A Spinifex-based Nanomaterials Platform for Climate-ready Crops and Mine-Site Restoration (2024–2025)

The University of Queensland¿s (UQ) Advanced Spinifex Biofutures Materials Centre was established by the Indigenous-led company Bulugudu Ltd and UQ¿s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and aims to translate and commercialise high-value nanotechnology products made from Australian desert plants into innovative biotechnologies. In 2021, the team used patented nanomaterials extracted from native spinifex grass to develop an agri-ecological biotechnology platform named the B-Tech. The platform nano-doses plants with actives (microbes and chemicals) via very precise dosing from an encapsulation matrix. The B-Tech platform is game-changing, as it makes previously unfeasible actives cost-effective, easy to deliver and safe for the user, thus commercially viable, by reducing dosages up to 10,000-fold. This project will develop the B-Tech for crop resilience to climatic extremes and enhanced post-mining restoration outcomes, thus addressing NRF priorities of value-adding to agriculture and the resources sectors. Over a 12-month timeframe, the project will (1) Develop a Beta prototype to accelerate the B-Tech from TRL 3 (current state) to TRL 5; (2) Develop a market strategy to commercialise the B-Tech; (3) Generate results to submit a patent application. Additionally, the NRF priority of 'enabling capability' is addressed by providing a pathway to grow Indigenous manufacturing capabilities in remote Australia, adding cultural, social and economic value.
Grant type:
Australia's Economic Accelerator Seed Grants
  • Research Fellow
    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
  • Professorial Research Fellow and Ce
    Sustainable Minerals Institute
Funded by:
Commonwealth Department of Education