Cicada Innovations is a business which supports technology innovation to validate, commercialise and scale up technologies, also known as an incubator business.
Based in Sydney, Cicada Innovations shareholders include four universities; ANU, UNSW, USYD and UTS.
The GrowLab Grains Challenge is designed to uncover innovative technology solutions that will help to drive sustainability and create enduring profitability for Australia's $13.77 billion grain growing industry.
Successful applicants will be invited to participate in a six-month coaching program, which includes a dedicated workspace at the Cicada Innovations incubator, and membership to Cicada's tech community.
Participants will also have access to state-of-the-art rapid prototyping facilities, shared labs, curated events and resources and introductions to Cicada's and the GRDC's network of mentors, leading industry experts, investors, and successful entrepreneurs.
Program participants will be given guidance on how to refine their value proposition, navigate the agtech and grains industry, build their business model and pricing, identify the right customers and partners, become invest ready and build a winning team.
Applicants with solutions from a diverse range of research and industries beyond just agtech are encouraged to apply. This could include the application of automation being used in mining, biotech (nanotech, synthetic biology, antimicrobial resistance), data science, circular economy, and sustainability.
Chief Executive Officer of Cicada Innovations, Sally-Ann Williams said the grain growing industry is a huge contributor to the Australian economy. It is therfore critical to find new ways to support sustainability and long-term profitability.
Sourcing new deep technology solutions and supporting their pathway to market will benefit the grains sector and regional communities.
"We are excited to launch Australia's first grain agtech challenge, and we are optimistic about the prospect of uncovering innovative, ground-breaking solutions to novel problems that often arise at the intersection of multiple disciplines and industries through technologies," she said.
"Through this challenge we are seeking out innovators working across all manner of fields and technologies, from task automation and sensors to renewable technologies and genetic tools. We're looking for solutions that will help growers to develop new, novel and high-value products and by-products for health and nutrition, animal feed and industrial uses or biofuels," Williams said.
GRDC Manger Business Development and Commercialisation - North, Chris Murphy said the GrowLab Grains Challenge is about supporting innovators with ideas that could potentially transform the grains industry.
"GRDC is committed to investigating and exploring innovative concepts and new technologies from grain growers and other non-traditional sources from Australia and across the globe," Murphy said.
Applications are now open until 17 December 2021. To apply visit, GrowLab Grain Challenge