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Leadership Fund

Building capacity through investment in programs which support ongoing leadership development

The Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund identifies, builds and empowers future industry leaders at all stages of their career, so that the most effective integration of land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship occurs in horticultural production

A recent study commissioned by Hort Innovation and conducted by the University of Queensland suggested the Australian horticulture industry outperforms the average Australian business in the innovation field – with almost 80 per cent of horticultural producers reporting some form of innovation, whether it was new to the farm or new to the industry. However, the same study showed 72 per cent of horticulture growers are aged over 50.

The Leadership Fund looks to broaden the leadership pipeline, taking into account the current ageing demographic and the increasingly fast-moving technological landscape that horticulture is. The fund provides opportunities for horticulture professionals at all stages of their careers to advance along the ladder of leadership, and attracts a new generation to Australian horticulture by showcasing the dynamic careers paths that exist.

Numerous investments have been made in the Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund – explore these ongoing and completed projects below.

Get involved

For potential co-investors, partnering with Hort Innovation provides access to world-class research and the peace of mind of project management by a specialised team well-versed in managing large-scale research and development.

Hort Innovation is always looking for co-investors in the Leadership Fund. If you would like to discuss a co-investment idea we encourage you to contact Tom McCue by phone on 0407 438 258 or by email.

Expert Advisory Panel

The function of the Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) is to provide expert advice and oversight of the fund, including providing input into proposed projects/research and recommendations on potential methods to address future gaps or deficiencies in the existing body of research. The panels provide impartial assessment and commercially relevant scrutiny of research proposals, fostering external confidence in Hort Innovation’s ability to rigorously assess, and provide evidence and merit-based recommendations to the Hort Innovation Board.

To provide a framework for advice and decision-making, the Leadership Fund is governed by a document of Co-Investment Strategic Intent (CSI), outlining key investment themes that must be met in order for concepts to be successful. Download the CSI here

Jan Vydra Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs
Tania Chapman Nutrano Produce Group
Professor Jim Pratley Charles Sturt University
Dr Calum Wilson Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania       
John Maher Ruralco Holdings
Jeremy Badgery-Parker Primary Principles


R&D Manager
Bianca Cairns
R&D Manager
Contact details
0429 529 655 Send an email
Strategic Intent document
Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund
Strategic Intent document