Open Innovation

Attention innovators! It’s time to join the challenge to cut down on inorganic waste

Agtech and Logistics Hub’s Open Innovation Challenge is here.
The challenge is all about finding ways to reduce inorganic waste in the horticulture industry, particularly plastic.
The Hub is running this important challenge in conjunction with Telstra, UQ, USQ, FKG Group, TSBE and the Queensland Government.
We want to hear from industry, researchers, problem-owners, solution-providers and vendors, agribusinesses and innovators that can provide solutions that will diminish the amount of inorganic waste used in the industry and potentially end up in landfill.

If you think you have solutions to:

  • avoid or treat inorganic waste inputs,
  • decrease the use of single use-plastics or,
  • turn inorganic waste into valuable resources, then be sure to apply!

A great opportunity for innovators and industry

This challenge is beneficial for a range of innovators, including:

  • Early-stage start-ups and scale-ups that are seeking support to:
    • Grow and access customers
    • Connect with our industry partners to further validate their innovations
  • Suppliers with in-market products or services (SME or corporate) that are relevant to the challenge and wish to participate in the Hub’s innovation ecosystem and connect with our industry partners
  • ‘Plastic Innovation’ related research projects that are seeking to collaborate with the AgTech and Logistics Hub ecosystem and commercialise their solutions

The benefits of joining the challenge

Those who join the Open Innovation Challenge will be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Access to the Agtech and Logistics Hub
  • Access to our mentor network and entrepreneur in residence
  • Support in product validation and development
  • Access to our industry (and supply chain) network
  • Investment readiness support
  • Investment facilitation through the Hub’s investor network
  • Opportunities for profile and promotion locally and nationally
  • Participation in the ATLH accelerator program if required

Why this challenge needs solving?

Everyone wants to live in a cleaner environment, so it’s important that industries – including horticulture – do their bit.  

Right now, the Australia’s $11 billion horticulture industry is actively seeking to reduce the amount of inorganic waste being used in the sector.  

This includes plastic, a huge contributor of waste with statistics showing that Australian agriculture consumes approximately 90,000 tonnes of it each year with only seven per cent recycled.   

Those in the horticulture industry are keen to reduce the amount of plastic and other inorganic waste being used.  

Aussie producers, for instance, are looking for alternative materials, digital tools and innovative ways to manage waste across supply chains.  

At the moment, producers have few affordable and viable alternatives to heavy use of plastics on-farm and to single-use plastics in consumer packaging. 

It’s important to find alternatives that not only reduce environmental impacts but are supported by commercially sound models that will benefit producers and increase investor and consumer confidence.  

The call to innovators

Agtech and Logistics Hub is looking for innovators to reduce the amount of inorganic waste used in horticulture in three key areas:

Lightbulb 1

Innovative solutions to avoid, replace, treat or reduce any inorganic waste inputs

recycle 1

Reduction of single-use plastics with a competitive recyclable product across production and supply chain

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Solutions that turn inorganic waste into a valuable and profitable resource creating options for a circular economy in horticulture

Culmination of the Challenge

Our Open Innovation Challenge ends with a ‘challenge showcase’ and forum. At this event, those identified with the solutions that have the best potential will be invited to present to the challenge stakeholdersThese stakeholders include producers and other industry participants, associations and research organisations and government as well as Agtech and Logistics Hub stakeholders. This event will take place in mid to late September. 

Application information

  • We are seeking submissions from innovators across all sectors and industries. The application portal containing our application form is open until 11:59 AEST on 1 July. The application process will seek the following information from prospective participants:
    • Details of the business and contacts
    • The unique nature of your business, technology, or solution and its fit with one or more elements of our problem statement
    • A detailed and easy-to-understand description of your technology, product, service or solution
    • A concise description of your business model
    • Your interest in the program and how we can support you
    • A description of your path to market and ‘key milestones’ for the next stages of your development and strategic evolution as a business/organisation
  • Note that applications that can demonstrate a readiness to undertake direct trials, technology partnerships, joint ventures or other significant next steps in their go-to-market journeys within the next six months in Queensland will be viewed favourably.

Eligibility criteria:

  • In order to submit an application for the ATLH Open Innovation Challenge and receive the benefits afforded to successful applicants you must, at the time of lodgment, be:
    • A registered Australian business with an ABN unless you nominate as a startup
    • A registered Australian non-profit or social enterprise
  • Applicants must either already be doing business in Queensland (not necessarily headquartered in Queensland) and/or actively interested in establishing operations/and or servicing Queensland through their engagement with this program if their application is successful
  • Non-Australian non-profits, social enterprises, universities, and research institutions are eligible to apply in direct partnership with an Australian organisation that fits the eligibility criteria above.