Government challenges innovators to turn crop waste and office trash into energy treasure

The Federal Government is calling on the nation’s small and medium sized businesses to help develop innovative solutions that can solve national environmental challenges.


Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said $12 million was being made available through the latest round of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) across five challenges.

The five challenges for this round are:

  • Revolutionising agricultural spray application
  • Turning farm crops into a renewable hydrogen source
  • Counting fish using advanced technologies
  • Automating the detection of whales at sea
  • Turning office trash into energy treasure

“This is a great opportunity for Australian businesses to think outside the box and develop clever ideas that can help solve policy issues within Government,” Minister Andrews said.

“This round of BRII aims to find more effective ways of dealing with challenges that affect our oceans, water and soil quality as well as recycling technologies."

Australian startups and small and medium businesses can submit proposals for ideas that address the challenges. Successful applicants will receive grants of up to $100,000 to further develop ideas and test feasibility over three months.

The most successful of these ideas may then be eligible for a grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept over a maximum of 18 months. Relevant government agencies will have the option to purchase these solutions at the end of the proof of concept stage.

Applications close on 10 September 2020.

To find out more information, including how to apply for a grant, visit

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