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Global innovation spotlight: Australia – Springwise

Global innovation spotlight: Australia

Global Innovation Spotlight

Australia Innovation Facts

Global Innovation Index ranking: 25th

Climate targets: Reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, net-zero emissions by 2050

Sustainability issues:

Agriculture – More than 90 per cent of the food Australians eat is produced domestically, and agriculture has significantly impacted the country’s environment. Around 13 per cent of Australia’s original vegetation has disappeared because of agriculture since European settlement. Moreover, in 2019, agriculture produced 13 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gases.

Invasive species
– Australia is known for its unique and distinctive wildlife. Yet invasive
species are driving more than 80 per cent of the country’s most vulnerable
native plants and animals towards extinction. And it is estimated that
Australia gains around 20 new pests or diseases each year.

Coal production – Coal is Australia’s second-biggest export, and the country depends on coal-fired power for nearly 60 per cent of its electricity. The Australian government has traditionally been very loyal to the coal industry, but now faces difficult choices as it aims for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Sector specialisms:

Fintech

Digital and creative industries

Life sciences

Source: Startup Genome

Three Exciting New Innovations From Australia

Photo source Loam Bio

A STARTUP USES MICROBES TO BOOST CARBON SEQUESTRATION

The climate crisis has seen record-breaking levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Potential solutions range from renewable fuels to reforestation. But a growing band of researchers and biotech firms believe that one of the best solutions may be waiting right underfoot – microbes. Companies like Loam Bio believe that they can use tailored microbes to turn the world’s soil into a massive carbon sink, while also improving crop yields. Read more.

Photo source togetherAI

AN AI-POWERED MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS APP FOR FAMILIES

According to Australian startup togetherAI, over 70 per cent of caregivers struggle to communicate with their children. And over the last three years, the likelihood of young people having a mental health problem has increased by 50 per cent. TogetherAI is helping families to have difficult conversations about mental health and wellbeing with an app that combines wellbeing expertise with artificial intelligence. Read more.

Photo source Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

A SOFTWARE SERVICE OPTIMISES DECENTRALISED ENERGY PROJECTS

The transition to a net-zero economy will require huge changes in our energy infrastructure. Not only will the power grids of the future be cleaner – they will also be more decentralised. The complexity of planning and assessing de-centralised projects—from microgrids to electric vehicle charging points— is a key issue that must be overcome. Australian startup Gridcognition has developed software that crunches the numbers of different energy project options, helping industry players invest in the most efficient and environmentally beneficial assets. Read more.

Words: Matthew Hempstead

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