About the NBT Portal

To a large extent, small exporters do not have the resources to have full information and knowledge on the working of NBTs as well as the regulatory landscape. Because deregulation of SDN-1 has only been approved recently, there is at present no holistic resource in Australia, virtual or otherwise, designed to assist exporters and farmers on how they can benefit from NBTs. Based on this gap and window of opportunity, the portal will be a one-stop resource for small and medium enterprises interested in exporting NBT products.
Specific features of the portal include:
  • Access to Australian exporters and associated industries
  • Up-to-date global information on the regulatory status and changes for NBTs globally
  • Basic information on how NBT’s are being adopted for crop improvement in grains and the commercialisation pathways in Australia
  • Provision of market access documents outlining standard operating procedures for NBT exports destined for different countries
  • Information on project training workshops for exporters and farmers
  • Availability of our market reports for global adoption of NBTs
  • Provision of consultations for exporters to provide technical support

Background

Amongst the factors that affect market trends and performance, regulatory changes are a key driver. Australia’s competitiveness in the global agricultural economy depends increasingly on access to and implementing the most effective technologies for improved crop production and attributes.
Amongst the factors that affect market trends and performance, regulatory changes are a key driver. Australia’s competitiveness in the global agricultural economy depends increasingly on access to and implementing the most effective technologies for improved crop production and attributes.
Australian plant breeders develop new varieties both for domestic and international markets. Developments in biotechnology and the life sciences have resulted in the emergence of powerful new technologies for crop breeding.
The generic term ‘New Breeding Technologies’ (NBTs) includes both transgenic (GM) and genome-edited plants: more recently the term NBTs is used more specifically to refer to techniques termed ‘genome-editing’, or preferably ‘gene-editing’. This group of technologies allows precise changes to be made in plant genes to generate varieties with beneficial traits.
Unlike GM crops, the application of some of NBT methods (e.g. Site-Directed Nuclease-1, SDN-1) can result in changes in targeted changes to a DNA sequence without the addition of any external DNA. This is akin to ‘untargeted’ mutations caused by chemical or irradiation treatments, which are not subject to regulation.
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The Centre for Crop and Food innovation (CCFI)

The Centre for Crop and Food Innovation is ideally placed to capitalise on new technologies and investments in crop agriculture. It provides both strength and depth to undertake research on major broadacre and horticultural crops to improve yield, quality and enhance tolerance and protection from biological and environmental stresses, and encompasses cutting edge R&D in crop Agri-Bio, Agri-Tech and Food Tech. Research themes include Crop Production, Crop Quality, Crop Protection and Biosecurity, Innovative Production Systems, Food Technology and Pathways to Impact.

Key personnel

Michael Jones, Professor of Agricultural Biotechnology; Director of the Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (SABC) and the Cente for Crop and Food Innovation (CCFI), Food Futures Institute, Murdoch University, Perth.
Muhammad Adeel, Career Diplomat and Science Diplomacy Expert, and PhD Scholar In the CCFI, SABC, Murdoch University.
John Fosu-Nyarko, plant molecular biologist experienced in studying GMOs and gene-edited plants (e.g. wheat) in the CCFI, SABC, Murdoch University
Sadia Iqbal, plant molecular biologist experienced in studying GMOs and gene-edited plants (e.g. potato) in the CCFI, SABC, Murdoch University

Murdoch University, Food Futures Institute (FFI)

Feeding the world is the challenge of our generation. The Food Futures Institute at Murdoch University consolidates research to improve food production sustainably as the world’s land and water resources come under increasing pressure. The FFI works to provide solutions for the sustainable use of limited land and water resources economically and ethically to improve food, forestry and fibre production. R&D on crops and food is undertaken in the Centre for Crop and Food innovation.

Objectives of the PASE NBT Project

  • To provide small or larger exporters with an holistic structure for understanding the changing market dynamics for NBTs, and translating this market intelligence into an increase in sales and distribution of NBT commodities, especially grains
  • To provide a web-portal for Australian exporters, traders and growers to increase awareness and understanding, leading to wider application of NBTs that will increase the longer-term profitability of the Australian grains industry
  • To work with exporters and industry collaborators to facilitate understanding of NBT markets in other countries through trade-ready training and industry roundtables

For collaborations and other queries, contact us at pase-nbt@murdoch.edu.au

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