Research, development and extension activities underpin all elements of fruit fly management, including operations, legislation, regulation, market access, biosecurity and improvements in management practices. Research provides technically justifiable approaches and innovative solutions to enable market access and sustainable production. It is essential that capability and capacity is maintained, and that research, development and extension is prioritised, coordinated and strengthened through national and international research linkages.


Maintain and enhance fruit fly research capability, capacity and resources, pursuing research and extension that focus on nationally agreed priorities.


This priority area will be achieved through activities that include:

  1. Promoting long-term, coordinated investment in research that aligns with national strategic priorities.
  2. Fostering strong partnerships between regulators, research funders, researchers, industry and end-users to identify and support both immediate and anticipated research needs.
  3. Encouraging exchanges, linkages and cooperation among different research sectors to minimise research duplication and maximise the benefits of a collaboration.
  4. Fostering scientific and technical skills, expertise and knowledge available for research and development.
  5. Sharing research and development outputs with end-users and integrating learnings into government and industry practices.

Related resources, projects and organisations

National Fruit Fly RD&E Plan­­

The Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre developed the National Fruit Fly Research, Development and Extension Plan. The RD&E Plan was delivered in 2015 and sought to provide a basis for a long-term view of fruit fly RD&E within Australia to support fruit fly affected industries. The RD&E Plan clarified the outcomes required by various stakeholders and remains an important step in promoting collaboration on fruit fly RD&E.

Download the National Fruit Fly RD&E Plan

Australian fruit fly research groups

Over a dozen research groups within Australia are actively working on fruit flies. These include universities such as Charles Darwin University, Griffith University, Macquarie Univeristy, Murdoch University, the Queensland University of Technology, and the University of Western Sydney. Government agencies in all states also maintain a research and development capacity.

Amongst these groups there are also collaborative endeavours, such as the Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation and the SITplus partnership.

Hort Innovation

While a substantial investment into fruit fly research is directly funded through government agencies, by private companies, and through PhD scholarships, two other groups invest heavily in fruit fly related activities.

Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) is the grower owned research and development corporation (RDC) for Australia’s horticultural industries. Through this role, Hort Innovation receives industry levies that are invested into a range of sector specific research, development and marketing activities. As part of this process, the Australian Government also provides matching funding or co-contributions.

Hort Innovation has two main funding processes for fruit fly activities, the R&D levy and the co-investment fund. Through the R&D levy, industry specific projects are funded in line with the needs and priorities identified by the contributing industry. These projects have a focus on delivery and 1 to 5 year duration.

The co-investment fund looks at longer term and strategic research activities that provide benefits across all of horticulture or have national benefits. Activities with cross-industry benefits, such as the development of the sterile insect technique for Queensland fruit fly through the SITplus partnership is an example of this fund.

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