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MLA Donor Company

The MLA Donor Company (MDC) is a fully-owned subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia. The MDC receives funding from the Commonwealth of Australia under a Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA) to invest in eligible R&D.

The MDC’s purpose is to act an investment vehicle which accelerates innovation across the value chain to ensure Australia’s red meat and livestock industry remains 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:

  • To significantly increase the level of enterprise investment in innovation in the Australian red meat industry.
  • To significantly enhance the outcomes of commercially focussed innovation to ensure quantifiable commercial returns to individual enterprises and collectively to the red meat industry.
  • To accelerate the adoption of research and development (R&D) outputs and innovations available to industry.
  • To assist the Australian red meat industry to develop a culture of innovation and 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.


The MDC has the same vision, mission and values as MLA, and investments that include MDC based funding are subject to the same project application, assessment, contracting and evaluation processes as MLA’s levy funded investments.


Where a project is funded by the MDC, MLA manages the funding and project compliance much like in an MLA-funded project.

The funds provided by the MDC, project participants, the matched funds provided by the Commonwealth and any funds provided by the Australian Meat Processor Corporation Limited (if applicable), are pooled with MLA at the start of the project and then applied against milestones to the Participant during the course of the project.

MLA’s supports the cost of management, administration and delivery of an MDC funded project via a Project Access Fee.

Project Funding Application Guidelines & Forms

Preliminary and detailed project funding application forms, as well as associated guidelines and more information about MDC funding are available here