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DAWE: tackling environmental challenges

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Publication Date: 
November 2020
Case study from: Industry Innovation and Science Australia annual reports

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) is taking part in the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII).DAWE is working with SMEs to find innovative solutions to complex problems.

DAWE is tackling three environmental challenges that the nation faces:

  • improved transparency and reliability of water market information
  • on-the-spot technology for measuring pyrethroid surface residue
  • managing the biosecurity of hitchhiking pests and contaminants on shipping containers

These challenges had no existing solution in the market. Therefore, BRII provided more than $6.2 million in funding.

Water market transparency

Enhancing water market transparency will improve community confidence in water markets. It will, contribute to sustainable management of scarce water resources.

Marsden Jacob Unit received a Proof of Concept grant of $1 million to solve this. They have developed software, WaterflowTM.

Waterflow is not a trading platform. It provides free and independent market commentary and information. It saves water market participants hours researching water prices, availability and rule considerations.

Measuring pyrethroid surface residue

Atamo Pty Ltd and iugotec Pty Ltd recieved grants totalling $2,188,597.

Their work is to prevent the introduction of exotic mosquito species into Australia. This includes the diseases they carry.

They are developing on-the-spot quantitative measurement of residual and knock-down insecticides. Specifically, they are looking at interior aircraft surfaces.

Hitchhiking pests

DAWE’s latest challenge is managing hitchhiking pests and contaminants on shipping containers. This problem requires innovative detection approaches.

Four SMEs received BRII Round 2 funding totalling $398,187. The funding was to conduct three-month Feasibility Studies.

Of these, Trellis Data Pty Ltd and Industry Spec Drones Pty Ltd received $1 million Proof of Concept funding. They will use this funding to develop their solutions over 2020-21.

“It is not just funding for research. The fact BRII allows businesses to retain the intellectual property, and the fact we are obliged to seek broader markets for the device beyond its original application, means real economic benefits for the country and business.” Stewart Snell founding CEO, Atamo Pty Ltd

Atamo’s Pyrethroid Surface Sampler

Atamo’s Pyrethroid Surface Sampler. Image courtesy of Atamo Pty Ltd

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