New appointments drive innovation and returns

30 March 2016

Two new leadership appointments will see Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) drive more innovation within the red meat industry - and deliver more commercial returns from research and development investments.

MLA Managing Director Richard Norton today announced that respected researcher and innovation specialist Dr Christine Pitt had been appointed as inaugural chief executive officer (CEO) of the MLA Donor Company (MDC).

The MDC is a subsidiary of MLA charged with increasing private investment in innovation, accelerating research commercialisation and developing innovation capacity within the red meat and livestock industry. Voluntary private investments facilitated by the MDC are matched by the Australian Government up to 50 per cent of a project's value.

Mr Sean Starling will replace Dr Pitt as MLA's General Manager, Value Chain Innovation. Mr Starling is currently General Manager of SCOTT Technologies Australia and has extensive experience in innovation, program management, value chain design, automation and robotics.

Both appointments are effective from 2 May 2016 and will report to the MLA Managing Director.

“Dr Pitt and Mr Starling are acknowledged leaders in their field.  Their appointments reflect MLA's focus on delivering the best commercial results for the industry through research partnerships that leverage maximum value from collaborative investment," Mr Norton said.

"Under Dr Pitt's leadership, the MDC will attract more private investment in red meat and livestock innovation and build its profile as a leading global agri-technology company.

"The MDC innovation agenda builds on the MLA research and development programs that are funded by producers' levies. Mr Starling's job will be to ensure maximum return on our producers' investment in value chain improvements.

"Together this combined innovation investment will benefit the entire Australian industry by delivering more efficiencies and higher returns through the value chain to the farm gate."

Mr Norton also announced that respected 19-year MLA veteran Dr Alex Ball would leave MLA's management team to take up a leadership position with the Sheep CRC.

"Dr Ball is held in the highest regard and leaves our management team after many years of fine service," Mr Norton said.

"On behalf of MLA, I would like to thank Dr Ball for his enduring professionalism and career-long commitment to the Australian red meat industry.

"I also acknowledge the generous support of the Sheep CRC in allowing Dr Ball and MLA the time to conduct a comprehensive handover."

Dr Ball’s final date with MLA is Friday, 22 April.

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