Drone collision tech among accelerated science projects

Judges question the teams at the ON Accelerator selection Bootcamp. Featuring Dr Cathy Foley, Andrew Stead, Dean McEvoy, Ralph Brayham and Phil Morle
Judges question the teams at the ON Accelerator selection Bootcamp. Featuring Dr Cathy Foley, Andrew Stead, Dean McEvoy, Ralph Brayham and Phil Morle

Scientists and researchers from CSIRO and Australian universities will take part in the next round of CSIRO’s ON Accelerator, a program to help convert big science and technology ideas into commercially viable opportunities.

Eleven teams were selected on the potential of their ideas to have a positive impact on Australian industry, economy, environment and future. Ideas included:

  • A GPS-free collision avoidance sensor allowing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and drone devices to fly autonomously near infrastructure and in GPS-free environments, with the potential to rapidly advance the booming UAV and drone markets into new areas such as parcel delivery services; and
  • A natural feed additive for livestock that could improve productivity by 10 per cent and reduce methane emissions by up to 90 per cent.

This is the first time CSIRO has invited Australian universities into the program, recognising the importance of collaboration and engagement between research sectors in driving Australia’s innovation agenda.

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said Australia needs to navigate the changes it faces, from digital disruption to environmental impact.

“We need to translate more of our nation’s excellent science into solutions that build a better future, and the ON Accelerator is the perfect way to teach researchers and teams how to do just that,” he said.

Out of eight university applications Curtin University and a combined team from Macquarie University, University of Adelaide and ANU were successful in securing two wildcard spots in the next Accelerator.

From July this year the ON Accelerator program will be expanded nationally to include all other publically funded research organisations, as well as Australian universities, as part of the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.