Communications & Media

Tassie ag tech in eChallenge finals

Two potential ag tech start-ups from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) have progressed to the finals of a Shark Tank-style competition.

TIA’s Lambulance and Easy Drench are the first-ever Tasmanian entrants in the Australian eChallenge, an entrepreneurship program organised by the University of Adelaide. The eChallenge helps develop products from concept to market.

The fledgling Tasmanian start-ups could help the Australian wool industry save time, money and lives.

Most lamb deaths occur within 48 hours of birth. The Lambulance is a drone with infrared technology that monitors flocks, detects when a ewe or lamb is in trouble and sends an alert to farmers.

TIA’s other entrant - Easy Drench - provides a more, cost-effective and humane method to prevent and treat parasites in sheep. The time and expense of testing each sheep is prohibitive, so sheep farmers drench their entire flock, whether or not they have parasites.  

Easy Drench is a tiny device that automatically detects when sheep have parasites and treats them instantly.

TIA lecturer and Easy Drench team member Katrina Durham said the chance to bring their product to life is thrilling.

“Right now, Easy Drench is just an idea. But if we win, we’ll have the opportunity to develop some very exciting new technology for the wool industry and possibly even the cattle industry.”

Easy Drench and the Lambulance will join three other wool innovation finalists in pitching their ideas to a panel of judges including representatives from industry group Australian Wool Innovation at the eChallenge finals in Adelaide on 14 November.

The winning wool innovation team will receive $10,000 to help further their start-up. Second- and third- place winners receive $3,000 and $2,000, respectively. All winners are offered additional mentoring and may apply for access to the University of Adelaide’s start-up incubator ThincLab.

Winners will be announced at the Australian eChallenge awards dinner on 15 November at the Adelaide Oval.

Pictured: the Easy Drench team -  from left, Katrina Durham, Dylan Bellchambers and Janine Chang Fung Martel.

Published on: 01 Nov 2018 12:44pm