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Thursday, 21 April 2016 19:13

Drone collision avoidance technology catches the eye of CSIRO

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New drone collision technology is one of a number of projects selected for the next round of the CSIRO’s ON Accelerator, a program designed to boost Australia’s innovation performance by accelerating big science and technology ideas into commercially viable opportunities.

The technology, a GPS-free collision avoidance sensor, allows drone devices and other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to fly autonomously near infrastructure and in GPS-free environments, with the potential to rapidly advance what the CSIRO says is the booming UAV and drone markets into new areas such as parcel delivery services.

Two of the other winning ideas include:

•    A natural feed additive for livestock that could improve productivity by 10% and reduce methane emissions by up to 90%



•    A facial-recognition technology that could provide accurate, real-time pain assessment for health patients that cannot verbally communicate.

A team of 11 CSIRO scientists and researchers from the CSIRO and Australian universities have been selected to take part in the next round of the program and were selected on the potential of their ideas to have real positive impact on Australian industry, economy, environment and future, as well as other selection criteria.

It is the first time Australian university applications have taken part in the program as part of the CSIROs recognition of the importance of collaboration and engagement between research sectors in driving Australia’s innovation agenda.

“CSIRO is focussed on helping Australia navigate the changes we face, 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,” said CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall.

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.

“As a collaborative and industry-engaged university we are excited about continuing to build integration across CSIRO, industry and university sectors. The CSIRO ON Accelerator provides a framework through which we can extend previous collaborations,” said Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Macquarie University.

“It also allows us to look to the future, to generating impact from new future-focused areas in which CSIRO and Macquarie have developed complementary strengths.”

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.

Collaboration between research sectors is one of the key pillars of the CSIRO’s 2020 Strategy, and the ON Accelerator program strongly supports CSIRO’s mandate to use science for a purpose.

“With the ON Accelerator program we can focus on finding viable opportunities that will not only create economic impact, but provide real social and environmental benefits for Australia,” Liza Noonan, CSIRO Executive Manager Innovation, said.

“We’re thrilled to be working collaboratively with other research organisations in Australia to lift our nation’s innovation performance.”

The next round of the CSIRO’s ON Accelerator program will commence on 26 April and takes three months to complete.

The 11 winning teams taking part were selected by industry mentors and a judging panel, including Dr Cathy Foley, from a group of 25 teams that participated in a challenging and competitive two-day selection Bootcamp held early this month at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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