Startups pitch their services to solve public sector challenges

The Marshall Government is using the creative thinking of local startup companies to deliver better services for taxpayers whilst enhancing the economic viability of startup sector in South Australia.

Eight local startups have successfully pitched their product or service to the State Government through the Go2Gov program—which calls on local innovators to work in partnership with government agencies to solve public sector challenges.

Digital WorQ, Be Well Co, Lumin Sports Technology, Opensensing, The Moonshine Lab and IO Energy were successful in securing funding that will enable their projects to enter the feasibility phase after responding to specific public sector challenges, while businesses Personify Care and Joey Crowd successfully pitched novel ideas through the open challenge category.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said this type of collaboration with government agencies gave startups a safety net to develop their proof-of-concept, and potentially secure government as a paying customer.

“We were extremely pleased with the quality of applicants and the ideas from the state’s startup community in responding to the public sector challenges that were set,” Minister Pisoni said.

“Go2Gov is more than a grant; it offers the real opportunity for businesses to accelerate the development of their ideas and, if the feasibility stage is a success, gain a credible reference customer.

“Through Go2Gov, we aim to harness our state’s brightest minds to solve some of the public sector’s biggest challenges.

“The Marshall Government’s investment policies are creating the ideal economic environment to nurture local startups and entrepreneurs.”

One such challenge came from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions, which is searching to leverage new technologies to enable remote and in real-time monitoring of our quarantine bins to increase the state’s biosecurity and management of fruit fly.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the Marshall Liberal Government is committed to protecting our $1.3 billion South Australian horticulture industry that is at risk from fruit fly, representing 37,500 jobs and around 4,000 businesses.

“We are doing everything we can to protect South Australia’s horticulture industry which is critical to our state economy,” Minister Basham said.

“This is why we are excited to partner with local start ups to explore new technologies and innovation which could improve biosecurity and better protect our state from the threat of fruit fly.”

Opensensing General Manager Mr Leo Gaggl said his company uses LoRaWAN – Long Range Wide Area Network – architecture where gateways relay messages between end-devices and a central network server. This allows data to be processed and communicated in real-time without using sim cards or any other data contracts with telecommunications providers.

“We have existing level sensors for bins, but the huge challenge for the biosecurity bins is that the coverage inside of those bins is just not there,” Mr Gaggl said.

“What we are addressing in our project is the more localised wireless coverage and then back over long distances.

“We are also looking at developing bin-surround monitoring so we can alert PIRSA of waste or material building up surrounding the bin.

“Having a reference client for startups is always a really big problem and having a large government department dealing across a wide region is a really good reference that will help us with other clients as well.”

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