Biosecurity Innovation Program

Biosecurity protects Australian livelihoods and is vital to strengthening and supporting our environment and economy, including tourism, trade and agriculture. It underpins many aspects of our way of life.

The threats facing Australia’s agricultural industries, environmental assets and inbound tourism have grown exponentially over the past century, largely because of the increases in international trade and passenger movements from around the globe.

Through the Biosecurity Innovation Program (the Program) we are investing in innovative technologies and approaches to enhance Australia’s national biosecurity system to manage emerging biosecurity challenges and risks.

The Program aims to benefit Australia’s agriculture sector, importers, exporters, state and territory governments, business innovators, international partners, and the Australian public. It will help Australia maintain our favourable pest and disease status, and our access to export markets.

Now in its third year, the Program supports collaboration between industry and government. It invests in the identification, development and implementation of innovative technologies and approaches designed to enhance the capacity of our national biosecurity system.

Industry plays an essential role in safeguarding Australia’s biosecurity. We’re looking to collaborate with innovators from the business sector, universities, and domestic and international research entities.

Together, we want to identify bold new ideas to support the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of Australia’s biosecurity system.

The challenge

Our biosecurity system is under growing pressure from the number of people and goods coming into Australia, and these numbers are forecast to increase.

Globalisation, complexity of international supply chains and changes to the Australian operating environment including the COVID-19 pandemic are making biosecurity risk management more challenging.

We need to modernise our systems to keep pace with a changing world. 

By 2025 Passengers increase 72%, Containerised cargo increase 100%, Shipping increase 28% and Containers increase 75%

What we are looking for

Technologies and approaches that will contribute to a sustainable and effective national Australian biosecurity system, and ways to modernise our current biosecurity risk management practices.
The Program will provide financial support for projects that could improve:

  • biosecurity screening of goods and passengers
  • biosecurity risk detection — for example, drone surveillance, artificial intelligence, robotics, next generation sequencing and new biological controls
  • the effectiveness and efficiency of our national biosecurity system in a changing environment.

How to apply

Applications for the 2021-22 financial year funding round are now closed.

Your ideas are important, and we’d love to hear from you. Please contact the Biosecurity Innovation Program team for more information.

Discuss your idea with us early so we can connect you with a project sponsor to champion your idea within our department.

By working together, we will be better placed to build a smarter, stronger, and more sustainable national biosecurity system.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our biosecurity innovation hub, The Seed.

Last reviewed: 1 March 2021
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