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MLA Donor Company

MLA Donor Company (MDC) is a fully-owned subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia.

MDC accelerates innovation across the value chain so the Australian red meat and livestock industry can remain competitive on the world stage.

It does this by attracting commercial investment from individual enterprises and others that share a mutual interest to co-invest in innovation that will benefit the industry.

Benefits for industry

The MDC model injects valuable new investment into red meat industry R&D and commercialisation, with a number of resulting benefits:

  • Improved sustainability on- and off-farm
  • Reduced production costs along the entire value chain leading to a more competitive industry
  • Higher standards of occupational health and safety
  • New value-added products that facilitate access to new international markets and increased export earnings
  • Enhanced supply chain collaboration
  • Increased innovation capability.

Partners in R&D

The Australian Government matches voluntary partner contributions (up to 40%) through the MDC, where eligible projects deliver outcomes that address broader industry and/or government priorities and benefit the entire industry.

The partner may, or may not, be a provider to the project i.e. carry out the work.

MDC partners have included breed societies, pastoral companies, processors, value-adders, pharmaceuticals, state departments and technology providers, including some international collaboration.

The model complements levy investment through voluntary contributions and supports some of the more commercial aspects of R&D, benefiting the whole supply chain.


Project approvals are based on assessment of the following key criteria:

  • Eligibility for matching R&D funds
  • alignment with government and industry priorities
  • benefit to industry
  • technical feasibility
  • market and commercial risk
  • quality of application
  • capability of research team/partner
  • adoption and commercialisation pathway.