As we develop our plans and provide input to Government on the next National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, APPF is engaging with stakeholders, partners and collaborators to seek your ideas, comments, feedback and thoughts. The Engagement Hub provides three key ways to engage and have your say. We have recently completed a survey, and you can still think big in the Ideas Wall, and join the two conversations running in our Chat Space.
As we develop our plans and provide input to Government on the next National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, APPF is engaging with stakeholders, partners and collaborators to seek your ideas, comments, feedback and thoughts. The Engagement Hub provides that opportunity with three key ways to engage: complete the survey, contribute ideas and join the two conversations running in our chat space.
1. SURVEY From time to time we will add a survey to listen to your thoughts on APPF now and into the future. This will help us to set the scene for future planning.
2. CHAT SPACE To the right of the survey you'll be able to access our chat space where we have two conversations live about APPF now and APPF into the future. It's just a click to get into the space and join the discussion.
3. IDEAS WALL There's an Ideas Wall where you can think big about future research and industry needs, input your ideas and comment on or support ideas submitted by others.
New tools and a new paradigm for research discussion paper
While much scientific research was once limited by lack of data, that is changing rapidly. In this paper, the APPF's Dr Tim Brown and Dr Susie Robinson discuss how these changes are enabling a fundamental shift in how we can undertake science and research.
Are we missing the ability to achieve more impact by not having an on-the-ground presence in Queensland? Western Australia? Tasmania? etc APPF offers a 'research hotel' option, to either run experiments on behalf of our clients located anywhere in the world, or to help researchers come and visit with us onsite whilst they do their work. Is this enough? How could we do this better?
In thinking about future research and industry needs, what infrastructure and services should the APPF invest in to support plant phenomics and agricultural research and development in the broader sense? This is where we want to capture your wish list of what we should be doing and why.
Think about major research infrastructure, tools, data, technologies, expertise, education and other activities that would be nationally significant or require national coordination.
I agree but think that it’s about more than the infrastructure - the expertise and knowledge to use it and help apply it is more important. That knowledge and expertise also has to be willling and able.
A key component in the future has to be a vision for how APPF and plant phenomics data can contribute to the big questions that can enhance Australia's (and the planet's future), such as food security, food futures, novel growing techniques, crop selection and improvement, integrated supply chains, landscape planning, carbon sequestration, and water management.
Agriculture, and specifically crop selection, optimisation and productivity is critical knowledge in each of these areas. What partnerships are needed and what new investments are necessary so that Australia can have a truly joined-up approach to modeling different crops in the landscape and responding to the specifics of climate events, changes in the economy/market, etc.?
I'm interested in people's views about the idea of a really integrated 'omics for precision ag' type facility- combining genomics, phenomics and computational informatics. This might offer a genuine 'start-to-finish' solution, as a value-add to the existing various Australian platforms that separately and individually provide data acquisition and analysis.
There is a range of major infrastructure that needs to be addressed. In addition though, I believe there is considerable merit in devising a system for sharing the existing infrastructure that is currently housed in individual Universities, and State and Commonwealth research agencies. Some of that equipment may be in almost constant use, but equally a lot is not fully utilized and making it more broadly available would be a great step forward in promoting a more collaborative environment. The APPF should consider driving the development of a register accessible by an app. perhaps focused regionally at first.
What are the future opportunities for innovation in Australian agriculture? What areas could or should Australia be working in, or directions we could be taking where national research infrastructure becomes critical. No limits here, let’s brainstorm your ideas for opportunities and ideas that should be further explored.
Provision of capacity for electrophysiological phenotyping of plants (e.g. response to stress) nationally.
UTAS has world-leading expertise and facilities in electrophysiological measurements of plants (MIFE, patch clamp etc) that enable fine measurement of ion channel flux associated with reaction and/or adaptation to biotic and abiotic stress.
These changes occur prior to gene activation and expression. They can be used for many diverse functions including understanding basic function, mapping phenotypes within populations, providing rap[id physiological based phenotype markers
Currently there are major projects looking response to salinity and anoxia.
The facilities are not crop specific.
How might this be facilitated - would likely require some investment in technical/operator time to ensure visitors have access and expertise to support their work.
Capacity for Australian researchers to measure electrophysiological stress responses with unique and state-of-the-art equipment. This will directly complement other phenotype and genotype assessments.
Phenotyping frontiers– tools to empower the plant science research of tomorrow
The future of agriculture is home to the grand challenges for today’s plant scientists – designer plants and engineered crops (e.g. C4 Rice, Golden Rice). Success will be determined by collaboration and innovative scientific approaches. Plant phenotyping has the potential to deliver new tools to quantitively measure structural and functional properties of plants to drive the science behind these advancements, but only if science and infrastructure work hand in hand. The tools required will not be available off the shelf, nor developed from purely economic or strategic viewpoints, rather they will evolve from collaboration between disciplines. Australia’s national plant phenotyping infrastructure should be the interface where the current abilities and future science meet.
An ecosystem where research and infrastructure intersect to enable the development of new tools for phenotyping functional properties of plants. An example may include the development of robotic systems that allow the role of new sensors to be simulated and modelled in the lab prior to deployment in-field, and then multiple data sources to be co-registered (integrated) to derive new datasets following FAIR principals. The outcome would be next-generation phenotyping information that enables development of future crops.
Sentinel site infrastructure for agriculture and managed landscapes
Soft and hard infrastructure across geographies and farmed environments (dry-land, sub-tropical etc) for remote and proximal measurements, putting the data into a context where they can be more widely accessed and interrogated. Over time, as an objective national infrastructure, determine key data and metadata elements and significant external data sources required to maximise the information signal from an agricultural research site, so these standards can be adopted by others and thus the sentinel network might grow.
Data linkages between currently disconnected agricultural and ecosystem research networks and remote sensing platforms. Data supports interpretation of patterns and change. Benefits realised for agricultural researchers from integration of multiple and different streams of plant and environmental data across time and space.