Primary Industries Innovation Centre

The Primary Industries Innovation Centre (PIIC) is a partnership between NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England to boost primary industries research, extension and training outcomes, with a special focus on the New England – North West Region of NSW.

What is the scope of PIIC?

The PIIC is concerned with all elements of the research, development and extension (R,D&E) process. Each of the PIIC’s five themes contains the elements of innovation, impact and delivery.

Innovation: R&D emphasising product development and value adding, with added discretionary investment in ‘blue sky’ research (biotechnology, nanotechnology and systems research).

Impact: policy development about primary industries in the target zone for all levels of government and industry stakeholders.

Delivery: new ways of extending and commercialising improved technologies and sustainable practices, taking in the full social and economic context.

1. Improving economic outcomes for producers and communities

  • improved productivity of primary producers
  • new products and value-adding
  • improved economic strength of rural communities

2. Integrating natural resource management and production improvement

  • Tools for sustainable improvement in productivity from natural resources
  • Better conservation strategies

3. Introducing and supporting the next generation of primary producers

  • future generations of farmers that are well educated, financially viable, and prepared for lifelong learning and innovation.

4. Reducing the impact of transaction costs on sustainable production

  • increased efficiency and competitiveness of primary production through lower transaction costs for buying and selling, administration and legal compliance

5. Improving the risk profile of primary production

  • strategies to minimise the impacts of climatic and market variation on primary production
  • fewer impacts from the introduction of new weeds, insect pests and plant and animal diseases

Student opportunities

The PIIC creates exciting opportunities for research and development and career development.

You should contact a member of the Research Coordination Working Group if you are interested in joining the PIIC for:

  • honours projects
  • graduate degrees or
  • postdoctoral research

The PIIC offers scholarships at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Further information

Visit the PIIC website:

Board of Management

  • Professor Peter Flood, Chair*
    Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research & Development, UNE
  • Professor Margaret Sedgley
    Executive Dean, Faculty of The Sciences, UNE
  • Dr Mike Curll
    Deputy Director-General, Science & Research, NSW DPI
  • Ms Helen Scott-Orr
    Director, Health Sciences and Strategic Alliances, NSW DPI

Research Coordination Working Group

Dr Bob Martin, Director*
Director, Tamworth Agricultural Institute, NSW DPI
Phone: +61 2 6763 1258

Professor John Gibson
Director, The Institute for Genetics and Bioinformatics, UNE
Phone: +61 2 6773 2930

Professor Hugh Ford
Head, School of Environmental Science and Natural Resources Management, UNE
Phone: +61 2 6773 2376

Associate Professor Geoff Hinch
Head, School of Rural Science and Agriculture, UNE
Phone: +61 2 6773 2202

Professor Paul Martin
Director, Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law, UNE
Phone: +61 2 6773 3811

Dr John Ayres
Research Leader, Pasture Genetics & Improvement, NSW DPI
Phone: +61 2 6730 1930

Dr Steve Kennelly
Director, Systems Research & Chief Scientist, NSW DPI
Phone: +61 2 9527 8532

Dr Peter Parnell
Research Leader, Beef Genetics and Improvement, NSW DPI
Phone: +61 2 6770 1801

*The positions of Chair and Director alternate between the UNE and NSW DPI annually.