Victorian Government announces $12m to fund a cutting-edge glasshouse and incubation hub

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Victorian Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas yesterday visited the Grains Innovation Precinct at Horsham SmartFarm to announce a $12 million support for a state-of-the-art glasshouse and incubation hub.

Making the announcement, Minister Thomas said the new glasshouse would advance research and innovation in climate-resilient plant types with increased protein content, as well as serve the growing demand for plant-based meals such as lentils, chickpeas, field peas, and almonds.

The Minister also noted that the hub would include a collaboration space to house commercial startups and attract and secure postgraduate students, as well as offering facilities such as a test kitchen and analytic equipment to explore opportunities for alternative proteins.

“As demand for plant-based proteins continues to increase we are helping our scientists fast-track research into breeds that can be targeted to new markets and consumers, while boosting more jobs in regional Victoria,” she added.

Grains Research and Development Corporation Managing Director Nigel Hart said once complete, the glasshouse complex would help maximise the region’s capabilities and opportunities to tap into new markets, support jobs and boost future investment.

“Through our partnership with the Victorian Government, the recently completed glasshouses will accelerate solutions to some of Victoria’s grain growers’ most pressing constraints such as drought, frost, disease and pests,” he concluded.

Image credit: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/horsham-leading-plant-based-protein-innovation