Innovative products share $3.6m in Comet funding

An organic pesticide for the control of powdery mildew is one of 52 projects nationally to share $3.6 million in Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) funding to help commercialise their innovations.

An organic pesticide for the control of powdery mildew is one of 52 projects nationally to share $3.6 million in Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) funding to help commercialise their innovations.

Biofirst Pty Ltd received a $70,400 COMET grant to develop its organically derived control for powdery mildew. The pesticide, called SBI, will control other diseases and soft bodied insects such as aphids on plants and food crops. The advantage of SBI technology is that effective control of the pathogens can be achieved with a very low level of plant toxicity, and with no withholding period, allowing it to be used on sensitive crops and right up to harvest.

COMET is designed to help Australian innovations gain a foothold in the marketplace. Among the other projects to receive a $70,400 COMET grant are:

• an extract from the bark of a tree native to northern Australia, that may provide relief from pain and inflammation, developed by Avexis Pty Ltd, of Queensland.

• a self-supporting roofing system that can freely span up to 12 metres for curved applications, developed by Everbright Roofing Systems Pty Ltd, of Western Australia.

• a tool that uses laser lights to measure levels at construction sites, saving builders time and leading to more accurate measurements developed by Steffco Pty Ltd, of Queensland.

A list of the grants announced can be found at www.ausindustry.gov.au