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$1.5M in Innovation Booster Grants handed out

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// // A record 43 WA innovators have been awarded grants of up to $40,000 each ...

A record-breaking number of applications were received and awarded for the Innovation Booster Grant this year with 43 successful recipients from across the State chosen to share in over $1.5 million worth of grant funding.

The Innovation Booster Grant has provided 276 grants worth a collective $5.3 million to startups and local businesses since 2017, helping them turn their projects and ideas into a commercial reality.

Some of the cutting-edge innovations featured this year include Ingrid Rodriguez ‘s Eikonic, a world-first, gold-infused bacteria-resistant paste designed to fight gum disease and tooth decay, and WaveFlyer, a watercraft with electric hydrofoils that will allow water-lovers to enjoy WA’s pristine waterways with zero carbon emissions, noise or water pollution (see photo above).

EV charging app Wevolt also won a grant, with the CEO Jagroop Gill on hand yesterday to talk to Minister Dawson about his innovation (see photo below).

$1.5M in Innovation Booster Grants handed out
Jagroop Gill demonstrating Wevolt to Minister Dawson

Out of the 43 recipients this year, 14 identify as culturally or linguistically diverse, 13 have female founders, 5 recipients are regional-based, 2 identify as youth entrepreneurs and 2 recipients are individuals living with a disability.

The Innovation Booster Grants are funded by the WA Government’s $25.8 million New Industries Fund with this round’s funding doubled to $40,000.

37 of the 43 grantees will be funded by the New Industries Fund (at JTSI), while 6 recipients will be supported through Health and Medical Life Sciences funding…

37 x New Industries Fund grantees

• Project: Deliver telehealth to remote indigenous children using XRAI Vision smartglasses
Remoteness, lack of transport, travel costs and socio-cultural barriers are significant barriers for indigenous children to access healthcare, often resulting in permanent disabilities before the age of 15, which prevents them from learning and gainful employment. Agili8’s innovation connects the frontline social workforce trusted by Indigenous communities to a metro healthcare provider for telehealth using their augmented reality smart glasses. The use of XRAI Vision smartglasses to deliver telehealth to remote indigenous children will transform the way virtual care is delivered without forcing the children to leave their families and Country to Close the Gap of healthcare inequity.

AGRA Farming Tech
• Project: ARVUM
Agriculture has both a significant impact on and is impacted by climate change as well as several other sustainability and socioeconomic factors. In order to ensure the supply of one of our most fundamental resources, we need a sustainable and cost-effective production method. AVRUM is AGRA Farming Tech’s premier commercial-scale growing system growing crops in a controlled environment anywhere and anytime in the world.

• Project: Measuring Company Culture
Research shows that psycho-social risks or mental health are often hard for people to raise or talk about. This is particularly the case in male-dominated industries such as mining. Traditional risk assessment methods are insufficient in helping organisations to identify what or where these complex risks are within the business.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues and work is a known contributor to mental health. In addition to affecting the health and wellbeing of workers, psychosocial hazards can also impact performance and increase the risk of accidents. Archispeaks offers an industry-wide a simple and effective solution for the identification and management of mental health issues which offers benefits for individual and organisations.

• Project: Bank Guarantee Switch Product
Once bank guarantees are established, they are typically locked to the incumbent bank on the terms agreed at the time of establishment and applied throughout the life of the guarantee.

Assuro is developing a digital solution that will enable businesses to refinance their existing bank guarantees with a replacement bank on improved terms without the need for the business to provide any additional security throughout the refinance process.

This solution will drive much-needed competition into the bank guarantee market and ensure businesses can always access competitive rates throughout the life of their bank guarantees.

• Project: BenStop – GP 20/40 shipping container door brace
Millions of shipping containers are handled globally, with many organisations impacted by blunt force injury or entrapment incidents resulting from unrestrained container doors. When used correctly, BenStop’s product significantly reduces the likelihood of these types of incidents occurring.

• Project: CryspIQ – SAAS Market Offering
CryspIQ enables all organisations to not only improve their data quality but also formats data ready for analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. It also supports the drive for WA tertiary education world leadership by providing new way of looking at data in the data science domain.

Culture Counts Aus
• Project: Culture Counts Flexible Report
Most of Culture Counts’ users are small, community-based organisations that cannot afford expert data analysis and skilled consultants but are just as eager to demonstrate their impact to stakeholders in a meaningful way through tailored reports. The Culture Counts Flexible Report aims to assist organisations to be more efficient and effective, leading to better community and social outcomes.

Cumulus Project
• Project: Digital Twin Wayfinding For Aerial Drones
The Digital Twin Wayfinding program improves safety whilst reducing barriers that limit choice and significantly reduces planning and post-processing costs associated with robotic visual inspections.

Electro Nautic
• Project: Electro-Mechanical Retraction System for WaveDrive Hydrofoil
WaveFlyer watercraft with electric hydrofoils provide opportunities to enjoy the waters of Western Australia with virtually no noise, wake, pollution and zero carbon emissions.

$1.5M in Innovation Booster Grants handed out
Minister Dawson trying out Electro-Nautic’s WaveFlyer on Matilda Bay. The aero foil lifts the 2-seater boat’s hull, reducing resistance to the water by 70%.

ELMA Education
• Project: Product testing of the Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy (ELMA)
Half of mental disorders are developed by the age of 14 years. Working from a place of prevention as opposed to cure, ELMA Education’s tools help children build sustainable skills that encourage accountability, responsibility and healthy social skills with self and others.

• Project: Transeo Autonomous Solar Farm Maintenance System
As local and global reliance on renewable energy increases, Exagro’s applied technology will deliver a cost-benefit to plant operators, as well as de-risk operations through a preventative maintenance strategy, ultimately delivering cost-effective clean energy to consumers.

Future Materials
• Project: Future Materials – the platform for a sustainable future
The construction industry contributes to 25% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. In order to reach net zero by 2050, the building sector must decarbonise fast. Future Materials aims to accelerate the decarbonisation that is necessary by empowering the design and building community to innovate responsibly.

Green Earth Waste
• Project: Waste-to-Energy Transportable Containerised Digester Unit Prototype
Green Earth Waste Solutions will help the food and other industries reduce their organic waste destined for landfill by converting it to Green Energy.

Industry OneCard
• Project: Commercialisation of Industry OneCARD
Industry OneCARD (IOC) is a vital tool for the protection of the WA supply chain, and WA workers. A WA small-to-medium enterprise (SME) without an affordable solution to support workforce compliance is at a greater risk of allocating workers to tasks they are not competent in doing. This also leaves the SME liable to incurring high fines and penalties under Work Health and Safety legislation if employees are involved in an incident.

IOC can also save industry sectors millions of dollars by reducing the amount of duplicate training that currently occurs, by enabling transferable records.

• Project: Improving statistical analysis of on-farm trials
Accurate data collection and statistical analysis of on-farm trials will lead to higher profitability for farmers while lowering their carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Matilda Health
• Project: Matilda, a comprehensive MVP digital health platform for people with endometriosis.
1 in 9 women and people assigned female at birth have endometriosis, a condition that costs the Australian economy $9.7 billion annually. The Matilda digital platform will help these people and the health system manage this condition better.

Metabolic Health Solutions
• Grant: $27,828
If validated, the new sensor will pave the way for new low-cost technologies, built here in WA, that will provide effective, personalised metabolic health insights for patients in WA and globally.

• Project: Development of MyTab Central Management System
MyTab’s upcoming project is to commence the development of MyTab’s web-based central management system which will integrate data from both the customer and venue apps to merge statistics on customer behavioural analytics and venue performance analytics. This digital development will provide access to data to drive an increase in economic empowerment, innovation, efficiency and strategic direction for the hospitality industry.

Navier Medical
• Project: Novel markers of coronary plaque from routine medical imaging
Heart disease is the world’s biggest killer and kills one Australian every 12 minutes. Current clinical management detects late-stage disease; however, at least half of heart attacks occur in those with earlier-stage disease that is either not detected or deemed low-risk using current methods. Navier Medical is developing new ways to use routine medical images to identify those at risk before it’s too late. This will not only improve patient outcomes, but also reduce the huge costs associated with unnecessary testing and treatment.

Omni Biotech
• Project: Development of cloud processing pipeline for real-time workforce hydration management
Omni is working with the WA resources sector to pilot their MVP, which replaces daily urine tests and reduces time per test from 90 minutes to 90 seconds. With dehydration being a major contributor to the 3 most common on-site accidents and 50% of the 156,000 West Australians employed in the resources industry starting their shifts dehydrated, Omni’s technology will contribute to a safer and more productive resources industry in Western Australia.

Online Speechie
• Project: Online Speechie Screener
The Online Speechie Screener revolutionises early intervention by simulating a conversation with a speech pathologist. This technology benefits parents who face long waiting periods, ultimately improving education outcomes, reducing financial burden, and benefiting the economy by identifying at-risk children early on.

Outdoors Great Southern
• Project: Data Trail – Trail Maintenance Auditing and Asset Management App
Trail data used for proactive rather than reactive trails maintenance will significantly improve the condition of our trails and will help connect more people in WA with the outdoors and diverse landscapes. Better-maintained trails offer significant economic, health, well-being, social and community benefits

Pleiades Australia
• Project: Sustainable Infrastructure Construction Manager mobile application
Western Australia is an early adopter and global leader in the contractual mandating and resourcing of sustainability ratings for major infrastructure projects. Infrastructure built today will underpin and span the 2050 Net Zero transition of our communities to a zero carbon economy. Sustainability ratings are a powerful means for driving and benchmarking sustainability outcomes. Pleiades Australia’s basic design will support accounting and information exchange on a whole-of-society basis.

Pot Pirate
• Project: Pot Watcher
The Pot Watcher innovation provides a reliable solution to protect craypots from theft, reducing financial losses and frustration for recreational fishermen. By deterring theft, it helps maintain the honesty of recreational fishing and promotes a more sustainable fishing community.

• Project: Procuracon Platform – Module 2
Procuracon aims to empower more than 400,000 construction businesses in Australia (and globally), to propel the industry forward toward more sustainable procurement solutions. No longer will businesses have to tediously sift through an abundance of supplier data. Instead, the platform makes finding and assessing suppliers become an instantaneous task.

• Project: RhizoGrow – improving water retention and yields in irrigated horticulture with hydrogels
RhizoGrow will increase revenue for growers, strengthen WA’s role as a vegetable producer and increase food security while simultaneously delivering environmental benefits. If the project is successful, the community will benefit from more environmentally-friendly food production and increased food security.

• Project: Product development of B2B Saas fundraising platform for startups
Startups are the bridge to a post-carbon future – where society is reimagined, our economy rebalanced and nature restored. But, sadly, a lack of capital means most startups fail. Raaise provides the tools and connections to help these startups, and our communities, thrive.

RFL Agtech
• Project: Project Prove – creating a global fertiliser opportunity from Welshpool
WA’s broadacre harvest (wheat, barley, canola, lupins) has an annual value of over $10 billion. Plant nutrition can increase crop yields significantly; a potential 5% yield increase from enhancing seedling germination and early growth with RFL Agtech’s Veridium seed priming technology could represent $500 million in increased crop revenue for farmers annually. Adoption of Veridium would enable farmers to also reduce their use of traditional chemical and granular fertilisers, and reduce their costs.

• Project: Asparagopsis Commercial Plant Site Location Scoping Study
Livestock production is estimated to contribute 14.5% of total global greenhouse emissions. There is a global movement towards carbon-free food production being driven by governments, industry, shareholders and consumers. SeaStock aims to contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions from livestock production through the commercialisation of its cultivation and extraction IP.

Smart Shop Floor
• Project: Smart Shop Floor
Smart Shop Floor assists Western Australian manufacturers to grow their business and support our community by employing more people and with increased economic activity.

Speed Signature
• Project: Speed Signature
Speed Signature’s analytics have the potential to provide insights that will support elite performance at the highest level and drive development programs forward through increased accuracy in planning training interventions. As a WA-based technology firm, Speed Signature supports the growing tech sector and will promote the industry globally in pursuit of overseas markets.

• Project: Harnessing ‘brainpwoer’ electrical brain STIM.ulation to enhance recovery and performance
STIM. is a wearable device that uses safe electrical brain stimulation to speed up recovery from musculoskeletal injuries/conditions and enhance the learning of new motor skills.

Wata Wacha
• Project: Wata Watcha water leak detection and water usage monitoring device
The Wata Watcha will help homeowners, renters, insurers, and water authorities save on water bills and renovation costs, and most importantly help reduce water waste.

TORNOW Equestrian
• Project: Showguard
The Showguard will contribute to promoting a safer sport within the equestrian community. The product will effectively bridge the gap between safety and aesthetics, offering riders a higher level of versatility. By combining safety and style, the Showguard provides equestrians with a comprehensive solution that ensures their well-being without compromising their individual preferences.

Watts & Fisher
• Project: Proof of concept for an alternative process for rare earths
Watts & Fisher hopes their technology will help the Western Australian community by reducing chemical pollution, and also help producers of rare earths lower capital costs.

• Project: Wevolt: People-Powered Network for Electric Vehicle charging
Wevolt helps Australia’s electric vehicle (EV) community by uniting fragmented charging networks and providing an easy way to find and purchase EV charge.

• Project: A digital supply chain platform for advanced manufacturing
WorkbenchX helps to build and enhance WA’s sovereign manufacturing capabilities and create highly skilled manufacturing jobs in Western Australia. WorkbenchX platform facilitates partnerships between international OEMs and WA’s advanced manufacturing SMEs to build sustainable and resilient supply chains for Western Australian Industrial companies.

6 x Life Sciences Funded Grants

• Project: A customised medical device to improve the security of ostomates
Three in 4 people living with a stoma experiencing some degree of leakage between the effluent bag and the skin, which leads to skin damage, isolation from society, and restrictions in personal life. Customa’s bespoke medical device optimises security and comfort for a person living with stoma.

Ear Science
• Project: Novel therapeutics for treatment of sensorineural hearing loss

• Project: A Novel Nanotech: A Giant Global Step for Oral Health
3.5 billion people are suffering from gum disease and tooth decay – diseases that have increased by 1 billion over the past 30 years due to the lack of access to prevention and treatment.

To solve this problem, Eikonic is commercialising a world-first, gold-infused, bacteria-resistant coating (a paste in its current version, working on liquids and gum too) designed to provide “an invisible shield” over teeth and gum surfaces as well as strengthen the health and vitality of these tissues to resist disease.

Hepatitis WA
• Project: Tapll Community Testing for improved hepatitis screening and treatment
This project will validate the accuracy of blood tests for micro samples of capillary blood, against current venepuncture blood testing for diagnosis of communicable diseases.

Inspiring Holdings
• Project: Benchmark testing for the USS Nebuliser Spacer Device
Inspiring is developing a novel technology known as the Universal Spacer System which is able to provide spacer capacity to nebulisers for the very first time. The technology improves the delivery of drugs to the lungs while also improving ease of use and safety for the users and those around them. The device also ensures that nebulised delivery of liquid medication as an aerosol or mist to the lungs does not escape to the atmosphere and wasted.

Setonix Pharma
• Project: Small molecule drugs in immuno-oncology
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that boosts the immune system to fight cancer, which has shown tremendous results, but only in some cancers and in some patients. In addition, current immunotherapies need to be administered via infusion, which is invasive and expensive to the healthcare system. Setonix Pharma are developing a drug that be taken as a tablet, which can boost the immune response against cancer, improving the current standard of care.

Find out more about this year’s recipients and their exciting innovations at the Innovation Booster Grant 2023 recipients page.

A new round of Innovation Booster Grants will be open in the new financial year.


Read more of the latest news from the startup ecosystem here

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