillsets.

The Australian Food & Agribusiness DTC aims to improve regional engagement through better collaboration, achieve environmentally sustainable solutions, and foster a highly skilled workforce through sharing knowledge, resources and infrastructure support.

More information about NIER’s world class research programs can be found at


Full details on the Central Coast Food Innovation Initiative can be found at