About our program
Our Biosecurity Innovation Program (BIP) funds innovative ideas to enhance our biosecurity system.
The BIP invests in new technologies and approaches. It identifies and develops new products and services to manage biosecurity challenges and risks.
Through the BIP we:
- identify and develop innovative entrepreneurial ideas
- fund projects that explore new concepts and ideas for managing biosecurity risk
- collaborate with the business sector, universities and research entities.
The BIP focuses on improvements to:
- biosecurity screening of goods and passengers
- early detection of capabilities beyond ports.
This helps us maintain:
- our favourable pest and disease status
- access to export markets.
What we look for
We look for new technologies and approaches to modernise our current biosecurity risk and management practices. The program will provide funding and support for projects that focus on our 5 key focus areas:
- data and intelligence
- risk analysis
- surveillance, diagnostics and screening
- communication and collaboration.
How to apply
Each year we call for Expressions of Interest for funding from October to December. Internal and external stakeholders can apply.
Find out more about how to prepare your expression of interest.
The BIP invests in a wide range of innovative projects to support our national biosecurity system. Here are some examples of past projects funded under the program.
We partnered with Rapiscan Australia to implement 3D X-Rays and automatic biosecurity algorithms. This helps with biosecurity screening at the border. The detection rate using 3D X-ray is 2-3 times greater than current screening technologies. Auto-detection capability can reduce the impost on biosecurity officers. It also makes more efficient and accurate assessments on the presence or absence of biosecurity risk materials.
We are also working with airports and the New Zealand government to trial scanning passenger luggage before departure and assess risks whilst in transit. If successful, airports and air cargo operators will be able to conduct intensive screening of baggage, mail and cargo for biosecurity risks.
We have partnered with CSIRO to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and a mobile phone application (app) to identify the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). The BMSB is a National Priority Plant Pest.
The app also identifies 45 different stink bug species. CSIRO identified each specimen and produced a library of high-resolution photos with pictures taken from multiple angles. CSIRO was then able to train Microsoft’s Custom Vision AI model to recognise the top and underside views of each stink bug species.
Developments to the app include an AI model for the identification of exotic bees. The app is used in field trials. It’s promising to be a low cost, automated, portable solution to assist in the identification of BMSB and other stink bugs species by biosecurity officers.
We use a range of fumigants to treat biosecurity risk material. This includes Methyl Bromide, Sulfuryl Fluoride and Phosphine. We’ve partnered with RingIR Pty Ltd to develop a device that can detect and measure multiple harmful fumigants. This ensures a safe working environment for biosecurity officers, while effectively treating biosecurity risk.
The device will also have the capacity to verify fumigant treatments. RingIR are developing functionality to remotely measure high end gas concentration levels during treatment processes. This will give extra assurance that treatments are being conducted effectively.
We have partnered with University of Canberra’s National Environmental DNA (eDNA) Reference Centre to develop eDNA technology. We’re developing a rapid, easy and portable molecular detection tool for species of biosecurity and environmental concern.
The eDNA technology will be validated and applied as appropriate for our initiatives and response activities such as the Khapra Surge Response. We are also expanding the technology to detect Varroa mite during the of surveillance of feral beehives in the Port of Newcastle.
Your ideas are important, and we want to hear from you.
Contact our Innovation Projects Team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.