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Hitchhikers blitzed in biosecurity challenge

shipping containers stock image

Two companies have been awarded $1m by the Australian Government to help develop biosecurity measures.

Industry Spec Drones Pty Ltd and Trellis Data Pty Ltd have received funding to improve the effectiveness of detecting and managing hitchhiker pests and other contaminants on, or in, shipping containers.

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s head of biosecurity, Lyn O’Connell, said: “One company will base their solution on unmanned flight and detection technology, while the other proposes to integrate an array of sensors into the gantry cranes unloading sea containers from vessels.

“Incoming shipping or sea containers, whether carrying cargo or arriving empty, can provide a pathway for hitchhiking pests, organisms, diseases, weeds and contaminants to enter Australia and create a biosecurity risk.

“Both solutions are expected to address the current risks and are designed to fit within existing ship to shore processes for container movement, to keep cost to the minimum.”

The proof-of-concept projects were funded under the Australian Government’s Business Research and Innovation Initiative.

Source: Australian Government