Horticulture Innovation Fund

Up to $50,000 is available from Horticulture Innovation Fund to conduct horticultural research and development projects that will benefit Victoria.

Horticulture Innovation Fund (HIF)


Horticulture Innovation Fund

The Horticulture Innovation Fund is a new program supporting Victoria’s horticulture sector to work together to innovate and adopt new technology and/or processes for economic growth.

The Horticulture Innovation Fund is a contestable grants program to assist the horticulture sector in Victoria, in partnership with research organisations, to conduct research and development that has practical outcomes resulting in businesses being more productive, globally competitive and sustainable. The program supports researchers to work directly with the horticultural industries in Victoria.



The Horticulture Innovation Fund aims to:

  • Assist the horticulture sector to increase innovation and adopt new technologies and processes that can lead to commercial outcomes that will benefit Victoria;
  • Address regional knowledge gaps relating to productivity and market access;
  • Strengthen collaboration between the horticulture sector and researchers;
  • Encourage horticultural businesses, particularly across industries, to collaborate and share information to help increase innovative capacity within the sector; and,
  • Promote interest in horticultural research within Victoria.

The program is administered by the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR, hereon referred to as the “Department”).



Grants of up to $50,000 (excluding GST) are available for applied research and development projects that contribute to a more productive and profitable horticulture sector.


Eligible Projects

Projects that are eligible for assistance from the Horticulture Innovation Fund  include:

  • applied horticultural research and development that is innovative and likely to improve farm performance, and/or
  • research that will improve market access and business diversification activities as applied to the horticulture sector.

Preference will be given to projects that are mid to late stage research, where adoption, piloting and/or trialling in Victoria is required. For example, demonstrating the use of robotics in a range of orchard systems.

Projects may be part of a larger research and development program (e.g. part of an Australian Research Council research program or a Horticulture Innovation Australia funded research program) that requires real world testing, trialling and/or validation in Victoria. However, projects funded as part of a larger grant program will only be eligible to apply for the Horticulture Innovation Fund if the original project scope did not include ‘the conduct of research and/or development within Victoria’.

It will be a requirement that the results of the research undertaken by the grant recipient are made available to the Department through the Horticulture Centre of Excellence (HCoE) to enable dissemination to the broader horticultural industries.


Eligible Applicants

Entities and organisations associated with the Victorian horticulture sector can apply.

These include:

  • Individual horticultural businesses – e.g. producers, coolstore/packhouse businesses, wineries;
  • Not for profit organisations that:
    • are an incorporated body, co-operative or association; and,
    • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or can provide written advice from the Australian Tax Office that no withholding tax is required from the grant payment.
  • Research Organisations – a higher education institution or a registered research organisation (non-government).

To apply for the Horticulture Innovation Fund, applicants must demonstrate:

  • Eligible Entity – that they are one of the entities listed in the section ‘Who can apply’.
  • Project Co-Funding – that they have the ability to co-invest in the project, either in-kind and /or by co-funding the project costs (comprising at least 20% of the value of the grant). In-kind contributions may include use of land for trials, or labour to support research. Third party funds may be used to support the total project cost.
  • Industry-Research Partnership – that they have a partnership with either the horticulture industry or an appropriate research organisation in order to carry out the proposed project. Accordingly, where the  horticulture business is the Applicant, they need to identify they have a partnership with a research organisation, and where the applicant is a research organisation, that party needs to identify they have a partnership with a horticulture business/company.  Applicants who are a research organisation will be asked to provide evidence of industry partnership.
  • Research Theme – address at least one of the research themes described in the section titled ‘Funding Details – Research Themes’.
  • Delivery of Outcomes – demonstrate a commitment and capacity to collaborate and disseminate research outcomes and impacts beyond their own business.
  • Financial viability – provide evidence of financial viability. To enable the Department to assess the financial viability of applicants and ability to manage and complete the project, applicants seeking funding:



Applications close 30 June 2018.


More Information


Successful Projects

Project TitleApplicant
Develop an on-line GPS based data management module for seed potato certification.Victorian Seed Potato Certification Authority
The application of the UAV-borne hyperspectral crop disease detection in processing tomatoes.Australian Processing Tomato Research Council
Native vegetation insectariums in Horticulture.Agribusiness Yarra Valley
Develop a Difference of Absorption (DA) Index for 5 major canned peach varietiesCanned Fruit Industry Council
The implementation of a local grid in the Cobram fruit growing area and QFF research on the habits of the pest during the winter months and how they can be better targeted during this period.Cobram & District Fruit Growers Association
Trialling calcium carbonate spray at leaf fall to increase winter chill accumulation in Cherry, Apples and Almonds.Insense Pty Ltd
To develop and evaluate a rapid technique for the identification of the exotic Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP), the number 1 exotic threat to the Victorian potato industry.Plant Biosecurity CRC
Establish Difference of Absorption (DA) meter protocols for the Goulburn Valley Apples, Pears and Stonefruit to better match fresh market expectations.Integrity Fruit Pty Ltd
Trialling spray thinning for crop load management of fresh fruit market plums.Agropraisals Pty Ltd
Improving ATGA online export training and accreditation program.Australian Table Grapes Association
The development and testing of an approved building concrete product using vine waste from tomato industryAD & VR Henry
Enhancing growth and quality of vegetables with photo-luminescent plasticsMonash University
DA meter software development for the Horticulture supply chainApple & Pear Australia Ltd
Native pollinators increasing productivity of native food orchardsBarengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
Adaptation in the vineyard to a water limited futures – sunscreens and water budgetingAustralian Wine Research Institute
Innovative solutions to manage smoke risk in the Victorian wine industry – testing barrier sprays in controlled smoke tentsAustralian Wine Research Institute
Develop weed control information package for management of nursery weedsNursery and Garden Industry Victoria
Development of mobile MRL electronic platform for Australian table grape growersAustralian Table Grapes Association
Prototype for fruit chain quality management technologyA.C.N Orchards

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