Last week the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) water and energy policy team met with south east Queensland’s top universities to discuss future challenges to the agriculture sector and investigate research opportunities. By sitting down and discussing industry concerns with the University of Queensland (UQ), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Griffith University and University of Southern Queensland (USQ), QFF was able to engage in a collaborative approach in responding to the challenges and complexities affecting the industry. As well as working directly with government and our industry member organisations, QFF engages the community as a whole to debate and further agriculture in Queensland. This is especially valuable when we are discussing such issues as water, energy and food production that are core to the viability of agriculture in Queensland. The education sector has a key role to play in supporting and driving innovation in the agriculture sector. It is because of this that QFF take very seriously the potential for a unique transdisciplinary partnership with the education sector to deliver economical, safer and more sustainable water, energy services and agricultural products. It is essential that partnerships between QFF, government and our educational institutions are based on shared knowledge, quality science and evidence based targeting of state, national and international concerns. By strengthening the water, energy and food sectors we will be able to collectively increase productivity and deliver upon future expected demands. Innovation and integrated solutions will be essential in securing this sustainable and viable sector. QFF are committed to doing its part in delivering this. QFF Water and Energy Policy Advisor, Ian Johnson presented intensive agriculture’s key challenges, current initiatives, significant drivers for change and opportunities for collaborative research. Challenges around critical water availability for irrigation, rising costs of water and energy and on farm efficiencies generated discussion and interest from the universities. The forum allowed QFF to showcase some of the positive work currently being undertaken to tackle farm energy and water efficiencies through the Energy Savers Plus program. Energy Savers is conducting on-farm audits as well as providing case study materials as a resource for the various agriculture industries. It is vitally important that QFF work to resolve energy and water efficiencies both at a practical on farm level and through a policy and academic level with government and the education sector. As to where exactly this partnership between industry and education goes it is yet to be seen, however QFF is committed to taking the time and having the necessary discussion to ensure the agricultural sector is prepared and does not miss out on the opportunities that arise from constructive collaboration. QFF would like to thank the universities for the opportunity to present and discuss the issues affecting our industry member organisations and the broader intensive agricultural sector in Queensland and for investing in this initiative.