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National competition yields innovative solutions to water market issues

The challenge was this: can you provide a technical solution to improve the transparency and reliability of information about Australia’s water market?

According to a new Federal Government initiative, Aither, Civic Ledger, NGIS Australia and The Marsden Jacob Unit Trust are on the right track.

They were among dozens of applicants for the latest round of funding from the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII), and each successfully secured between $80,000 and $100,000 to develop their solutions further.

Assistant Secretary of the department’s Water Acquisition and Markets Branch Mary Colreavy said she looked forward to seeing more timely, accurate, detailed and transparent water market information.

“Australia is a world leader in the development of water markets, but as these markets grow new sources of water information and types of water products are being developed,” she said.

“This means it can be challenging for water users to find reliable, up-to-date information about the changing market so they can be confident in making informed trading decisions.

“We want to make it easier for irrigators and others to find all the information they need in one place … the BRII programme is helping us to partner with four innovative businesses that have the potential to develop that technology.”

The grant winners have three months to complete a feasibility study of their proposed solution. After that they will be eligible to apply for an additional grant of up to $1 million to develop a proof of concept within 18 months.

Announcing the initial round of grant recipients, Senator Arthur Sinodinos said he was delighted to foster this kind of innovation.

“The BRII provides opportunities for SMEs to develop innovative products and services with genuine commercial potential,” he said.

The government has the option of being the first customer.

“The initiative also allows government agencies to work with SMEs to develop innovative solutions and then have the option to purchase those solutions. This gives the SMEs a commercial income and the ability to grow with a global mindset.”

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