Skip to main content
All Team Members

Dr Barry McGookin

Food Sector Lead and Research Advisory Committee Chair

“Antimicrobial resistance knowledge in food manufacturing is embryonic in Australia. This is an exciting opportunity to find solutions and drive an understanding of AMR for the sector – which will ultimately improve industry capability and consumer safety.

The food manufacturing sector has a long history of developing and managing food safety for human consumption, including managing food pathogens. The same management mindset must be applied to antimicrobial resistant organisms.”


Dr Barry McGookin is a respected thought leader, SAAFE CRC’s Food Sector Lead, and Chair of our Research Advisory Committee. With experience across the whole agri-food value network, he’s passionate about unlocking innovation through strategic cross-sector collaboration.

Barry was first introduced to the commercial implications of research while undertaking his PhD with CSIRO and RMIT where he doubled the shelf life of whole milk powder for export. Following his PhD, Barry continued teaching at RMIT before following his proclivity for the practical applications of research into industry.

As General Manager (Innovation, Capabilities & Skills) at Food Innovation Australia (FIAL), Barry switched his focus from the bench to coordinating research. He oversaw a $15 million national grant program that delivered a combined market impact of more than $100 million in revenue, more than 500 new jobs, as well as seven new-to-world and 14 new-to-Australia innovations, and $35 million of industry investment.

Most recently, Barry founded Samvinna – an agri-food consulting business focused on helping food, beverage and produce manufacturing businesses develop capabilities, deliver innovation and business outcomes, and manage the idea-to-market process.

While working with FIAL, Barry met with our Research Director Erica Donner to discuss the idea of a national research initiative focused on AMR in water – but with a One Health approach.

Currently, as Chair of our Research Advisory Committee he’s focused on creating space for conversations about the opportunities for AMR research between sector experts and research leads – including how best to deliver community and consumer benefits.

It isn’t his first foray into Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs). In fact, Barry previously coordinated the Enterprise Solutions Grant program with nine research partners and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries at Fight Food Waste CRC.

He’s also: been a bid member for the successful Future Food Systems CRC; supported the development of four other successful CRC and two Australian Research Council (ARC) bids; and provided comment on an estimated 90 Cooperative Research Centres Projects, 40 ARC bids, and 20 CRC bids.