​Media Release

Celebrating young agricultural innovators

27 February 2019

  • 14 agricultural researchers share in $330,000 worth of grants through the Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • The awards help turn ideas for improving agricultural productivity into reality
  • Winners also finalists for Minister's award, announced at ABARES Outlook Conference 

Innovative ideas to develop airborne disease detection and mapping for grain farmers, a smarter way to fence using your phone and purifying abattoir water for re-use are among the 14 winning projects as part of the Coaltion Government's Science and Innovation Awards.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the winners would receive grants of up to $22,000 to further develop their ideas and boost Australia's agriculture sector.

"These innovators are the ones who'll keep Australian agriculture at the cutting edge," Minister Littleproud said.

"These are innovative and practical ideas that will make farm businesses more efficient and provide greater protection against biosecurity threats.

"One project uses automation to quickly put in farm fencing.

"The Smart Fencer automatically drives fence posts and runs wire while you tow it behind a ute.

"This project could slash the time and labour needed for fencing farms.

"Another project is developing real-time airborne disease detection and mapping it for grain farmers, which will let farmers to protect their crops more effectively and reduce losses.

"Another is looking at recycling abattoir wastewater with plasma to remove waste products.

"All projects have big potential and we want to see them reach their goals.

"One project will also win the Minister's Award with another $22,000 to help deliver the project."

The Science Awards will be presented at a gala dinner as part of ABARES Outlook conference 2019 from March 5-6 in Canberra.

For more information visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/conferences-events/scienceawards

Fast Facts:

  • 14 Science and Innovation award recipients, each supported by a research and development corporation or industry organisation.
  • Awards started in 2001 and have supported 250 innovators with $4 million in grants.
  • The Coalition Government invests $1.1 billion a year in rural R&D corporations, Cooperatives, the CSIRO, universities, tax Incentives and other programs.
​AwardRecipient Project
Meat & Livestock Australia AwardTravis AllingtonApplication of sensor technologies to understand the effects of ewe behaviour on survival of multiple born lambs.
Australian Meat Processor Corporation AwardDr Kateryna BazakaAbattoir wastewater treatment.
Cotton Research and Development Corporation AwardDr Dean BrookesDetecting cotton pests and pathogens using environmental DNA from irrigation water.
Grains Research and Development Corporation AwardLewis CollinsReal-time airborne disease detection and mapping platform.
Dairy Australia AwardBethany FingerImproving juvenile in vitro production and transfer (JIVET) outcomes in cattle.
Australian Eggs AwardElizabeth HickeyOptimisation of the growth conditions of campylobacter hepaticus in large-scale fermentation for vaccine production.
Forest & Wood Products Australia AwardJames KondiliosGeonomically adjusted seed provenancing to protect hardwood eucalyptus plantations in the face of imminent climate change.
Wine Australia AwardDr Rocco LongoA new tool for in-line and real-time grape juice assessments.
CSIRO Health and Biosecurity AwardDr Jessica LyeCitizen scientists as early detectors of priority exotic plant pests in urban environments.
Australian Wool Innovation AwardHugh McKaySmart Fencer Trailer.
Fisheries Research and Development Corporation AwardDr Elliot ScanesUnlocking the oyster microbiome to improve aquaculture in a rapidly changing climate.
Australian Eggs AwardDr Kirsty ShortUsing comparative genomics to prevent bird flu in poultry.
Australian Pork Ltd AwardAnne WattInvestigations into bacterial causes of pleuritic in slaughter animals.
AgriFutures Australia AwardAshlea WebsterPortable, real-time decision support for legume growers.