Young minds turn to wool, with po­ten­tial to win cash

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL WEEKLY -

ARE you ex­cited by the po­ten­tial to solve long-stand­ing chal­lenges faced by wool pro­duc­ers?

Whether you study or work in the wool in­dus­try, or have never be­fore thought of ap­ply­ing your tal­ent to wool, the Univer­sity of Ade­laide wants you. Be a part of 2017 Tech eChal­lenge Wool In­no­va­tion.

They are seek­ing smart minds to de­velop prac­ti­cal, low-cost dig­i­tal tools that are rel­e­vant, use­ful and ac­ces­si­ble to wool­grow­ers. They have gen­er­ous prize money on of­fer.

Teams will com­pete for cash and travel prizes, with up to two teams se­lected to rep­re­sent CSU at the fi­nal of the Tech eChal­lenge Wool In­no­va­tion in Ade­laide, where prizes to­tal $60,000. Be­come a team mem­ber, cre­ate your own idea and team, or men­tor a team.

The dead­line for team reg­is­tra­tion is Mon­day, April 24.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing de­tails of work­shops to help de­velop your ideas, con­tact Ka­t­rina Durham – As­so­ciate Head of School – School of Agri­cul­ture and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt Univer­sity at kdurham@csu.edu.au or 02 6933 2765.

Im­prov­ing wool sheep health, wel­fare and pro­duc­tiv­ity rep­re­sents the great­est over­all op­por­tu­nity for on-farm R&D for the ben­e­fit of the Aus­tralian wool in­dus­try – both in terms of de­liv­er­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity gains and im­proved prof­itabil­ity, but also in terms of pro­tect­ing and en­hanc­ing the in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion of Aus­tralia’s wool­grow­ers as cus­to­di­ans of the world’s largest pop­u­la­tion of merino sheep.

Sheep health and wel­fare chal­lenges are es­ti­mated to cost the Aus­tralian sheep in­dus­try more than $2 bil­lion per an­num in con­trol, preven­tion and pro­duc­tion costs.

Re­cent ad­vances in the field of elec­tron­ics and soft­ware de­vel­op­ment, espe­cially the ad­vent and wide up­take of mo­bil­ity de­vices, has cre­ated new op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­vel­op­ment of labour-sav­ing de­vices, of­fer­ing re­al­is­tic po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate sub­stan­tial labour sav­ings for rou­tine op­er­a­tions and to si­mul­ta­ne­ously im­prove man­age­ment skill and de­liver spin-off ben­e­fits for sheep health, wel­fare and pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The Wool In­no­va­tion pro­gram and In­ter Var­sity Chal­lenge col­lab­o­ra­tion with AWI forms part of the Farm Au­to­ma­tion and Soft­ware De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy of the Sheep Pro­duc­tion Port­fo­lio in the AWI Strate­gic Plan.

PHOTO: FILE

HAVE A GO: The Univer­sity of Ade­laide is af­ter bright, young agri­cul­tur­al­ists to help with the wool in­dus­try.

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