Australia's lateral thinkers and problem solvers are being asked to step forward by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The GRDC has announced an Innovation Investment program which is designed to capture ideas and concepts from any field that have the potential to improve the Australian grains industry.
GRDC Manager of Commercial Farm Technologies, Paul Meibusch, says the Innovation Investment program aims to draw on the broader field of invention and innovation to solve the grains industry's "most intractable issues".
"In the past, a number of initial concepts for research projects originated from well outside the usual scope of agricultural research, from engineering to nanotechnology, medicine and backyard inventions,"
Mr Meibusch said.
"We want to hear from anyone who has an idea for a novel product, service or technology that will be of value to the grains industry, either displacing previous solutions or clearing the way for processes not previously possible."
The GRDC is aiming to invest up to $150,000 in short-term, proof-of-concept type projects.
Applications are being sought from private or public organisations as well as individuals, including potential co-investments with private companies.
The Innovation Investments program will operate two rounds per year (February and August) with each round remaining open to applicants for
Concept forms submitted before the cut-off date will be evaluated by a panel of experts and GRDC stakeholders. Successful applicants from the initial screening are then invited to submit a full proposal that provides significant detail around the concept, including budgets.
Mr Meibusch said proposals would be evaluated on their novel content and approach, likelihood of success, as well as the importance of the problem they address or opportunity they create.
"We also welcome completely novel ideas that have the potential to create a step-change improvement," Mr Meibusch said.
Further information about the Innovation Investment program is available via www.grdc.com.au/innovation.
Caption: GRDC Manager of Commercial Farm Technologies, Paul Meibusch, says the Innovation Investment program aims to draw on the broader field of invention and innovation to solve the grains industry's "most intractable issues".
Media releases and other media products can be found at www.grdc.com.au/Media-Centre/Media-News.
For interviews: Paul Meibusch, GRDC
Phone 02 6166 4532 or 0408 505566
Contact: Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli