The Australian native bee industry has been identified by AgriFutures Australia as an emerging industry with high growth potential. ANBA accepted an invitation from them to invest in our industry and collaborate with them to de-velop a Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan.

The plan will assist us to map out our industry RD&E priorities for the next five years, which can be used to tar-get investment from funding bodies and assist the growth of the industry.

Between Jul and September, a group of over 100 stake-holders, from public and private business, government (federal and state), and research organisations formed the basis of the Native Bee Industry Reference Group (NaBIRG). Following a series of meetings discussions and input from stakeholders on an initial vision for industry, opportunities and challenges that may be faced and initial insights into key thematic areas for research.

The body of the Plan was circulated to the NaBIRG for re-view and prioritisation of the Activities via a poll. These were then collated and incorporated into the Final Draft which was presented to AgriFutures Australia and the working group stakeholders on the 2 September 2021. The Final Native bee RD&E Strategic Plan was provided for our endorsement this week.

The entire process was a valuable and enjoyable experi-ence and was run in an extremely efficient and open man-ner. We thank the consultants Olivia Reynolds and Michael Robinson for their work. The plan will be a powerful tool to help our industry grow and thrive in Australia.