Call for innovative waste water solutions

16/04/2013

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The State Government has announced the first project in a new Manufacturing Works Strategy pilot program aimed at driving innovation in local industry.

Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister, Tom Kenyon said the Small Business Innovation Research pilot program offered grants of up to $100,000 to support local small to
medium enterprises to test new products and services aimed at solving industry-specific challenges facing the government.

"The first challenge - Resource Recovery from Wastewater Treatment Processes - has been developed by SA Water in partnership with the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy," Mr Kenyon said.

"The specific challenge in this first project is to seek new ways to remove, recover and reuse phosphorus, and possibly nitrogen, from wastewater being processed at the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant.

"Phosphorus exists in sewage, in the form of phosphates from a range of sources that enter the sewerage system including human waste, animal manure, food industry waste and
detergents," Mr Kenyon said.

Minister for Water and the River Murray, Ian Hunter said finding a solution to this challenge had the potential to provide significant economic, environmental and regulatory benefits for the State.

"It's expected the technology developed by a local company will have widespread application interstate and overseas," Mr Hunter said.

"Both SA Water and the State Government have established a proud history of innovation in the positive reuse of wastewater treatment by-products including biogas and biosolids.

"Identifying ways to recover phosphorus - a substance thought to have limited global reserves remaining - provides the opportunity to continue this culture of innovation.

"SA Water will engage with industry during the early stages of project development and offer support during the stages of feasibility and prototyping," Mr Hunter said.

Mr Kenyon said the Small Business Innovation Research pilot will be run in three phases.

"During Phase 1, successful companies will be offered grants of up to $100,000 to develop their concept and be expected to demonstrate the feasibility of their technology or solution.

"Phase 1 ideas with the highest potential for technical and market success may be awarded a Phase 2 contract for detailed product development. Phase 3 will involve the commercial development and sale of the product.

"Companies will own all intellectual property they develop under the program."

Mr Kenyon said the program is open to collaboration between South Australian small to medium enterprises and research providers.

"The pilot is intended to demonstrate the value of industry participation in solving challenges faced by Government and consideration will be given to developing future projects within other industry areas," Mr Kenyon said.

The official tender information and application guidelines are now available on the Tenders SA website.

An industry briefing session is scheduled for Thursday, 2 May for interested parties to seek more technical information relating to the first challenge. It will be held from 10:00am -11:30am at SA Water House, 250 Victoria Square Adelaide.

To register to attend the industry briefing or for more information on the program go to: www.dmitre.sa.gov.au/sbir