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SMEs receive $2m worth of grants to improve natural environment

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
13 January 2021 1 minute readShare
improve natural environment

The federal government has announced grants totalling $2 million to 23 small and medium businesses to test their ideas on improving the natural environment.

The latest round of funding is part of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) in supporting the early-stage development of solutions to tackle five specific government policy and service delivery challenges. 

The challenges in this BRII round are:

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  • Revolutionising agricultural spray application

Six projects have been funded under this challenge with total grants of $587,297. One of the firms involved is Spray Safe & Save, a New South Wales company with a project which will assess the impact of water quality issues on chemical spray drift.

  •  Turning office trash into energy treasure

Five projects have been funded under this challenge with total grants of $493,285. One of the firms involved is Finn Biogas, a Queensland company which will test an economically viable way to break down organic waste from buildings.

 

  • Counting fish using advanced technologies

Four projects have been funded under this challenge with total grants of $399,595. One of the firms involved is Tekno, a Western Australian company which will test a fish-counting system using an artificial intelligence tool that processes raw footage to identify species. 

  • Turning farm crops into a renewable hydrogen source

Four projects have been funded under this challenge with total grants of $399,712. One of the firms involved is Wildfire Energy, a Queensland renewable energy start-up which will test the feasibility of using grain crop residues to manufacture hydrogen and biochar.

  • Automating the detection of whales at sea

Four projects have been funded under this challenge with total grants of $394,654. One of the firms involved is Vimana Tech, a Victorian company which will test a real-time AI system incorporating visual and thermal cameras to alert vessel operators when whales are sighted at sea. 

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said, following the feasibility tests, the most successful projects may be eligible for a grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept.

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“This initiative is giving Australian businesses with clever ideas the opportunity to develop them further, with the potential of creating products that will benefit the community and the Australian economy,” Ms Andrews said.

“Government agencies will have the option to purchase any of the developed products, which have been specifically tailored to meet national challenges.

“We had a record 220 applications for this BRII round, showing how competitive the process is — and competition produces results.”

The full list of grant recipients can be found here.

SMEs receive $2m worth of grants to improve natural environment
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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