13 January, 2021 MADE Energy secures Commonwealth Business Research & Innovation Initiative (BRII) grant to develop biohydrogen from biomass for farmers. Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews announced on Monday 12 January that MADE Energy, a start-up business in Mollongghip, between Ballarat and Daylesford, was successful in the latest round of Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) grants out of a record 220 applicants. Minister Andrews said, “This initiative is giving Australian businesses with clever ideas the opportunity to develop them further, with the potential of creating products that will benefit the community and the Australian economy.” With this grant, MADE Energy is about to embark on a research and development project that could be a game changer for Australian agriculture. In growing Australia’s food, farmers apply 4.9 million tonnes of fertiliser per annum and MADE Energy is looking at a paradigm shift in how that fertiliser is produced. MADE Energy will use the grant to conduct a feasibility study on an innovative way of developing biohydrogen through a circular economy approach, which would then be used to produce high-quality ammonia fertiliser on a farm or community scale. MADE Energy’s submission focuses on low-temperature, low-pressure production of biohydrogen, considered by many to be the holy grail of innovation in the sustainable energy sector. The feasibility study will be conducted in partnership with Griffith University and Frontier Impact Group, world-leading experts in anaerobic digestion technology and in the commercialisation of the solution. While the grant is for a feasibility study, Minister Andrews also said that following the feasibility tests, the most successful projects may be eligible for a grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept. MADE Energy is an excellent example of the skill, vision and innovation on offer in regional Victoria. An innovative start-up business in a small agricultural community, MADE Energy is an emerging enterprise started by four locals who are committed to achieving meaningful impact and helping Australian farmers thrive. They bring individual skills from long, successful careers in large-scale project management, engineering, farming, accounting and marketing/communications. MADE Energy is proud to be a recipient of this grant from the Commonwealth government and is excited about the impact it can have. Securing this grant is a further demonstration of MADE Energy’s commitment and abilities to help farmers and communities thrive in the future. Media Contacts: Bryce Ott E firstname.lastname@example.org M 0417 110 367 Joe Finneran E Joe@madeenergy.com.au M 0406 992 157 Links www.madeenergy.com.au @MADEEnergy1
In February 2021, MADE received a Commonwealth Smart Farms grant to increase technical knowledge and capability of local potato farmers, increase on-farm adoption of sustainable agriculture practices that enable them to improve soil health, reduce chemical inputs, reduce costs and better manage limited water resources. The 45 local farmers in the area produce over 23% of the potatoes grown in Victoria and we understand that embracing new sustainable agricultural practices is critical for our community to thrive and grow in the future.
To achieve our project objectives, we will:
- build farmers’ knowledge of soil and plant health
- support them to increase their independence in real-time monitoring of their soil and crops - build their confidence to interpret results and alter their farm practices in response
- give them experience and exposure to the opportunities available in through precision agriculture technologies and decision support systems
- grow their skills in monitoring, recording and how to undertake effective trials that enable them to make confident decisions about shifting to new and improved practices
- facilitate a peer support environment and a local community culture that values knowledge sharing, experimentation and improvement.
Our project will significantly improve the knowledge of soils across our cohort of farmers while increasing adoption best practice sustainability using AgTech that individual farmers would alone unlikely consider due to complexity and lack of individual resources and skills. These things combined will work to improve soil health, plant health and water efficiency, whilst supporting improved yields, lower costs and better profitability.