IMPACT7 Solutions

Reversing the tide of carbon emissions

Jessica Allen, University of Newcastle

Australia has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. One challenge with variable input energy sources such as solar and wind is how to capture and export these natural resources for enhanced economic prosperity. In fact, solar energy can be efficiently channelled into a novel manufacturing process, generating advanced carbon materials able to be applied to another emerging market, that of electrical energy storage. This process is a negative emission technology option which both captures and utilises carbon dioxide as an input feedstock, leading to its permanent removal from the atmosphere and sequestration in an incredibly high value and stable carbon product. Uptake of renewable energy alone is not enough to stem the tide of global emissions, we also need negative emission technologies such as the one described here to offset industries unable to transition to a low carbon future and to begin to reverse what seems like irreversible carbon dioxide release.

Voices For Indi

Tammy Atkins, It’s On Purpose

Voices For Indi (V4i) is committed to encouraging active participation in our democracy as a way of restoring integrity and trust in politics. The V4i grassroots, community-driven model is a respectful, values-based approach to politics and a welcome alternative to the negative, adversarial style of politicking we commonly see. V4i is not a political party. It is a platform enabling open political dialogue and community engagement. We believe that community development-based politics is a future leadership model for rural communities.

We’re keen to share our model and our learnings to encourage more Australians to make their voices heard. Democratic participation needs to be more than casting a vote between parties once every few years – it needs to be an ongoing values-based conversation.

ISLAND Project

Larissa Bartlett, University of Tasmania

The Island Study Linking Ageing and Neurodegenerative Disease (ISLAND) Project is a large, long term study investigating the potential of a sustained public health campaign for reducing the risk of dementia at population level.

ISLAND is conceived based on research evidence showing approximately 30% of the risk for age-related dementia is attributable to modifiable factors, such as poor cardio-metabolic and mental health; low physical, cognitive and social activity; and obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Tasmania has a prevalence of these dementia risk factors that is higher than the national average. Drawing on a sample of 10% of Tasmanian residents aged 50 years and over (approximately 20,000 people), ISLAND will track participants’ dementia knowledge and risk for at least 10 years. Over this period, the ISLAND cohort will be exposed to a sustained public health campaign comprising educational and community-based activities that aim to change behaviours relating to dementia risk. Findings from this population-based ISLAND study will be used to inform future public health policy and practice relating to dementia prevention.

The Rightsize Service

Alysia Bennett, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Art Design and Architecture, Monash University

The Rightsize Service proposal aims to address the increasing problem of housing shortages, substandard development, and unaffordability through the DIY renovation of existing dwellings.

Part design-led approach, part finance and management model, home-owners are motivated to create new dwellings within existing houses, enabling households to ‘upsize’ or ‘downsize’ according to need.

The proposal, currently being tested for the City of Sydney’s Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge, leverages the potential of domestic space, the DIY ambition of homeowners and the regulatory potential of community housing providers to lift the affordability, quality and diversity of housing in the Australian cities.

Digital Transport Management Platform

Emily Bobis, Compass IoT

Compass IoT is a B2B digital transport management platform that aims to replace current traffic-counting hardware, such as cameras or roadstrips, with a software-based solution. We aggregate datasets from in-car telematics and public transport networks, and apply machine learning algorithms to extrapolate this data. Users are able to view traffic data for any section of road, anywhere in Australia, for any time period, instantly.

Carapac

Kimberly Bolton, Carapac

Carapac’s mission is to eradicate harmful single use plastic waste. Carapac has developed a sustainable, durable, and home compostable plastic alternative made from crustacean shell waste. We are sourcing this waste from frozen food facilities, which produce around 8.1 million tonnes of crustacean shell waste across Asia-Pacific annually. Our material is novel and comes in various forms including a glad wrap, soft plastic (bags, sleeves), and semi-rigid form (trays, punnets, containers) and therefore has many applications. We are currently targeting the fresh produce market with our packaging. Carapac’s packaging has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties that extends shelf life of fresh produce significantly and thus can reduce the amount of fresh produce food waste and the associated costs. Our material can last for 2 years in a stable environment, however when exposed to soil microbes it breaks down into a slow release fertiliser in 3-6 weeks. This means you can simply throw used Carapac packaging into your garden, plant pots, home compost or green-bin and it will breakdown naturally and quickly. Since it acts as a slow release fertiliser this can stimulate plant growth. Our material is the first Negative Waste plastic alternative since we are using a waste product and producing a product that is considered useful and valuable even at the end of its useful life.

One Good Street

Matiu Bush, Health Transformation Lab

One Good Street seeks to utilises the latent capacity within local neighbourhoods to solve problems on a micro level. The focus is on loneliness and social isolation but the culture of participation around this issue reveals the latent capacity within suburbs and cities to solve other problems. What’s novel is that streets are rewarded through street accreditation for their efforts and this information is shared with business (realestate) and the community. A digital map shows the best streets to live in based on the participation culture within those streets.

Antimicrobial Resistance Strategies

James Chapman, RMIT

Our nanomaterial uses precision-engineered liquid metals to physically rip bacteria to shreds and smash through the biofilm where bacteria live and multiply. These biofilms are notoriously difficult to manage – where current antibiotic methods only penetrate the outermost layer of the biofilm. Our technology is paradigm changing and goes one step further than this failing method.

Are resources from outer space the key to decarbonising?

Jessica Dallas, UNSW

This research project examines the ways in which minerals extracted from extraterrestrial bodies, namely asteroids could assist in decarbonising our world. This work is part of a PhD project that is conducted at the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, the Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices and the School of Minerals and Resources Engineering at UNSW, with collaborators from these research institutes. Estimates of the remaining reserves of Earth’s minerals that are required to produce renewable energy technologies and clean transport have shown that many of these minerals are in short supply. Along with innovations in recycling of these materials, this research suggests that asteroids may represent an abundant source of many minerals that are key to a low carbon economy.

Creating Circular Economies with Waste

Dijana Dawe, Enesys

Enesys has developed unique technologies to help convert organic waste to clean energy, heat, carbon dioxide, nutrients, and water that can be channeled into a greenhouse or vertical farm to enhance food growth sustainably. Our research indicates that this has not been done anywhere in the world… yet. Waste to Energy to Growing (WEG) was created by engineer John Norwood and solves three of the world’s most pressing problems, waste, energy and traditional agriculture. When integrated into a commercial or community precinct WEG closes resource loops and brings a very operational circular economy to life.

Wave Swell Energy

Tom Denniss, Wave Swell

Wave Swell Energy (WSE) has developed a world leading patented proprietary technology that converts the energy in ocean waves into clean and emissions free electricity.

Diamond Quantum Computing

Andrew Horsley, Quantum Brilliance

Quantum Brilliance is a quantum computing company developing diamond-based hardware. Quantum computing promises a paradigm-shift in computational power, and is expected to be a defining technology of the 21st century. Their quantum computers are based on atomic-scale defects in a diamond crystal. Diamond’s unique properties free Quantum Brilliance from the cryogenics and ultra-high vacuum systems confining other quantum computing hardware to the lab, enabling novel applications and the widespread distribution of quantum computers. They have the potential to become the world’s dominant quantum computing company.

HyprFire

Tim Jones, Curtin University

The HyprFire solution is a global game changer in the rapid detection and mitigation of cyber-attacks.

The HyprFire solution for countering DDoS attacks employs a proven set of statistical laws combined with AI in a revolutionary way to categorise the incoming traffic. It uses a moving time window to model the distribution of packets during ‘normal’ operation, and when it detects a change in this behaviour it moves to a filtering mode which discards the crafted packets.

It differentiates between malicious and genuine packets without deep packet inspection, so requires fewer resources than existing methods. The technology is also capable of detecting malware using similar techniques. The solution deploys advanced AI to rapidly prioritise security alerts. The HyperFire solution is available as a software solution or as a hardware- based application.

Swoop Aero – transforming access to healthcare

Isabel Lam, Swoop Aero

Swoop Aero is transforming the way the world moves critical medical supplies, using aeromedical drone logistics.

Swoop Aero deploys safe, reliable and sustainable drone networks. Our services have been used by the UN, USAid and UKAid and others to transform health supply chains around the world. Our proprietary technology has been developed from the top down, taking the best lessons learnt from commercial and military air transport, to enable Swoop Aero to deploy a low cost, asset light, autonomous aviation system.

Australian Plant Proteins

Phil McFarlane, EAT Group

The Australian agriculture sector is moving and as it does, opportunities are emerging beyond the farm and across the supply chain. With a mix of ‘hands-on’ farming experience, business development, financing and investment management, EAT Group assists stakeholders across the supply chain including investors, farmers and commodity buyers.

Capturing Anaesthetic Gases

Forbes McGain, Western Health

Anaesthetic gases (e.g. sevoflurane) are potent greenhouse gases. Almost all such gases are breathed in by the patient to cause general anaesthesia, then breathed out unaltered to the atmosphere. This is financially and environmentally wasteful. Currently no-one is reusing such gases.

We have developed several methods to capture sevoflurane; chemical- using metal organic frameworks, and chemical engineering- using membranes to differentially allow the passage of gases. Such approaches offer novel ways to reuse sevoflurane.

Advanced Capture of Water from the Atmosphere (ACWA)

Riccardo Parin, Sydney University

ACWA is a Grand Challenge project funded by the Sydney Nano Institute (Sydney University) as a possible solution for addressing the upcoming world water scarcity. ACWA aims to capture water from the atmosphere to alleviate the effect of drought by providing drinkable water for humans and animals, and for irrigating plants. ACWA is a multidisciplinary project involving professors and researchers from different areas: from Chemistry to Physics, passing through Life and Environmental Science and Architecture. The novelty, therefore, the challenge, is to develop a prototype able to collect water 24 hours a day without any energy consumption.

Engineering microorganisms for sustainable hydrogen gas

Kerstin Petroll, Macquarie University

HydGene Renewables have developed a sugar-powered biohydrogen electricity generator that supplies carbon-neutral and cheap electricity. Their technology is based on engineered bacteria that can convert sugar into hydrogen at efficiencies higher than previously reported, with lower costs than other hydrogen production methods. The hydrogen manufacturing process is readily controlled, and the produced hydrogen is converted directly into electricity through a hydrogen fuel cell. This allows for clean energy production on-site and on-demand. The device is a stand-alone hydrogen generating unit, ideal for back-up or constant energy supply.

Curvecrete – Negative Waste Architecture

Daniel Prohasky, Curvecrete

Over the last few centuries, architects have imagined creating beautiful curved forms to inspire us, however they have always been incredibly complex and expensive to build. Curvecrete have developed a Zero Waste curved concrete paneling system using robotic technology in the next revolution of the building construction industry 4.0. Our ground-breaking robotic forming technology combined with advanced low-carbon concrete provides a cost-effective solution to construct beautiful curved architecture and infrastructure which exceeds sustainability targets to reduce CO2 emissions and waste.

A Simple Saliva Test to Detect Early Throat Cancers

Chamindie Punyadeera, QUT

The incidence of human papillomavirus associated oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is rapidly increasing in Australia and globally. OPC, or throat cancer, is a subtype of head and neck cancers. These patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage and as such 30-50% of them develop recurrence. We have developed a sensitive HPV-16 assay to detect OPC early. We propose to develop this assay as a screening tool.

Evidence Based Policy Research Project

Kyle Redman, newDemocracy

newDemocracy is an independent, non-partisan research and development organisation. We aim to discover, develop, demonstrate, and promote complementary alternatives which will restore trust in public decision making.

Neonav – improving catheter positioning in newborns

Shing Yue Sheung, Navi Medical Technologies

We are developing an innovative medical device specifically designed for newborns and children which provides real-time feedback on catheter tip location. This innovative solution will eliminate the need for confirmatory X-rays and establish a new standard of care; it will improve health outcomes of critically-ill babies, improve hospital efficiency, and reduce morbidity of critically-ill babies. Our founding team consists of clinicians, biomedical engineers, commercial experts, and we have partnered with leading product development groups and the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne to gain rapid product feedback and test our solution.

Responsible Technology Australia

Amit Singh, AlphaBeta

We are a non-partisan research and advocacy organisation that looks into the social harms caused by the digital platforms.

CO2 Concrete

Vivian Tam, Western Sydney University

We have invented “CO2 Concrete” which is an innovative carbon-conditioned recycled concrete for structural applications using construction waste, CO2, and cutting-edge technologies. CO2 Concrete is the greenest, and cost effective recycled concrete for the industry. Our world-first CO2 Concrete has been cast as biosecurity platforms in March 2018, which have been upscaled to four 3m x 3m CO2 Concrete slabs in March 2019 for Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Farm. CO2 Concrete has gained recognition and support from Innovyz Institute, Volumetric Concrete Australia and Green Industries, South Australia, which have been promoting the “CO2 Concrete” nationally and internationally for commercialisation.

Biodiversity Accounting

Edward Tsyrlin, The University of Melbourne

We are looking at the application of the DNA barcodes, a short string of DNA unique to each species, to speed up identification of freshwater invertebrates. Invertebratesare one of the most diverse, influential but often overlooked group of organisms. They serve as indicators of the ecosystem condition and, like a canary in a mine, provide us with an early warning sign of problems in our rivers. With the DNA barcodes, we demonstrate how we can recognise new species and detect known species in our rivers and wetlands. This will help us to protect the biodiversity and ecosystem services freshwater environments provide to all of us.

Redback Systems

Matt van Breugel, Redback Systems

We believe that light is the most elegant tool to learn information about the world around us. If fact, researchers across almost every scientific discipline utilise light to probe different materials. We are a team of researchers spinning out from Macquarie University building fundamentally powerful instruments that challenge widely adopted tools for interrogating light. We do this by building compact, robust, and high-resolution spectrometers – devices that let us measure the individual colour components of light. Producing high-resolution devices that are financially accessible will enable researchers to conduct precision experiments.

Venus Shell Systems

Pia Winberg, Venus Shell Systems

Venus Shell Systems is an Australian company based in the pristine Shoalhaven region, 200km south of Sydney. We are at the global forefront of producing unique, traceable, premium quality marine biomass from the pristine waters of the Tasman Sea. Under the strict guidance of Chief Scientist, Dr Pia Winberg, we have pioneered a proprietary controlled cultivation and production process for a range of consistent, reliable high-grade products. These are formulated to the specifications of our specialist partners, using our proprietary PhycoLAB™ process. Venus Shell Systems integrates and sequesters clean carbon dioxide to rapidly grow unique seaweed biomass and extracts for use in biomaterials, cosmetics, dermatological care, food, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. Our proprietary process enables us to produce consistent tailored biomass to predetermined specifications and levels of purity according to our customers’ requirements.

The My Food & Mood Project

Claire Young, Deakin University

The My Food & Mood Project, is a development, optimisation and feasibility study of an online dietary intervention for the improvement of depressive symptoms. The project aims to develop an optimised version of the online program that will support dietary change in depressed populations. Of particular interest are the ways in which people engage with the intervention and what levels of engagement are required to achieve dietary behaviour change. This project will then lead to large scale online trials of dietary intervention in depression and other mental illnesses.

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