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Research. Innovation. Technology.

Highlights from Australian agrifood innovation.

Intuitive farm safety device, SoleMate steps up for Aussie farmers

Nakatomi and Meat & Livestock Australia have developed a shoe insole medical IoT device with automated remote emergency alerts. Now they’re seeking commercial investors and manufacturers for development and distribution, with high value for healthcare and various WH&S applications. 

  • Led by
    Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)
  • In collaboration with
    Nakatomi
Picking

Multi-armed mango auto-harvester set to speed up picking by 90%

As it gets increasingly difficult to find reliable labour to pick acid-spurting mangoes in the tropical heat, a world-first automated harvester developed by Central Queensland University’s Fruitronics team and Hort Innovation, are now seeking commercial partnership from an agricultural equipment manufacturer.

  • Led by
    Hort Innovation
  • In collaboration with
    Central Queensland University (CQU)
Commercial opportunity

Wearable tech for sheep lets woolgrowers join the smart tag revolution

Australian Wool Innovation is pioneering smart tags for sheep, giving producers the chance to track, monitor and assess their animals in real time – all the time. For an industry left behind in the smart tag race, it’s welcome news. 

  • Led by
    Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)
Innovation

The gateway connecting the world to our agrifood innovation opportunities

It is a great time to be in rural research and innovation. There is a landslide of activity across agriculture, fisheries and forestries, all designed to deliver new technologies and opportunities to Australian farmers.

 

Each year, the Australian government, universities and industry invest billions of dollars in research to support agriculture, fisheries and forestry. There are 15 Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), 43 universities and hundreds of industry organisations and peak bodies, that currently house thousands of research projects. But, in order to find them, you need to know what you are looking for and where to look. Until now.

  • Funded by
    Department of Agriculture, Water the Environment
  • Project led by
    AgriFutures Australia
Featured organisation

Cotton Research and Development Corporation – powering innovation in 2021

Over the years, cotton has been a major presence in the Australian farming and export industries. Accounting for up to 60% of the agricultural output in regions in which it is grown, the Australian cotton industry exports around $2 billion worth of cotton each year to China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Thailand. 

Simply put, cotton is big business. 

Commercial opportunity

Camera technology offers new vision for chicken welfare

AgriFutures Australia and the University of Southern Queensland are seeking technology partners to commercialise novel video analysis software to better detect growth and welfare indicators of poultry flocks and enhance on-farm decision making.

 

Funded by the University of Southern Queensland and AgriFutures Australia’s Chicken Meat Program, mechatronic engineers Dr Cheryl McCarthy and Dr Derek Long have linked continual on-board image analysis, similar to face recognition, with a low-cost camera to provide regular updates on flock movement throughout the day.

 

  • Funded by
    AgriFutures Australia
  • Project led by
    University of Southern Queensland (USQ)
Horticulture

Innovation in horticulture to benefit people, plants and the planet

The future of innovation in horticulture is bright and will underpin the production of produce that is good for Australia and the world. 

 

Hort Innovation’s Head of R&D Byron de Kock said, “We strive for balance across our Research, Development and Extension program that represents more than $400 million of investment. At one end of the spectrum, we strive to transform and revolutionise through initiatives in biotechnology and robotics. At the other end, we seek to protect current production through biosecurity, crop protection, pest and disease control investments.”

  • Led by
    Hort Innovation
  • Featuring
    Byron De Kock, Hort Innovation, Head of R&D
Waste

$2 million budget for pre-farm gate waste investment – Open call seeks innovative ideas

Australians produce over 74 million tonnes of waste per year, with the amount of waste produced by farmers, fishers and foresters presenting a significant challenge. Limited support and practical options exist to avoid waste in the first place or manage it as part of the production process. 

 

The pre-farm gate waste program has been launched to support innovative ideas and options for the avoidance, recycling and reuse of pre-farm gate waste, and ensure there is clear direction and coordination of activities for the sector to achieve the required change.  

  • Led by
    AgriFutures Australia
Kakadu plum

Traceable and sustainable: The drivers behind Australia’s booming Kakadu plum market

Can agrifood tech innovation help to harness the rising value of Australia’s wild harvest Kakadu plum – and secure its place in the cosmetics industry? Well, WA sunscreen brand, We Are Feel Good Inc. has done just that – and consumer demand is growing.

 

Kakadu plum has earned its status as one of Australia’s key native species – offering huge market potential. Almost exclusively wild harvested, production of the in-demand superfood extends from Broome, right across the Top End of Australia and into Queensland.

Dairy

Technology the key to increasing yields for Bega, NSW farmer

Smarter irrigation technology, like soil moisture probes with real-time telemetry, has become an integral tool for New South Wales dairy farmer Will Russell, enabling him to grow more feed and increase herd size.  
 
Will is one of the farmers across Australia who partners in the Smarter Irrigation for Profit Phase 2 (SIP2) program which provides an opportunity for dairy irrigators to closely monitor the impact of irrigation optimisation strategies, and take-up opportunities to increase their knowledge on the practical tools and support available to help in irrigation decisions. 

  • Led by
    Dairy Australia
  • In collaboration with
    Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE)
Honey bees

Beekeepers back genetic improvement to boost honey bee industry performance

Around half of Australian beekeepers desire more information to be made available on the queen bees they purchase, with selection traits and queen bee pedigree at the top of the list.

 

That’s according to a survey of 196 beekeepers and 11 queen bee breeders recently conducted by the University of Sydney and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) as part of the Australian Government Rural R&D for Profit, Plan Bee Genetic Improvement Program.

  • Led by
    AgriFutures Australia
Carbon

$2 million for innovative carbon research – open call for proposals

AgriFutures Australia has announced a $2 million carbon initiative to explore new and innovative products, practices and technologies to improve carbon storage or reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) in Australia’s agricultural sector. 

 

AgriFutures is calling for research proposals that have the potential to deliver high impact and practical benefits for farmers, fishers and foresters across six investment areas.  

  • Led by
    AgriFutures Australia
Commercial Opportunity

Spray drift warning system a step closer to implementation

Minimising spray drift is a high priority for Australian agriculture, with the grains and cotton industries joining to develop a hazardous weather warning system to provide real-time weather data and alerts to growers and spray operators.

  • Led by
    Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC)
  • In collaboration with
    Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)