The Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded the University of Adelaide nearly $2 million in Linkage grants to fund four new studies, including a study on hemp seeds.
The Linkage grants are designed to boost partnerships between Australian businesses, researchers, universities and community organisations. The latest grant funds will be divided four ways between projects that will pioneer a new way to measure lamb and mutton meat quality, build a strategic water chemistry framework for the McArthur Basin, and help the performing arts sector during COVID-19 and develop a new generation of hemp varieties.
Specifically, the hemp project was awarded $513,272 of the funds.
Conducted by Professor Rachel Burton from the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture Food and Wine, the project will develop a new generation of industrial hemp cultivars. Cultivars are a specific variety of a plant bred to have unique traits. Professor Burton’s hemp cultivars will be designed to be drought resistant while maintaining the high oil and protein content of regular hemp seeds. The cultivars will also minimise the amount of THC present in the crops. THC is one of cannabis’s psychoactive components, and according to the Food Standards Code, cannabis must contain less than 1% THC to be classified as hemp in Australia.
Ultimately, Professor Burton’s ‘Pioneering seed solutions for the industrial hemp industry‘ research will help hemp farmers produce high-quality hemp that requires less water while still meeting the FSC standards. According to the University of Adelaide’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Anton Middelberg, the ARC grants are a crucial piece of this puzzle, as they will fund “important work” that will benefit Australia long-term.
These Australian Research Council grants will enable our experts, in partnership with industry, government and the performing arts community, to undertake valuable work that will benefit society.
Professor Burton’s hemp project is being conducted in partnership with the Australian Hemp and Seed Company (which is supported by the Waite Research Institute).