Australian Wool Innovation announced a collaboration with the Entrepreneurship Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) at The University of Adelaide to create the 2017 Australian Wool Innovation Tech eChallenge.
The Australian Wool Innovation Tech eChallenge program is based around the development of prototypes of technical innovations for the Australian wool industry.
Open to students and academics from any South Australian University, business professionals, researchers and the wider community, people will participate in teams for prizes totaling $60,000.
Participating teams will undertake a hands-on, experiential course based around the successful innovation process developed by the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC).
They will be exposed to key techniques and processes that help uncover the types of technical innovations that are sought after to create technology-based solutions.
The Australian Wool Innovation Tech eChallenge provides an opportunity via an applied innovation forum, to develop practical, low cost digital tools that automate routine on farm operations for woolgrowers. Such developments support productivity and welfare improvements and genetic progress.
Recent advances in the field of automation and software development, especially the advent and wide uptake of mobile technology, has created new opportunities for development of labour-saving devices.
These offer the potential to generate substantial labour savings for routine operations, and to simultaneously improve management skill and deliver spin-off benefits for sheep health, welfare and productivity.
The Lifetime Ewe Management application being an example, the recent electronic bale tag trial another.
Australian Wool Innovation CEO Stuart McCullough added “Australian Wool Innovation is delighted to be part of this innovative approach to attracting the very best minds in the ‘Tech World’ toward the ‘Agri-Tech World’.
We recognise that extraordinary effort has to be made to draw attention to wool. The University of Adelaide with their world class Roseworthy and Waite campuses is a very natural choice.”
The Australian Wool Innovation Tech eChallenge program collaboration forms part of the Farm Automation & Software Development strategy of the Sheep Production Portfolio in the 2016/17 – 2018/19 Strategic Plan.
Dr Gary Hancock – Academic Director (Undergraduate Programs) at the University of Adelaide said ‘this program uses cutting edge, 21st Century educational techniques.
It allows participants to learn as they develop their opportunities and get feedback from real investors, industry experts, and entrepreneurs.”
Commencing in March 2017, winners will be announced in June 2017.