THE Queensland Government will fund two innovative companies to develop high-tech systems for fisheries monitoring of commercial fishing location, effort and catch.
Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said Anchor Lab and Fish-e had been awarded funding of $278,300 under the Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research program. “The two companies will develop systems that include location tracking, smart sensors and image recognition of fish species, which are designed to replace slow and costly manual logbooks with automated real-time monitoring,” Mr Furner said.
“This innovative project has benefits for Queensland’s commercial fishers, the government and community. Automated technology will save fishers time and money by reducing the burden to record their daily catch and fishing effort in traditional hard-copy logbooks. Fisheries Queensland will receive more accurate information in real time rather than waiting for logbooks to be sent in and data entered, giving the community greater confidence in the quality of data.”
Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the SBIR program seeks out-of-the-box solutions to challenges across government.
“The SBIR program is a great way for government to engage with innovators to solve some of the toughest challenges we face here in Queensland,” Ms Jones said. “We’re helping innovators to develop new intellectual property, which they can take to a broader market, growing their businesses and creating jobs.
“Solving this problem will save time and money for commercial fishers and give the community greater confidence that the information about catch details is accurate and timely.” Fish-e is a Brisbane-based startup and Anchor Lab is a small business attracted from Denmark, who will be setting up business in Queensland and working with local contractors as part of the SBIR challenge.
Fish-e director Karina Mauer said her company was pleased to be working with the Queensland Government to test the feasibility of its units within the Queensland fisheries market. “We always look to use innovative solutions to get the best outcome for our clients and the SBIR program gives us the chance to engage with the Queensland Government where as a startup we may not have been able to in the past,” Ms Mauer said.
Anchor Lab co-founder Brian Cowan said he was excited about participating in the SBIR challenge. “It will give us a great opportunity to investigate how certain new technologies can be applied to the fisheries environment, while further enabling the sustainable management of important resources to local communities,” Mr Cowan said.
The two companies will test the feasibility of their solutions over the next six months and be eligible for up to an additional $500,000 to demonstrate proof of concept over 12 months. This will include trialling systems on boats. Advance Queensland is the state Government’s $513 million whole-of-government initiative, supporting jobs across a range of industry sectors.
For more information on SBIR, visit advance.qld.gov.au/sbir