Investment into the future.


Investment into the Future

The Australian prawn farming industry recognises the importance of investing in research, development and extension (RD&E) as a vehicle for a sustainable and profitable future.

In 2001 the Australian prawn farming industry became the first Australian seafood sector to implement a compulsory federal levy based on production, to fund research and development. The APFA invests in RD&E projects with a wide range of partners, including prawn farms, suppliers, peak industry councils, research institutes, leading Australian universities and state and federal governments.

APFA’s RD&E is funded by research levies collected from all Australian prawn farms, with matched funding from the federal government, managed by the Fisheries Research Development Corporation (FRDC).

Past and present projects supported by APFA

APFA works closely with the FRDC and research providers to focus resources into the RD&E needed to address current priority investment areas. RD&E investment planning and project realisation is undertaken through a collaborative process between FRDC and APFA R&D Committee members.

Current RD&E Priorities & Funds Allocation

The APFA funds projects that align with their RD&E priorities, as determined by the industry in a series of workshops, interviews and surveys. 
Download RD&E Appendix for full break down.

APFA RD&E Priorities and funds allocation 2020-25

Funding Submission Process

Each year the APFA has two calls for grant applications, with clear directions on submission guidelines. The APFA will consider each project concept and proposal in terms of its attractiveness to the prawn farming industry, subject to three criteria:

  1. Its alignment with the strategies and priorities set out in the APFA Strategic Plan 2020-25,
  2. Its alignment with annual advice on priority issues updated by the APFA Management Committee and staff, and
  3. Its demonstrated ability to achieve commercial benefit acceptable to the APFA.

Researchers seeking funding support from APFA must engage early with the RD&E Coordinator to discuss and pitch their research proposal and to ensure it aligns with the RD&E priorities determined by the industry. A pre-proposal questionnaire and budget template must be completed by the applicant to demonstrate how the research project will achieve industry benefits. Projects must incorporate clear strategies and plans to enable and commit extension of RD&E project outputs and outcomes back to the industry.

All pre-proposals will be reviewed by APFA’s RD&E Sub-committee to assess and refine the concepts and its outcomes or decline it without further cost to the researcher. If the pre-proposal is deemed to have merit and aligns with the RD&E priorities, it may be accepted by the RD&E Sub-committee. 

Once the APFA RD&E Sub-committee have accepted the proposal, the RD&E sub-committee make a recommendation to the APFA Management Committee.

If approved, the investigators will then be invited to draft a full proposal to the FRDC, with a representative from the APFA as an investigator. This will most commonly be the RD&E Coordinator, but in certain instances could be a member of the RD&E Sub-committee. For the project to be funded through the APFA/FRDC IPA, the FRDC must also review and approve the project. Approved projects will be managed and oversighted by the APFA and FRDC. The researchers will be expected to provide updates and / or progress reports to the FRDC and APFA’s RD&E Coordinator, that can communicate outcomes to APFA members.

Aquaculture Research | Photo © CSIRO


For general enquiries contact:

Kim Hooper
Executive Officer, APFA
P: 0417 006 639

For RD&E project and funding enquiries please send an email to: