Western Australia has announced that a National Centre of Excellence for grains research will be build in Perth following an agreement between the State Government and the Grains Research Development Council (GRDC).


Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman and GRDC chairman Keith Perrett signed a Letter of Intent to fund the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC).


The announcement of the construction of the centre comes a year after the State Government pledged $30 million in funding to construct an export grains facility.


Through the agreement the Department of Agriculture and Food and GRDC will each contribute $20 million over five years to research and development programs at the centre.


Other research organisations, including the CSIRO, have agreed in principle to contribute an additional $15million over five years, taking total investment in the project to $85million so far.


AEGIC will be built adjacent to the new department headquarters in South Perth, with research and development projects due to start next year.


It will include laboratories, automated and air-conditioned glass houses, controlled environment plant growth rooms and irrigated field plots.


The centre will also act as a research and business ‘think-tank’, with programs in economic analysis, strategic market intelligence, grain quality, biosecurity and grain processing technology.


The Grains Research Development Corporation is a Commonwealth statutory corporation funded by grower levies to invest in grains research and development.


AEGIC is the WA Government’s flagship contribution to the National Grains Research, Development and Extension strategy.