Murujuga Oyster processing and grading equipment in Tasmania
Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, Entrepreneur Round 2 – the Murugjuga/Maxima Pearling team at oyster processing and grading equipment in Tasmania as part of the ‘Edible Oyster Production in the Pilbara of Western Australia project.’

As a result of the final round of the Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Program, four new entrepreneurs were announced on 31 July 2019 by the Minister for Science for Round 4 of the Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Program.

The Western Australian government is committed to supporting innovation, jobs and sustainable practices in agriculture and aquaculture. Western Australia’s $6.8 billion agriculture sector has huge potential to innovate by working with highly skilled scientists, researchers and international leaders.


For more information please contact:


Contact officers:

Jane Gilligan Phone: +61 8 9222 0755

Helen Hitchcock: Phone: +61 8 9222 0740

Round 4 Recipients 2019

  • Rex Rowles will travel to the USA, Germany and NSW to seek out leading practice on micro-malting, visiting commercial operations and undertaking specialist courses. Rex is seeking knowledge on the business practice, technology and science behind boutique malting. He would like to develop micro-malting capacity on his grain farm in the Wheatbelt, and to offer unique origin malting barley to craft breweries and distilleries.
  • Darren Hughes from Laconik Pty Ltd will travel to the USA to meet with major agriculture technology providers to identify innovation that can enhance Laconik’s fertiliser optimisation technology. Darren is seeking innovation around farm machinery, software and data analytics and will integrate that into the Laconik product, which is designed to assist grain farmers in Western Australia better manage their fertiliser use.
  • Luke Hill from Indian Ocean Sea Vegetables Pty Ltd will travel to leading international seaweed aquaculture operations and seek advice from an expert in microalgae. Indian Ocean Sea Vegetables is currently trialling local seaweed species as culinary products that can be farmed in West Australia’s southern oceans. The trial project is investigating cultivation and growth rates, harvesting, preservation and the commercial viability of different products. Luke is seeking best practice that can be applied in the trial. 
  • Neil Lantzke will travel to Culiacan in Mexico, a major vegetable production area supplying produce to the USA market with a similar climate to the Gascoyne and Pilbara regions. Neil will investigate technical and commercial merits of leading protected cropping infrastructure by visiting growers and the Cravo research facility. The learnings will be documented and made available to West Australian growers.

Round 3 Recipients 2018

  • Jonathan Bilton from Athair Aquaculture Pty Ltd will travel with Glenn Dibbin and Roger Barnard to NSW to access leading expertise in bivalve culture, and will work with experts to identify Western Australian sites and methods for cultivating Doughboy scallops, a local species that has good potential for aquaculture. They will record their learnings in a report that will be available to other Western Australian farmers who are interested in growing the Doughboy scallops.
  • Dr Sofie de Meyer from MaldiiD Pty Ltd will visit inoculant manufacturing companies and quality control laboratories in Canada, USA, South America and Europe to access international expertise to build a prototype for an inoculant quality test. This quality test will help farmers to know quickly and reliably if their inoculant is of good quality before they use it on their legume crops. Sofie will share the science through research publications and directly with Western Australian industry, including growers.

  • Robert Kelly from Livestock Systems Pty Ltd will travel to the eastern states in Australia to identify interstate best practices for buying livestock, which will be used to further develop an online platform for the WA wool and meat supply chain, including farmers. The prototype for the platform will be developed with input from Western Australian industry.

  • Kelly Pearce will travel nationally and internationally to seek out data integration and farm business intelligence experts to help with the development of a data integration platform for Western Australian farmers. Kelly is looking for new ways to bring together farm financial, paddock records, market information, weather, inventory and historical farm data to drive realtime business intelligence. This will help farmers to make better decisions and improve farm efficiency and profitability.

  • Adam Wilson from Great Southern Truffles will seek out experts in key European truffle production markets, to find better ways to create value-added products with truffles, particularly through preservation techniques like canning, blast freezing and freeze-drying, flavour manufacturing and new truffle products. Western Australian truffle farmers are key producers of the Black Winter Truffle ‘Tuber melanosporum Vitt.’, which is suited to the climate of the southern forests. Adam will work with Western AustralianA farmers to share best practice techniques in truffle processing and value-adding to support a more profitable local industry.

  • Luke Wheat from Future Green Solutions Pty Ltd will travel to Europe to seek out the expertise needed for commercial scale black soldier fly farming and the production of proteins and oils for stock feed. Luke will investigate separation technologies, best practice insect husbandry and packaging methods. Luke will work with Western Ausatralian industry associations, universities, growers and farmers to share knowledge on black soldier fly farming, which may offer horticulture and agriculture businesses with a new method for treating waste streams.


Round 2 Recipients 2017

Four scholarships were awarded in the second round of the Program as follows:

  • Justine Arnold from Indian Ocean Fresh Australia will lead a small team of experts on a “Knowledge Quest” to Japan to access the knowledge of Japanese kingfish farmers and researchers, their management strategies and techniques developed for warm water kingfish culture and to gain insights into skills and techniques required for the rapidly emerging aquaculture industry in WA.

  • Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and Maxima Pearling Company have commenced a research and development project to trial rock oyster production in the Pilbara. The award will enable travel to established edible oyster production areas in South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania to build networks and facilitate technology transfer from these areas to the local environment in the Pilbara.

  • Tim Hyde and Rod Campbell of Indicina Pty Ltd to travel to Queensland, New South Wales and the United States of America to gain an understanding of the Agtech sector with regard to water and nutrient management requirements of various agricultural industries and the potential integration of its technology SWAN System. The trip will also be an opportunity to discuss business arrangements with potential resellers and to investigate data synergies with in field hardware and the capacity to upload data onto SWAN System.

  • Mr Anthony Quinlan of Soil Dynamics to travel to Spain to investigate and develop a collaboration with the production company who will manufacture prototypes of micro fibre bands for use in food crop protection, and to China to investigate impregnation of the micro fibres with organic insecticides to improve efficacy of the product.

All of the successful applicants will return to Western Australia to share their experiences and
knowledge within their sector and regional WA.


Round 1 Recipients 2016

Four scholarships were awarded in the inaugural round of the Program to:

  • Steve Carr to travel to South Africa to study new practices and opportunities for lime incorporation to manage sub-soil acidity.

  • Julian Sharp to travel to Victoria to visit growers and contacts along the shiitake supply chain to investigate opportunities to establish a traditional log grown shiitake mushroom industry in the South West region.

  • Chris Witt to travel to the United States of America and Europe to further develop his drone technology for use in broadacre crop production. John Guest to travel overseas to further his research and understanding of opportunities for increasing marron production on commercial farms.

All of the successful applicants will return to Western Australia to share their experiences and
knowledge within their sector and regional WA.

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