The National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre is jointly funded by Australian vegetable growers and the Federal Government through Hort Innovation. It is home to a diverse team of researchers and professional staff, and performs a training and demonstration function for growers. With an ambitious vision for the future of protected cropping in Australia, the Centre will soon integrate scientific research with aspects of business, economics, marketing and social impacts.

About The Centre

The Centre was established in late 2017 within the remit of the University’s Centralised Facilities Office, the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment and the School of Science and Health.

Its primary purpose is to host the research, engagement and teaching elements of the new glasshouse and to develop collaborations that span the broad expert areas of Western Sydney University and its partners.

The National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre is designed as an integrated hub for developing the skills and knowledge of Australia’s protected cropping industry.

By offering an environment with the best growing technology and systems available, the Centre will provide education, research and training that ensures that Australia’s protected cropping industry is at the forefront of best-practices.

An Innovative Showcase of Modern Horticultural Technologies

Our aims are to:

  • Conduct research that addresses the issues and questions posed by Australian growers that helps them to increase their productivity.
  • Provide educational programs for students, growers and advisers that enable them to take the knowledge and skills they learn out to industry to drive better adoption of best-practices.
  • Position the Centre as an innovative showcase of modern horticultural technologies to inspire tomorrow’s horticultural professionals, scientists, engineers and technicians.

Integrating Research Disciplines

We have an exciting opportunity to connect horticultural technology and innovation with other disciplines in new ways. By drawing on broad expertise from within the University and from our industry and corporate partners, we are able to devise solutions in innovative ways:

  • Connecting plant sciences with engineering, economics, computer and data sciences
  • Testing the use of new materials for cladding, glass and lighting designs
  • Building business cases for selection of crops based on their performance versus profitability under specific conditions.

The opportunity in research at the Centre lies in developing highly functional and solution-oriented programs that consider the full life cycle of crops grown under glasshouse conditions, from seed to production to marketing to consumption and beyond. As a closed system, we can reliably connect inputs to outputs and offer ways of measuring the benefits from adoption of glasshouse and protected cropping systems.

Contact our staff today to find out more.