MLA's Collaborative Innovation Strategies program (CISp) aims to strengthen the innovation capability of organisations across the value chain in the Australian red meat sector. The purpose of this CISp project was to assist Angus Australia to develop and implement an innovation strategy in such a way that it could be integrated into the company's overall business plans and provide measurable performance indicators, which identify the contribution of innovation to the bottom line and achievement of key business objectives. Ultimately, the innovation strategy's objective is to contribute to the long-term profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of Angus Australia.
Commencing in 2010 for duration of three years, over the course of the project Angus Australia expected to:
Develop and implement a comprehensive innovation strategy that would be integrated into the company's overall business strategy.
Develop measurable performance indicators, which identify the contribution of innovation to the bottom line and achievement of key business objectives.
Invest in the building of innovation capability to contribute to the long-term profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of Angus Australia and its members.
Develop skills and processes appropriate to the support of ongoing innovation activities.
Streamline access to MLA's knowledge base and people.
From the industry perspective, MLA expected benefits to include:
Flow on effects to enhance the innovation capability of other breed societies and their members, particularly those in southern Australia.
Better understanding of the critical issues impacting the profitability and sustainability of Breed Societies in general, to be extended more broadly to other Breed Societies and producers within the industry.
Development of new processes and systems or adoption of new technologies and scientific knowledge which may be commercialised for the benefit of the broader industry.
The first 12 months of the CISp involved in-depth analysis of Angus Australia as an organisation, its position in industry and resources available for the development and implementation of innovative systems and services. It was also important to understand what innovation meant to Angus Australia and what the desired outcomes of the CISp were.
To fully appreciate and understand the role of different people and groups involved in developing the Angus Australia Strategic Plan 2011 – 2015, the internal process was documented in detail. The process for developing Angus Australia's 2011 Business Plan was also documented and showed that the Angus Australia Innovation Strategy impacted on the planning decisions of the business. This process has now been adopted and is an integral part of our strategic planning and business plan development process.
With the above foundations laid, the focus of the CISp then progressed to identifying projects and activities that would deliver on the overall aims of the strategy. Key achievements during the delivery phase include:
The development of International Livestock Registry (ILR2) export certification functionality allowed Angus Australia to develop new business opportunities in the live export sector through breed certification. In 2009 there were less than 9,000 Angus animals exported while in 2013 this number was just more than 40,000 animals.
First ever breed to develop and conduct whole of supply chain workshops in conjunction with Meat Standards Australia (MSA) and Certified Australian Angus Beef (CAAB) for producers, allowing 330 producers to attend 12 workshops across Eastern Australia.
Developed two versions of Android and iOS Apps to make Angus animal and member information easily accessible to the beef industry, with almost 150 download. This development was very important to convince ABRI of the importance of making animal and breeder information available to the broader beef industry. Subsequently ABRI developed an App that can be used by seed stock and commercial producers to access the member and animal information of any beef breed in Australia.
Consultation with sixty producers to identify pre and post relocation management practices that affect the successful adaptation of bulls sold into northern, non-temperate regions.
Development and implementation of statistical methods to allow Angus genomic information to contribute to Breedplan Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs).
Implementation of the Angus crossbred Breedplan analysis which facilitates the direct comparison of crossbred with straight bred Angus animals. This development helps commercial producers compare the genetic potential of animals with diverse genetic background.
Communication of new knowledge, tools and systems to industry through local, national and international conferences. Presentation opportunities at five conferences allowed Angus to communicate new developments to about 2,000 persons of which about 20% were international attendees.
Decreased the average probability of and Angus animal to a carrier of a recognised Genetic Condition from 30% to 12%.
Enabled the diffusion of innovations via the implementation of Angus Australia's tools and systems by several local and international customers of Agricultural Business Research Institute ABRI.
Skills and professional development outcomes were achieved through participation in Innovation Managers Network meetings facilitated by MLA. The Network provided access to cutting-edge technology, tools, and ideas from Australian and international innovation thought leaders. The Network also created a safe and stimulating environment to interact and share ideas with Innovation Managers from other organisations participating in the CISp.
The professional development component of the program allowed key personnel to attend an advanced course in innovation, the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics (AAABG) conference in Perth as well as a course in high-level business management.
The CISp made it possible for Angus Australia to invest the necessary resources to develop an innovation strategy that had an impact on the decision-making of the overall business. This in turn, combined with a portfolio of practical and useful innovation initiatives, has helped drive a culture of innovative thinking within the organisation and amongst its members. The Australian beef industry will continue to benefit from Angus Australia's participation in the CISp through the further development and implementation of innovative systems. In addition, commercialisation of several Angus Australia applications through ABRI will help broaden the impact of the CISp program and help lift the overall innovation capability of the Australian red meat industry.