Australia to Pilot eXtension

GRDC-DEPI-eXtension Photo 2

eXtension is pleased to announce a partnership agreement with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Victoria and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) of Australia.

The 12-month pilot will test three learning networks in the Australia grains industry: a field crop disease network (led by DEPI Victoria); a crop nutrition network (led by the Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales – DPI NSW); and an eXtension support network (led by DEPI and GRDC). The networks will involve researchers, Extension practitioners, agronomists and producers across Australia. These learning networks will support an enhanced level of industry collaboration.

DEPI Knowledge Management Specialist Richard Vines (Right in photo above) said the eXtension pilot would provide a framework for engaging, reaching and connecting people with information, expertise and knowledge while reducing duplication. “DEPI, together with GRDC, is taking a leadership role in the piloting of new online service delivery platforms for Australian agriculture, building on what is an established and effective service platform in the U.S.,” Vines said. “Ultimately, it is about connecting producers with knowledge to help grow their business.”

GRDC Senior Manager of Products and Services Kyle Thoms (Left in photo above) said he saw enormous potential in adopting an established online system for better connecting industry to research results. “In a world of finite scientific expertise, eXtension will provide growers access to reliable research information in forms that suit them best,” Thoms said.

eXtension Foundation Executive Director Dan Cotton (Center in photo above) said the partnership would bring an established learning and information sharing platform in the U.S. to a new market in Australia. “eXtension connects knowledge consumers with knowledge experts to achieve new models of learning and engagement,” Cotton said.

eXtension will assist DEPI and GRDC in the development of the new learning networks by providing gated access to eXtension technologies and services. The pilot will allow DEPI and GRDC time to develop and implement a long-term support model. At the same time, strategies and policies will be pursued to eventually manage and support multi-national collaboration.