Innovators are being asked to help develop new ways of monitoring commercial fishing location, effort and catch as part of Round 2 of the Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative, now open for applications.
The SBIR funds the research, development and testing of innovative solutions to specific challenges facing Queensland. The SBIR is a new way for government to do business. Rather than going to market seeking a specific product or service, the SBIR focuses on what the challenge is, and invites innovators to tell government how they think it could be solved.
Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said a challenge had been issued to innovators to develop an affordable automated electronic monitoring system to record information for trawl, net and crab fishing operations in real or near real time.
“The challenge is part of the latest round of the Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative,” Minister Byrne said. “The successful applicant will deliver a set of technological solutions which may include vessel tracking systems, sensors on fishing gear (e.g. crab pots and nets), robotic vision, species recognition and/or electronic monitoring. This exciting challenge is about making it easier for fishers, improving the accuracy of data and providing information in real time so we can better track catch and effort," he said.
The capacity to reduce red tape through new technology for commercial fishers and potentially reduce their overall costs is one of the benefits the project is hoping to see.
Mr Byrne said information was currently provided by commercial fishers through a range of mandatory reporting requirements include paper logbooks; phone reporting; and satellite tracking (on some boats).
“With technology moving so fast, we know there are probably new technologies out there that can be combined or re-purposed to meet this challenge,” he said. “A completely automated reporting system for commercial fishing location, effort and catch does not exist anywhere in the world and I’m sure there will be demand from fisheries agencies worldwide for this type of technology," he added.
Up to $250,000 will be available to prove the feasibility of new technologies, with a further $500,000 available to develop and trial proposed solutions. The government will work directly with the commercial fishing industry to trial any products that emerge through the challenge over the next 12 to 18 months.
The challenge is an Advance Queensland program to help innovators secure government contracts to develop and test cutting-edge solutions to specific government challenges.
There are four challenges to be solved as part of SBIR Round 2:
* Supporting Learning for Students with Disabilities in Rural and Remote Locations
* Challenge Owner: Department of Education and Training
* Affordable and Accessible Point of Entry to Public Housing
* Challenge Owner: Department of Housing and Public Works
* Electronic, Automated Monitoring of Commercial Fishing Operations in Queensland
* Challenge Owner: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
* Real-Time, Personal Monitoring of Dust at Queensland Underground Coal Mines
* Challenge Owner: Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Applicants can compete for:
* A share in up to $250,000 for the Feasibility stage, to explore a proposed solution’s technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential.
* A share in up to $500,000 for the Proof of Concept stage, to develop, prototype and pilot proposed solutions which have demonstrated their feasibility.
“Importantly, applicants to the SBIR retain any intellectual property they develop within the program, allowing them to take their solution to a broader market, grow their business, and create jobs,” Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said.
Minister Byrne said the government was committed to ensuring fisheries resources were managed in a sustainable and responsible manner that recognises the interests of all Queenslanders.
“To support the strategy, $20 million has been provided over three years which is helping fund this innovation challenge in partnership with Advance Queensland,” he said.
The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027 was released in June, with the aim being for Queensland to have a world-class fisheries management system. Key actions in the strategy include vessel tracking on all commercial fishing boats and trialling novel monitoring technologies.
Funding is available to solve Queensland Government Challenges. Applications to the SBIR close at 2:00pm, 25 September 2017, and are open to organisations of any size, provided they can deliver a solution to the challenge.
Australian Tenders has published the tender relating to the second round of the SBIR Initiative, available to all Australian Tenders subscribers. If you are not subscribed you can do so for $39 a month. The information is also available at Advance Queensland.