Open Innovation to help solve livestock export challenges
Every industry is seeking ways to be more efficient and utilise technology to tackle shared challenges.
Embracing an agile open innovation approach, compared to a traditional research process, can help to accelerate identification, trials and ultimately deployment of viable/high-impact solutions.
The livestock export industry is doing just that – using Open Innovation to capture ideas from outside the industry that could be adapted or adopted. The aim is to find practical and immediate solutions to common supply chain problems to support animal health and welfare management and support commercial performance.
The Livestock Export Research, Development & Extension (RD&E) Program, a collaboration between LiveCorp and Meat & Livestock Australia, is looking to partner with mid to late-stage technology solution providers in proof-of-concept (PoC) trials.
LiveCorp Chief Executive Officer Wayne Collier said the approach is about being agile and open to different ideas.
Our industry is great at articulating the challenges it wants to address. However, it also moves quickly, so our stakeholders are looking for solutions that are ready to go
Solutions are being sought in response to six Open Innovation Pipeline challenges:
- Automated collection of animal weights: Automate the process of weighing individual animals and digitally recording that weight during the loading and unloading of the animals for export.
- Better flooring for animals during sea export: Identify new flooring material or designs that reduce injury and increase the comfort of animals on board livestock export ships.
- Automated identification of shy feeders: Automate the process of identifying animals that are shy feeders to allow for early intervention and reduce the risk of weight loss or on animal health impacts.
- Automated on-board gas monitoring: Automate the monitoring of ammonia (and other gas) levels during livestock export to allow for early intervention.
- Automated cattle counting: Identify and trial a solution that results in little-to-no discrepancies between the cattle count on a ship, at discharge and induction in the destination feedlot.
- Reserve fodder and bedding storage: Identify a long(er) term reserve fodder and bedding storage solution which allows for greater shelf-life on-board and navigates the biosecurity concerns of having the feed and bedding be kept on-board for a longer period.
- Interested in the Livestock Export RD&E Program’s six Open Innovation Pipeline challenges? Visit the AgriFutures growAG. here to learn more.
The fast track to testing in the livestock export industry
A traditional research and development approach can be an extensive process, and the world of technology, is evolving at pace.
With that in mind, Wayne believes Open Innovation provides a unique opportunity.
“Open Innovation will help to find previously unconsidered solutions and bring them to the forefront faster.
“The agritech sector has been booming in recent years, and there’s untapped potential in many other agricultural industries that could be used to address the industry’s challenges.
“There are also many technologies in unrelated industries which may be applicable, as we’ve discovered in the past, so there’s no point in us starting from scratch in trying to create solutions.”
In the case of animal weighing, there are several existing solutions that accurately capture both the weight and RFID tag details of the animals as they walk through a race on farm. However, these are yet to be trialled in a livestock export setting, such as when the animals are loaded.
“We want to see if some of these technologies can be adapted to bring about faster, more economical solutions for the livestock export industry.”
At the end of the proof-of-concept trials, solutions may be mature enough for immediate industry adoption or require further exploration and development.
Open Innovation – Tried and tested pathway for industry success
LiveCorp has already successfully used Open Innovation.
“Several years ago, we used global technology scouts that led us to trial technologies that we would have never have thought to use.
“For example, we’ve tested commercial dehumidification units on vessels to reduce ambient humidity for livestock. We also tackled the lack of connectivity on livestock ships, collaborating with a provider to bring across a Bluetooth mesh network system used in the offshore oil and gas industry to enable more automated data capture during voyages,” said Wayne.
“We see the Open Innovation Pipeline as a long-term program of work that can accelerate the development of technologies that will make a difference in the efficiency and sustainability of livestock exports.”
Identifying the right problems with the greatest benefit for industry
For this round, the Livestock Export RD&E Program used a novel, web-based platform to seek industry input on ideas initially identified by the advisory committee of livestock producer and exporter representatives.
“The process started with 14 concepts, which were refined into ‘problem statements’ and prioritised into the six ideas going to tender,” said Wayne.
“The industry has worked hard to narrow down the concepts into those most suitable for a technology challenge and likely to have the biggest impact in focus areas such as animal health and welfare and supply chain efficiency.
For more information or to enquire about these opportunities, head to the AgriFutures growAG. here. Expressions of Interest close 5pm AEST 10 April 2023
Explore, find and connect with a wealth of research projects and innovation opportunities from across Australia’s agrifood innovation system at growag.com. To list a research project, commercialisation opportunity or organisation, please visit growag.com/submit.