Bilateral agreements

Why is the GRDC entering into Bilateral Agreements with Research Partners

The Bilateral Agreements are not Business as Usual investments for the GRDC. The GRDC is entering into a series of Bilateral Agreements with key research organisations to facilitate more highly targeted research through a suite of strategically managed research investments.

The Bilateral Agreements allow the GRDC and its Research Partners to drive targeted and sustained research aimed at addressing identified RD&E priorities confronting the Australian grains industry.

Rationale for entering Bilateral Agreements

The GRDC has a limited pool of levied investment capital to invest, it is therefore essential that all investments are directed toward areas that will deliver the greatest impact to growers, provide the best return on the investment and/or have the highest likelihood of success. For this reason the Bilateral Agreements are with Research Partners that were identified in the Grains Industry National RD&E Strategy as leading the research effort in specific priority areas. Whilst each Bilateral Agreement only covers research projects within specified areas, they do not prevent cooperative investments in other areas outside of the Bilateral framework.

The Bilateral Agreements provide investment capital surety to the Research Partners, allowing for strategic investment and planning over the longer term to continually build Australia’s technical capabilities. The GRDC benefits through highly targeted investments in areas of key importance to the Australian grains industry with research organisations that are best placed to deliver the desired results. The strategic and responsive management structures within the Bilateral Agreements allow greater flexibility to pursue research results showing potentially beneficial outcomes as they occur. In turn, the longer term investment capital surety, with built in research flexibility, will attract the best researchers from within Australia and internationally.

Improved coordination and flexibility in managing the suite of research projects promotes collaboration, reduces duplication and fragmentation of effort, whilst driving down operational and corporate overhead costs for both parties.

Principles driving the Bilateral Agreements

The GRDC has developed a number of key principles that drive the development and operation of the Bilateral Agreements. Each Bilateral Agreement will:

  • provide for longer term investment through a joint commitment of at least 5 years
  • have an overarching Strategic Plan for the term of the Agreement, to be delivered through Annual Operating Plans and frequent monitoring of progress and results
  • align the GRDC Strategic Plan and the Research Partner’s research activities with the Grains Industry National RD&E Strategy to exploit research capability, build sector capacity and deliver benefits to the grains industry
  • share equity and Intellectual Property, with commercialisation strategies incorporated into research planning.


Brondwen MacLean, Executive Manager Research Programs
(02) 6166 4500