ARC Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products

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Welcome to the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products

The Australian food industry, and the fresh produce sector in particular, offers enormous opportunities for growth and diversification through development of innovative new products that are convenient, affordable, healthy and, of course, safe.

The Training Centre will develop innovative, 'industry-savvy' researchers who will contribute to the development of the fresh produce sector through new products with improved shelf life and sensory quality.  A suite of horticulture, food science, market analysis projects relevant to the horticultural supply chains of Woolworths supermarket will be undertaken. Researcher training, integrating formal course-work and workplace-integrated learning, with traditional  project-based research, will deliver research professionals who understand food product innovation and have a trans-disciplinary approach to delivering products that satisfy market demand.

­The objectives of the Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme are to:

  1. Foster opportunities for Higher Degree by Research candidates and postdoctoral fellows to pursue industrial research training
  2. Enhance competitive research through collaboration between universities and organisations outside the Australian higher education sector; and
  3. Strengthen Australia's industrial science skills base to support the needs of future and transforming industries and other research end-users

View current research projects

News and Positions Available



Applications are now open for the 2017 Masterclass in Horticultural Business.

The Masterclass in Horticultural Business is a global leadership program that has been tailor-made for Australian entrepreneurs in horticulture and is the first of its kind in Australia for the horticulture industry.

Offered through flexible online delivery, you will gain leadership and management skills that will enable you to take your career to the next level.

The Masterclass has been developed in partnership with international leaders in Horticulture – Horticulture Innovation Australia, Wageningen Academy and Lincoln University, to ensure it best meets industry needs.
Find out more and apply now.


On Tuesday 6th September, the Training Centre was privileged to host Emeritus Professor Ron Wills, from the Faculty of Science & Information Technology at the University of Newcastle. Ron is a world expert on the effects on fresh produce of ethylene in the postharvest environment. Ron has over 50 years of experience in many aspects of the postharvest of horticultural products, including projects on bananas, lettuce and fresh-cut fruits, and has published over 300 articles. During his visit Ron gave a public seminar at the University of Tasmania, Hobart campus, on “the benefits from controlling ethylene concentration around postharvest fruit and vegetables”. Ron also met with Training Centre staff and students, communicating his wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm, and sharing ideas about projects and potential funding.

Watch Professor Ron Will's public seminar here:


Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) has invested in communicating the latest research to the Tasmanian vegetable industry. The project contracted by RMCG, aims to bring together the local growers, agronomists, advisers and researchers together to ensure members of the supply chain receive targeted information including production benchmarking, markets, value-adding, innovation and new technologies. View press release.


Staff, post docs and students from the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products visited our major industry partner Woolworths in Sydney. The team saw how the distribution centre received, sorted and delivered produce to the stores, visited two new Woolworths store formats and discussed with Woolworths the practical application and opportunities within each ARC Training Centre project.

The ARC Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products staff and students at Woolworths distribution centre in Minchinbury, Sydney

The ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products was officially launched 14 December 2015 at Government House by Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner, AM, Governor of Tasmania. View press release.

Official Launch of the Training Centre

Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner, AM, Governor of Tasmania (right) at the Official Launch of the Training Centre shown with Centre Manager Dr Sue Pepper (Left) and Centre Director Associate Professor Tom Ross (Centre).

Positions Available


We wish to advise that we are still seeking a PhD candidate position with an interest in packaging of fruit and vegetables.

Candidates should have completed a relevant Masters degree with a major in packaging or a first class honours degree with a major in packaging science. All inquiries should be made to Associate Professor Tom Ross on 03 6226 6382 or by email (

All of the remainder of our PhD candidate positions and our postdoctoral positions have now been filled.