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APRIL Announcement

APRIL Announces Call for Applications for Industry Priority and Innovation Projects

The Australasian Pork Research Institute Ltd (APRIL) is seeking applications for its Industry Priority Project and Innovation Project grant application schemes, for commencement in 2022.
An independent, member-based entity, APRIL seeks to enhance the Australasian pork industry by investing in research and development, education and training, and commercialisation activities focused on priorities and deliverables that ensure the sustainability of Australasian pork production, and to generate optimal returns for its stakeholders.
APRIL’s Industry Priority Projects address a number of key areas that will help to shape the future industry landscape. Specifically, APRIL is looking for applications related to the following priorities only:

  • Novel approaches to allow increased use of food wastes in pig diets; 
  • Improved water quality for use/re-use on-farm and in processing facilities; 
  • Development of real time monitoring and surveillance technologies under commercial conditions;
  • Establish pork as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle;
  • Reducing variation in lifetime performance;
  • Heavier carcasses.

More information on these priorities can be found in the Guidelines, available from the APRIL website.

Applications can be lodged by researchers currently working in the Australasian pork industry, but are also welcomed from individuals and organisations not necessarily with a direct affiliation with the industry. Potential applicants should be acquainted with APRIL’s membership base and the prospective advantages interactions with members may bring to a proposal. 

As with previous APRIL funding rounds, a minimum level of co-investment of 25% cash (of the total project cost) is required for Industry Priority Projects. However, the priorities lend themselves to potentially significantly higher levels of external investment, and researchers interested in applying should seek these avenues wherever possible.

Selection criteria include the quality of the science being proposed, soundness and logic of rationale and methodologies, the relevance of partnerships and appropriateness of the collaboration and engagement strategies, the track record, multi-disciplinary composition and capability of the research team, performance and outputs from previously held research grants (if appropriate), appropriateness of the budget and overall value for money in regard to the contribution of this research to the strategic directions and purposes of APRIL, and the ease of adoption of the project outcomes and their potential impact on the Australasian pork industry.

APRIL’s Innovation Projects are designed specifically to support ‘out of the box’ ideas for smart, new approaches to tackle the current and emerging challenges of the Australasian pork industry. Innovation Projects must demonstrate originality, uniqueness and creativity, establish new concepts or challenge existing ones, address significant challenges or critical barriers to progress, and be able to improve or apply new theoretical concepts, methodologies or tools that will benefit industry.

The assessment of applications will be based strongly on these criteria, and revenue-generating potential, if appropriate, will also be considered. Collaborative approaches by researchers and industry personnel are strongly encouraged, as are applications from individuals and organisations not necessarily having a direct affiliation with the pork industry but think a difference can be made.

Innovation Projects are negotiable to around 12 to 18 months in duration, have a maximum budget of ~$75,000, and require a minimum external cash co-investment of 25% of the total cash cost of the project. Cash contributions to the cost of the project exceeding this amount will viewed favourably. 

Both the Industry Priority and Innovation Project schemes are provided on a nationally competitive basis and available to applicants from any organisation. All APRIL funding schemes are assessed, evaluated and recommended for funding by the Research and Development Advisory Committee, which has the collective expertise and experience to effectively assess applications against all selection criteria for that scheme. If approved, research scheme funds are paid directly to the successful applicant. Funding Rules for research schemes funded by APRIL stipulate that no overhead (indirect cost recovery) can be charged.

For any further information or any questions on the Industry Priority Project and Innovation Project schemes, please contact either Dr Charles Rikard-Bell (Manager, Commercialisation and Research Impact), or Dr John Pluske (Chief Scientist and CEO).

Important Dates:

Applications open: 30 August 2021
Applications Close: 1 October 2021

It is anticipated that funding for successful projects would occur after December, 2021, subject to APRIL Board approval.

Expressions of Interest for APRIL Kickstart Program

The Kickstart Program can provide up to $7,500 for an individual/organisation(s) to assist with the preparation and submission of a specific, targeted and agreed major external funding application (or applications) in partnership with APRIL and other partners.

Significant external funding pools exist both nationally and internationally for potential investment. The Kickstart Program aims to increase the number of applications that are prepared and submitted to external funding organisations that ultimately increase the funding pool to undertake more of APRIL’s activities, in alignment with Transformational Project and Industry Priority Project priorities in the Strategic Plan.

Expressions of Interest (EoI) for project applications not seeking Kickstart funds may also be submitted but must adhere to the same principle of being a specific, targeted major external funding application in partnership with APRIL (and other partners), in alignment with the APRIL Strategic Plan.

To apply for a Kickstart award, which is open all-year round, complete an EoI form (linked below) and email it to Dr John Pluske, APRIL CEO/Chief Scientist, at Questions concerning the program can also be directed to Dr Pluske on 0410 436 871.

Applications for APRIL Industry Placement Program Award

The Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL) is pleased to announce a call for applications for its Industry Placement Program (IPP) Award scheme.

As a key part of APRIL’s strategy to assist with human capacity building in the Australasian pork industry, funding is available to support another IPP award, to join IPP awards already in place with Lauren Staveley (SunPork Farms South, South Australia) and Dr Maria Jorquera-Chavez and Dr Jessica Craig [Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd., Corowa, New South Wales].

The overall aims of the IPP are to (1) retain graduates trained by APRIL, the Pork CRC, Australian Pork Limited, and (or) other applicable organisations, at the Honours and (or) postgraduate level, and attract others to the Australasian pork industry, by sponsoring their placement in a commercial pork production organisation or an affiliated business within the Australasian pork industry in a structured and enhanced development program; (2) attract and stimulate graduates with an interest in pork production into the business side of the industry as a career, while continuing their development and understanding of how research and technology will enhance industry competitiveness and success; and (3) expose graduates wanting a long-term research or technical support role in the industry to commercial aspects of pork production and enhance their contributions and value to pork businesses in their future roles.

APRIL will provide the successful business applicant with $75,000 over the first 2 years of a 3-year agreement to help cover salary and other costs associated with training the Awardee for the 3 years.

Applications must be lodged electronically by the applying business organisation and include the name and qualifications of the proposed candidate, to the APRIL Chief Scientist/CEO Dr John Pluske (; 0410 436871). Any questions on the IPP Award/process can also be directed to Dr John Pluske.

Applications open on 12 April 2021 and close 21 May 2021, with the final date for decision being late June/early July 2021.

Information relating the IPP requirements and the application form can be found at

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at Rivalea

March 2021: APRIL is pleased to announce that Dr Maria Jorquera-Chavez has commenced her Industry Placement Program with Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd. in Corowa, New South Wales.

Dr. Maria Jorquera-Chavez has recently joined Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd. in the position of Research Scientist. She has a degree in Veterinary Science, a Master of Animal Sciences, and recently completed her PhD with The University of Melbourne in the use of computer vision techniques for monitoring health and early detection of illness in grower-finisher pigs.

Dr. Jorquera-Chavez will assist in developing and implementing research programs, particularly in the areas of new technology, health and welfare. Maria is participating in an APRIL-funded project addressing the implementation of thermal imagery to predict lactation performance and monitor the health status of sows.

Dr. Jorquera-Chavez will also coordinate future experiments as principal investigator addressing the use of new technologies and management practices to monitor and improve the health and welfare of pigs.