iPREP PROJECTS ROUND 2 2018
8 October - 16 November
Our candidates will develop and strengthen their existing skills and abilities, particularly in regard to conducting research, filtering and identifying relevant information, and formal writing for the purposes of preparing business cases, submissions, and funding/grant applications.
They will also need to apply their lateral thinking skills, as the hemp industry is currently in a nascent stage and there is a lingering (yet unfounded) association between hemp and recreational marijuana. Overcoming this stigma, and allowing people to view hemp in a positive light and learn about the many benefits of this plant therefore requires advocacy and novel approaches to do so.
The threat of global warming and associated CO2 emissions is ever-present. MIRRECO are developing solutions to help mitigate this threat with the support of farming groups who are growing increasing quantities of hemp. Hemp sequesters significant amounts of CO2 during its rapid growth-cycle, and Australia’s vast area and varied climates can potentially support hemp production across an entire year, as opposed to a single season for traditional crops.
MIRRECO will use this hemp to manufacture construction materials and other products. In addition, our proprietary manufacturing process is essentially a unique and globally-significant, carbon capture and utilisation technology; CO2 gas is required for our manufacturing process, and this will be permanently (and safely) stored in the materials and products that we manufacture.
Our iPREP candidates will help us with ongoing research and the preparation of submissions to community, industry, and government groups about the benefits and potential uses of our technologies.
MIRRECO are primarily a Research and Development company who are focussed on the development of next-generation processing and manufacturing technologies that will enable us to leverage commercial opportunities within the emerging hemp industry. Although this objective was conceived a number of years ago, the company was recently founded and there are now around ten individuals who are actively involved in the effort to commercialise MIRRECO’S technologies and drive the company forward.
We are currently focused on refining our unique, carbon capture and utilisation technology which incorporates an automated production process. This will allow us to transform hemp biomass into sustainable and environmentally-friendly products (initially building products) for market integration.
Globally, the market for such products is growing and in conjunction with a relaxation in restrictive legislation around hemp production, MIRRECO expect to be generating revenue by the second quarter of 2019 which will fund more comprehensive and novel research initiatives.
Lower Carbon Futures
DEPARTMENT OF JOBS, TOURISM, SCIENCE & INNOVATION
Retrospection evaluation of the WA Innovator of the Year Program - Past Finalists and Winners
The WA IOTY program is a grants program, the main objective of which is to promote and acknowledge the success of Western Australian innovators. Due to multiple changes in Government over the past 12 years, data on past winners and finalists has been lost and an in depth retrospective study on their outcomes post program has never been carried out.
The Department would like to research the potential developments of past IOTY Winners and Finalists since their involvement with the IOTY program.
* A very interesting project, providing the opportunity to meet global innovators from across all sectors.
*Mentoring opportunities with external stakeholders who are involved in the IOTY program.
*The opportunity to attend the 2018 WA Innovator of the Year Awards Ceremony in November.
*The opportunity to work closely with State Government, to understand its objectives and initiatives for WA Innovation.
WA State Government - Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation – Innovation Division - Responsible for the initiatives under the New Industries Fund.
The New Industries Fund is a central part of the McGowan Labor Government's Plan for Jobs. It was announced in November 2017 as a $16.7 million fund over four years that will support and accelerate new and emerging businesses to diversify the Western Australian economy and create new WA jobs and industries.
One of the initiatives under the New Industries Fund is the WA Innovator of the Year (IOTY) program.
IOTY is now in its twelfth year. Each year prizes are awarded to:
The Emerging Innovation Category winner - $25,000 for a pre-revenue innovation;
The Growth Category winner - $25,000 for a post-revenue innovation; and
The Overall Award winner - $75,000 for an innovation chosen from either the Emerging or Growth category. In addition, there are Encouragement Awards that are worth $10,000 each and awarded by the programs Platinum Encouragement Awards sponsors.
Data science for the accurate prediction of grain yield to improve nitrogen fertiliser recommendations
Nitrogen (N) is the most important plant nutrient and plays a role in the production of chlorophyll, the green colour in plants, and is vital in photosynthesis, the process of turning light energy into chemical energy. Global consumption of N is approx. 120 million tonnes/year and growing at 1.54%/year; as the demand for food continues to rise, so too will the demand for N fertiliser. Australian farmers invest close to $1 billion a year in approx. 1.3 million tonnes of N fertilisers per year. West Australian farmers invest close to $300 million per year. Nitrogen fertiliser is often the single largest operating expense ($40-$80/hectare) in growing a crop of wheat, barley or canola.
Students will need to take data (i.e. grain yield, rainfall, multispectral images plus more), some supplied by Laconik, some available through open sources and develop a process for analysis and presentation.
We believe this to be a real opportunity for PhD students to work closely with a new company focused on solving a problem restricting the profitability of Australian farmers.
Laconik is a start-up with a clear purpose ‘to develop practical and profitable innovations made for agriculture’. We are focussed on improving farm productivity and reducing the harmful environmental effects of excessive use of nitrogen fertiliser. There is a large opportunity to develop novel technology which can improve when and where farmers apply N fertiliser and this is what Laconik has developed.
Laconik’s initial market is the grains industry, specifically, farmers growing wheat, barley and canola, these crops have the greatest demand for nitrogen fertiliser. The grains industry is worth close to $14 billion to the Australian economy. There are approx. 25,000 grain farmers in Australia, farming approx. 22 million hectares. Research completed by CSIRO has shown that sensing, interpretation and acting upon within-field spatial variation in crop performance can benefit farmers between $30-$60/ha.
Laconik as two technologies Play’N To Win and N Mapper (see examples below). Play’N To Win uses data from multiple sources and creates a variable rate N fertiliser map. N Mapper uses multispectral imaging to determine N concentration in the leaves of wheat and barley. Laconik is currently completing a commercial trial of the technology in partnership with one of Australia’s largest fertiliser companies.
Laconik’s team consists of Wayne Pluske, Darren Hughes and Rafael de Souza (past iPREP student - Round 1 2018). Wayne and Darren have extensive experience in agriculture. Rafael’s expertise is data science. Laconik’s office is at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI), in Nedlands.
The iPREP team will be required to analyse a new framework we are developing for Virtuoso called Sense & Respond. Virtuoso Sense & Respond provides structure and clarity to the collection and analysis of data, situating it as a key part of the educational lifecycle. It provides a basis for engaging all users in data-driven decision making to support ongoing improvements to teaching and learning and is supported by machine learning capabilities to provide predictions, classifications, and recommendations, in context. In this way, Sense & Respond provides an integrated and whole-of-system framework for the ingestion, analysis and application of data at the organisational level to enhance teaching and learning processes.
The iPREP team will thus undertake a high-level conceptual analysis of Sense & Respond to develop a series of guidelines and recommendations which outline potential approaches towards implementation. The emphasis here will be on teaching and learning outcomes and the ways in which the Sense & Respond framework can support their enhancement through the collection and dissemination of key information at the time and context where it has the most value. Consideration should also be given as to how Sense & Respond and its various capabilities can be integrated into the daily education lifecycle in a natural and intuitive manner.
The expectation for this project would be for the iPREP team to develop a report encompassing all of the above based on engagement with the research literature and previous experience and expertise within the teaching and learning domain.
CingleVue International is a medium-sized systems integrator providing specialist services and innovative solutions to businesses within the Early Years Learning to Higher Education space, with additional interests in the health and resources sectors.
We are currently developing an enterprise learning and instructional support platform called Virtuoso; an end-to-end, data-driven solution emphasising the recognition of individual differences in support of targeted learning pathways and experiences for each student. Virtuoso utilises sophisticated data-driven capabilities to provide students, teachers, guardians, and administrators with the necessary tools and information to make informed decisions in order to further educational outcomes. These features are research-driven to ensure that the Virtuoso platform is able to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern educational institutions based on a credible, authentic, and evidence-based foundation.
Analyse the Virtuoso Sense & Respond framework
The iPREP students will be embedded at our Joondalup office and engage with members of our Research & Development and Business Analysis teams on a daily basis. This will familiarise students with the processes by which research can be used to inform the development of tangible software features. At the conclusion of their placement, the iPREP students should have an increased understanding as to their ability to commercialise research findings and work as part of an interdisciplinary team.
WesCEF HSE Data Analysis
Utilise existing data to test various safety hypotheses and understand the factors that drive safety performance at WesCEF.
Students will be engaging with stakeholders, project management activities, data analysis related tasks, report writing and other relevant tasks as appropriate.
Exposure to a large organisation with a broad range of operations and processing plants.
Opportunity to refine communicating and influencing skills via interfacing with a large cross section of data owners and business stakeholders.
Explore real world challenges around safety performance and develop practical applications for safety data analysis.
Practice requirements gathering and presenting complex ideas to non-technical audiences.
Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers (WesCEF) operates chemical, energy and fertiliser businesses that service a range of sectors in both domestic and international markets.
We have operations around Australia and employ approximately 1,300 people nationally.
Our businesses include:
CSBP Ammonia / Ammonium Nitrate Industrial Chemicals
Australian Gold Reagents
Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers is part of Wesfarmers Limited, one of Australia’s largest publicly-listed companies.
Best Practice Approach to Impact investment
The project will involve researching impact investment as a vehicle to foster entrepreneurship to create social change. The iPrep candidate(s) will review international models for impact investment, interview key stakeholders in the sector and recommend best practice approach to impact investment for the Foundation.
Spacecubed Foundation is a not-for-profit that has a vision of empowering 100,000 changemakers by 2025. The foundation will focus on collaborating, investing and supporting entities and programs that support social change through entrepreneurship.
Customer engagement, clinical development planning and research and development
We are in the early stages of validating our technology and prototyping our device whilst revisiting our business and market assumptions. Students are to perform customer interviews with patients and clinicians as part of the CSIRO ONPrime 5 program, to gain a greater understanding of the clinical need and the
customer. By the end of the program, students are expected to have interviewed a total of 100 patients and clinicians.
Parallel to these activities, we are preparing for our pre-clinical studies and research and development activities. Students are tasked with helping to develop detailed clinical trial and pre-clinical study protocols in preparation for a heavy R&D phase.
VitaliTrace is a Perth-based medical device startup company, developing a multimodal diagnostic device to improve outcomes for mothers and children during labour and delivery . We are a seed stage business and
are participants in the National Med-tech Actuator Program, backed by Artesian. We are currently preparing for a major funding round. This is an opportunity for students to get involved with a rapidly growing start-up company in the med-tech and bio-tech space.
Students will gain hands-on experience working with the directors of a med-tech startup company. There are few med-tech/bio-tech companies in Perth offering opportunities of this nature. PhD students seeking to learn how their academic skills can be applied with-in a commercial research and development project will
benefit from a greater understanding of regulatory and commercial requirements to bring academic research project to market.
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