Grain agtech challenge launched in Australia

13-01 | |
Australian grain growers expect to harvest Australia's largest ever crop this year. - Photo: Rene Groeneveld
Australian grain growers expect to harvest Australia's largest ever crop this year. - Photo: Rene Groeneveld

Australian Cicada Innovations has launched a grain agtech challenge to find innovative deep tech solutions that will help to drive sustainability and improve profitability in the grain growing industry.

Cicada Innovations collaborates with the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) to help growers find new technology, from task automation and sensors to renewable technologies and genetic tools.

Improved data for decision-making

This Growlab Grains Challenge can help with generating improved data for decision-making and decision support models or new engineering solutions that improve the operational efficiency of on-farm tasks. Another area of interest is enhanced grain classification processes.

Other solutions could be: new technology for optimal management of biosecurity issues, solutions that maintain or increase profitability, optimising input costs or reducing post-farm-gate costs and managing risk to maximise profit and minimise losses.

“We are looking for solutions that will help growers to develop new, novel, and high-value products and by-products

CEO Sally-Ann Williams says Cicada Innovations is optimistic about the prospect of uncovering innovative and ground breaking solutions to problems that often arise at the intersection of multiple disciplines and industries through deep technologies. “We are looking for solutions that will help growers to develop new, novel, and high-value products and by-products for health and nutrition, animal feed, and industrial uses or biofuels.”

GRDC business development and commercialisation manager Chris Murphy says the challenge is about supporting innovators with ideas that could potentially transform the grains industry. “With the support of incubators like Cicada Innovations we want to position successful participants so they are well-placed to attract further equity investment and take their products or services to the next level.”

Fast Start Accelerator

Cicada Innovations is now in the process of selecting participants. They will be invited to participate in Cicada’s Fast Start Accelerator. This is a 6 month coaching program which includes a dedicated workspace at Cicada Innovations incubator, as well as access to mentors from across Cicada and the GRDC’s network.

“We‘ve seen a strong response of applications from startups across Australia”, Miss Williams says. “With well progressed technology and ideas ranging from new and novel high value products, predictive analytics in both storage and yield solutions, integrated IOT programs, and vision and machine learning solutions on grading.”

She says that the applicants are from broad range of backgrounds but have managed to bring together multidisciplinary skill sets to focus on both hardware and software solutions to target very focus challenges in the grain industry. The participants will be announced in February or later.

Groeneveld
René Groeneveld Correspondent for Australia
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