Bridge Hub aims to solve Australia's water problems


Friday, 28 February, 2020



Bridge Hub aims to solve Australia's water problems

Bridge Hub is about to launch its 2020 Water Challenge, with the goal of finding practical solutions to water issues around Australia and the world.

It will also look at identifying and commercialising promising research and new technology that will allow the agriculture and food production sector to be smarter with its use of water.

As part of the challenge, participants are invited to submit suggestions for the most compelling water problems faced around the country.

“We want to identify the problems that, if solved, will have a measurable and positive impact on drought proofing the Australian and global agrisystem,” said Bridge Hub co-CEO Craig Shapiro.

“As the drought continues and following the devastation of the recent bushfires and floods, there is much discussion around water and how we make changes now that can ease the impact of future events.”

Bridge Hub is an agrifood tech innovation hub for the Australian and global agrifood tech industry with offices in Wagga Wagga, Sydney and Israel. It was established about 18 months ago with funding through the federal government’s incubator support funding grant, Agrifutures Australia and Charles Sturt University. The 2020 Water Challenge is being funded by Bridge Hub, by its parent company Big River Group and through sponsorship.

At the recent evokeAG conference, Bridge Hub ran a challenge wall for delegates to submit their answers to the question ‘if you had access to the brightest minds in the world, what water problem would you ask them to solve?’

The number and depth of responses was described as ‘amazing’. The most common problems shared at the event were about water loss through evaporation, and capture and management and use of water runoff.

Delegates at the evokeAG conference shared the water problems they want to see solved.

“We’re excited to see what other problems we can identify now we’ve broadened the call for problem submissions. Ensuring we get different perspectives is critical to making sure we’re solving the right problems,” said Shapiro.

Four prizes of $1000 each will be awarded for the submission of problems that, if solved, would have the greatest impact on the agrisystem.

Once the problem statements are decided, the Water Challenge will be officially launched in late March. Researchers, start-ups and students will have the opportunity to submit their solutions, with cash prizes, investment and funding for trials of at least $150,000 to be awarded to the best applicants.

Problems can be submitted until 15 March, when the challenge will move into the next phase of finding solutions.

“We’re excited to see what problems come from the people who live with water challenges every day. We know there are solutions out there — identifying the right problems to solve is just the start,” said Shapiro.

To share a problem, visit https://thebridgehub.co/problem.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/agawa288

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