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This year’s evaluation of Hort Innovation’s research and development investments demonstrated an average benefit-cost ratio of 3.4:1 across sample projects, projected to generate an estimated total net value of $40.5 million over 30 years.

“Half of the identified benefits were social impacts, such as increased skills among growers and researchers, cohesiveness within industries and value chains, and improved wellbeing in regional communities,” Hort Innovation Head of Data and Insights Adam Briggs said.

“Economic benefits accounted for 41%, and included reduced crop loss, increased market access and improved on-farm decision making, while 9% of impacts were environmental benefits such as increased adoption of best management practices and reduced waste disposal.”

Hort Innovation evaluates the impact of levy-funded R&D investments annually, with independent consultants studying a random sample of 15 investments representative of the overall R&D portfolio.

“Total funding from all sources for the 15 sample investments equalled $11.79 million and will produce estimated total expected benefits of $40.50 million, generating the projected benefit-cost ratio of 3.4:1 over 30 years, and are indicative of impacts and performance across the broader suite of research and development undertaken by Hort Innovation,” Briggs said.

Access the evaluation report here.