BRII challenge – Using technology for real-time and accurate asbestos testing

so foreign welcome and thank you for joining us today my name is justine and i’ll be moderating today’s webinar i would like to begin by acknowledging traditional custodians the land which we gather today and pay my respects to their elders past and present i extend their respect the aboriginal and torres strait islanders people here with us today just some housekeeping rules before we begin today’s webinar is recorded and will be available on the bree website in the coming days please keep your microphones on mute and if you would like to ask a question during the webinar please write this in the q a function at the bottom of the screen we will be answering as many questions as we can at the end of the presentations your question during the webinar you can also email it through to brie at industry.gov.iu i’d now like to welcome shannon ty from the department of industry science energy and resources who will give an overview of the business research and innovation initiative program you can have how you can apply followed by justine ross and belinda brown from the asbestos safety and eradication agency shannon i’ll hand over control to you thanks justine hi my name is shannon thai and i work in the business research in an innovation sorry business research and innovation initiative team also known as bree within the department of industry science energy and resources also on the webinar with me today are our program delivery team pete hunter and phil cole and from our policy team ben kirk jen musket and sophie holland okay so what is free the brief program aims to drive innovation both within small to medium enterprises smes and government by offering competitive grants to encourage smes to develop innovative solutions to public policy and service delivery challenges nominated by government agencies the program works by encouraging innovation by smes growing their capacity and culture and also by changing government procurement processes to look to and support innovation the intended outcomes of the program are to stimulate the innovative capacity of smes and australian government agencies improve business capability to access national and international markets develop smes confidence and awareness when working with government as a possible customer and encourage australian government agencies to participate in sourcing innovative solutions next slide please so how does the program work for this round the program covers four regulatory technology challenges regtech these challenges are proposed by australian government agencies for which smes can develop solutions smes with a great idea are invited to apply and address the challenges through the development of a new solution your new solution can be a modification of an existing technology applications are reviewed and ranked by the relevant challenge agencies against specific assessment criteria outlined in the grant opportunity guidelines these are referred to an independent expert committee who make recommendations for consideration by the delegate the successful applications will receive upfront funding for a feasibility study they will receive grants of up to one hundred thousand dollars to test and document their ideas for solving the challenge over three months there’ll be up to two million dollars available for feasibility study grants in this round applicants who complete a successful feasibility study are then eligible to apply for a further grant of up to one million dollars to develop a prototype or proof of concept over the following 15 months once the solution has been developed the sme has the opportunity of a government agency procuring the solution or the sme can look for options to sell to the industry sector or other government agencies smes are also encouraged to sell these new solutions worldwide as you retain intellectual property rights to your solution please note some challenges will have the government agency as the intended end user but others will not for example from a previous round i tree is delivering the world first child safety information sharing platform between state and territory governments from a large government contract after debris other challenges have addressed a gap in the marketplace for example the marsden jacob and associates water flow app was designed to give farmers and irrigators free up-to-date water trading information the app offers both free and paid content in this instance the government agency was one of many potential customers using the premium subscription service while you are solving the specific challenge for the government agency you should consider developing your solution in a way that allows you to capture more than one customer and if possible from more than one market that is the why we say where it gives businesses the chance to work with government to create a novel solution that could be launched globally next slide please free provides smes with critical early stage financial support for the development of new to market innovations feasibility study grants successful applicants are eligible to receive up to one hundred thousand dollars up front to undertake a feasibility study for three months with a two million dollar with two million dollars total two million dollars totally funding available for the feasibility study stage proof of concept grants successful feasibility study participants will then be eligible to apply for up to 1 million to develop proof of concept prototypes an initial payment will be made in advance on execution of the grant with further payments made on successful pro on successful progress of the project eight million dollars in total funding is available for the proof of concept stage next slide please free is not about giving you the dollars and then leading you to develop your solution in isolation the program has inbuilt monthly catch-ups and we encourage you and your company particularly during the feasibility stage have discussions q a’s conversations and workshops with the relevant agency the more the better grantees undertake a presentation at the end of the feasibility study and prefer concept stages so you can show and explain your solution to the agencies and relevant key stakeholders the department of industry science energy and resources will manage the administrative side of the grant the challenge agencies will provide information context and expertise around the challenge to be solved and you and your company are responsible for developing the solution that solves the challenge your solution can then potentially be marketed and launched into the future next slide please free provides many opportunities like the significant funding to entrepreneurs smes and startups to test explore and develop commercially viable innovative technologies this is not matched funding if selected you can access up to 1.1 million for your project the chance to gain a significant reference customer and track record leading to facilitating a path to market and new opportunities for future investment and growth for example likely theory around one grantee developed convalence a web-based consultation platform it enables better engagement and consultation with communities and within departments as part of their research and work they ended up gaining a contract to assist the department of prime minister and cabinet with a piece of work on the aps review about two-thirds of the way through the poc proof of concept the opportunity to gain and improve knowledge experience and develop relationships with australian government clients the retention of iep rights for you to commercialize products and concepts domestically and internationally opportunity to explore and exploit spin-off products for example another round one grantee atomos project has led to the business being involved with the innovative vector control consortium ivcc to develop technologies to combat malaria and other deadly mosquito-borne diseases which is being led by the department of foreign affairs and trade and the potential to access other government assistance programs such as accelerating commercialisation next slide please eligibility to be eligible for the feasibility study and proof of concept grants smes must have an abn and be one of the following entities an entity incorporated in australia an individual or partnership provided you agree to form a company incorporated in australia to enter into a grant agreement you have a combined annual turnover of less than 20 million dollars for each of the three financial years prior to the lodgement of your application if you’re controlled by a publicly funded research organization including university spin-offs with at least 40 university ownership you must have an annual turnover in isolation of less than 20 million for each of the three financial years prior to lodgement of the application newly established companies are welcome to apply joint applications are acceptable also provided that you have a lead organization who is the main driver of the project and they are eligible to apply next slide please ineligibility you are not eligible to apply if you are not an organization described in the previous slide or a government agency federal state local or government business enterprise or an organization or your project partner is an organization included on the national redress schemes website on the list of institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the scheme www.nationalredress.gov dot a u next slide please merit criteria our suggestion is to not make it too long get to the point and not to use too much jargon as the assessment committee may have a lot of these to read merit criterion 1 extent that your proposed solution meets the challenge is worth 30 points you should demonstrate this by identifying how the proposed solution will meet the challenge the uniqueness of your proposed solution relative to what is already on the market for example how is it a new and innovative solution different to what is on the market and how it solves the challenge merit criterion 2 market opportunity of your proposed solution is also worth 30 points demonstrate this by identifying the clear commercial potential to create a marketable project process or service for customers beyond the government agency leading the breed challenge including a plan to deliver the solution and the route to local and or global markets a market analysis should also be included with your application for example how could it be commercialized include market opportunities flexibility and scalability of the solution could it be used in other industries expanded into other markets a more detailed commercialization plan will be requested if you progress to the second funding stage the proof of concept stage merit criterion 3 capacity capability and resources to deliver the project is worth 40 points include details of your track record managing similar projects and access to personnel with the right skills and experience including commercialization your access or future access to any infrastructure capital equipment technology and intellectual property a sound project plan to manage and monitor the project including risk analysis and lastly your project budget for example focus on your past achievements similar successful projects key personnel in their experience and qualifications next slide please the application form can be located on business.gov dot au portal some things to note about the application form you can start and save it and come back to it in stages some sections have character limits do not leave it until the final few hours to complete it and be mindful of relevant differences in time zones the application will automatically close at the scheduled time of five o’clock pm australian eastern standard time on thursday the 3rd of june 2021 any application still open but not submitted at that time will not be able to be submitted and we cannot accept late applications if you have a great idea and meet the eligibility criteria we strongly encourage you to apply next slide please i would recommend checking out the business.gov dot au bree webpage it has information and templates that you will need to use to apply such as the grant opportunity guidelines and templates required for your application like the financial turnover declaration and letter of support templates for more information please go to business dot gov dot a u forward slash free next slide please this round of chat this round of brie challenges smes to develop novel solutions to four regulatory challenges australia’s strong regulatory system is a necessary safeguard that keeps our workplaces safe the quality of our products high and consumers to get what they pay for but the downside of this safety net is the compliance burden it places on businesses regtech uses innovative technologies to streamline and enhance regulatory compliance this will make it easier faster and cheaper for businesses to comply with and government to administer regulation next slide please the challenges for this round are to develop technology solutions to help identify and assess poor market disclosure by listed companies for remote and automated monitoring of export livestock health and welfare for a streamlined path to marine autonomous systems assurance or for real-time and accurate asbestos testing today we will be discussing the fourth challenge using technology for real-time and accurate asbestos testing with the asbestos safety and eradication agency thank you all and back to you justine thank you shannon hopefully that answers most of your questions on how you can apply for the challenge if you do have any though please pop it into the chat function now and we will start to deal with them as they come through i’ll now hand over to justine ross and belinda brown from asia to provide you more detail about their challenge thank you justine thank you and good morning everybody i’m justine ross i’m the ceo of the asbestos safety and eradication agency and our challenge is to develop a tool or a way that in real time and on-site would identify asbestos in in structures in the soil or in the air to the degree that is required by work health and safety laws can we just next slide please i’ll just explain a little bit about the asbestos safety and eradication agency we are a national coordination body we’ve been set up to coordinate the national strategic plan for asbestos awareness and management all states and territories have signed up to the plan and we have a coordination function we also have a research function so we do research on asbestos safety and we also have an awareness function as well so we do lots of activity around the making people aware of the risk of asbestos exposure we are not a regulator but we work with many regulators um in the work health and safety space um in the environment protection space and in public health the aim of the national plan is to eliminate asbestos related diseases in australia by preventing exposure to asbestos fibres mr sevnick’s um slide please so we have a huge legacy problem um in australia when it comes to asbestos um and that’s because we will once one of the highest users per capita of asbestos in the world until the 1980s to the 1980s late 80s um it is still present in millions of australians homes and in buildings um sadly um still today over four thousand people straight australians die from asbestos-related diseases um including the um awful and deadly mesothelioma um we have aging infrastructure to deal with particularly in buildings such as schools and hospitals and this is creating end of life asbestos safety issues we also have in australia a love of a love of diy and people renovating um old houses i have the next slide please so we’re just gonna um show a short video that really sums up the situation particularly in in the residential sector in in house as well in australia so can someone play that thank you if you’re in the mood for home improvement there’s one question you need to ask before you start and by the way this question doesn’t only apply to major renovations you could simply be drilling into a wall to hang a picture was your home built or renovated before 1990 if the answer is yes your house probably contains asbestos australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world it kills about 4 000 people every year that’s more than three times the annual road toll but you can stay safe if you know where it is and what to do it lurks in more places than you think let’s start outside what is your house made of asbestos fibro houses are still very common asbestos could also be in your eaves roof and electrical box if we head to the garden do you have an old fence a shed or outbuildings moving inside it can be found in bathrooms the laundry or kitchen and under floors especially lino or tiles so what can you do to stay safe one know where it is if in doubt get the material tested or assume it is asbestos two don’t disturb or damage it if it is in good condition leave it alone three replace it if damaged if broken weathered or damaged fibers can be released risking your health and finally seek professional help to remove it it could cost less than you think like plumbing and electrical work asbestos removing all renovations that might disturb asbestos are jobs best left to the experts there’s lots of places you can go for help and advice including our website www.asbestosafety.gov.edu great oh thanks thanks for playing that now obviously we developed that video um to target homeowners and home occupiers um and we also developed similar videos for the for the workplace and for the environment because um similar but different issues um also arise in those spaces now those videos are actually on on our website so if you want to view the whole the entire suite please go there so what what is the challenge so you cannot um identify asbestos cybers by eyesight um so the current testing methods that are available um are very very slow and it involves taking a sample of the product um sending it to it to a lab and and getting it tested and that’s you need to do that to meet what the current regulatory requirements um and often that results as as alluded to in the video as well in duty holders assuming that asbestos is present and which is allowable under the work health and safety laws um but then what mean what that means is that a range of regulatory requirements are triggered when when when in fact the material may not contain any asbestos so we think we need a safe efficient and 100 accurate way to test for asbestos in real time and on site and this also in in a non-destructive way as as well can have the next sign please um so the challenge also involves testing for asbestos in the air again the current testing methods are slow highly technical and labor intensive and it can often take um up to eight hours to produce an accurate air sample and to and to get a result um and and often when they’re when there is an exposure event say that that occurs at a school or something like that the community is or when we have a natural a natural disaster event um the community is is often concerned and and wants results um straight up straight away um just next slide please um so i’ll hand over to to belinda brown um who who works for for the agency and she’ll explain explain in more detail what what our challenge actually is thanks belinda thanks christine good morning everyone belinda brown director of research here at asea next slide please well solution requirements so um obviously we have you know the problem of asbestos in our built environment so how do we overcome existing technical limitations to test for asbestos accurately and in real time so those solutions that we’re looking for should be able to accurately test the presence or absence of asbestos and meet the regulatory requirements including the work health safety requirements solutions would meet a large range of users people who manage buildings or homeowners so yes asbestos solutions for asbestos in homes in schools in hospitals in commercial buildings um asbestos products still have can enter australia so also at the border at customs next slide please so what are the some of the overall goals that we’d like yes it is about improved systems for safety and best practice improving efficiency and effectiveness of asbestos testing both in situ on site and in real time so yes faster and more efficient would make a lot easier for everyone the solutions could be brand new or they may build on existing solutions and practices or they might be a combination of both it was also possible the solutions could leverage its advantages in other sectors that also require accurate detection next slide please uh just back one slide i think thanks ah we just skipped a slide yep thanks uh yes so the potential of innovation along this vessel’s detection and management pipeline is huge um and it could be the detection space it could be in the data analytics space or any electric systems electronic systems that help store the results and the analytics or the mapping of where the asbestos is so anything that could make the job easier and faster and remove as many manual steps as possible is a desired outcome so for example for health a solution that’s going to stop physically sampling preventing drilling and into asbestos release of asbestos fibres is one option and you can see how also how you know that’s going to streamline the regulation but give people certainty as well as they’re accurately testing for asbestos next slide please so as you’ll see i’ll encourage you to have a look at our fact sheet on the brie website our fact sheet kind of outlines this range of possible technologies and solutions and you know the possible mix we could see as well from from this um challenge so digital technologies and that might include hyperspectral imaging of asbestos in materials new equipment to detect asbestos or new software to help process detection of asbestos in real time um as well as a systems to map store and keep records of asbestos next slide please so the market potential is huge because of the volume of asbestos legacy in australia it’s also been used around the world so any potential solution has a large market in australia but in many other countries around the world um and it’s particularly important in the context of end of life of asbestos products but increased urban development and diy trends as well so there’ll be a wider range of stakeholders and end users from this challenge and that includes state and territory agencies australian government agencies commercial building owners trades and private industry including asbestos professionals as well as homeowners next slide please so what can we hear at asea do to help applicants the challenge while building on what shannon described from the brie we can provide further background information um as well as an end users network where people who could potentially be interested in solutions and proofs of concept would be able to provide input as practitioners and experts and really think about the overall feasibility of delivering a solution next slide please thank you thanks justine and belinda for those presentations we’ve received a number of questions and please if you’ve got any more please place them in the q a function so we can answer them live i’ve got a few that are already here and i’ll uh put this one out to you peter bree to answer first are costs related to the ip protection eligible under this program yeah thanks justine so the uh i guess that the really good thing about the program is that any iip or patents that are created during this process will actually stay with the company which is fantastic the ip costs will be covered if it’s uh directly related to the project itself and for the duration of the project so if you’re successful for feasibility and then successful proof of concept it can be covered under eligible expenditure but no you can’t really go out and actually purchase a license for an ip for say five or ten years and then expect that to be covered all under debris eligible expenditure so just for the period of the program itself and is the ip of submissions protected absolutely yeah so once again that will stay with stay with the businesses themselves any information that does come through to bree and also to asia so the challenge agency will be kept commercial and confidence so it’s best to be able to share as much information during your application for the agencies to actually do a full assessment over it because everything being kept commercial and confidence will ensure that none of your information will be handed off to any other applicants either and if one of the applicants has an existing relationship with government for example already supplying to other government departments will there impact eligibility or chance receiving a grant positively or negatively yeah good question uh so thanks for that sebastian like we’ve had a lot of experience with uh different businesses already uh in some sort of uh working collaboration with governments uh doesn’t necessarily make the application a negative or a positive but you know through the merit criteria you can obviously put down through merit criteria three i think it is um so you know the capabilities and resources for the applicant to deliver the project it does come down to the most meritorious applications being put forward by support by the agencies which will then be assessed by our entrepreneurial program committee so obviously the more experienced knowledge and expertise that you can show within the application will be very advantageous for the applicant great uh this one’s for asio what is the minimum maximum and typical percentage of asbestos in typical materials thanks justine um look there is a whole range of percentages of asbestos in materials depending if it was a cement product a flooring product or a walling pro product so look it can it can vary between 4 and 80 depending on the product the use and the manufacturing of that but detection limits is again different to the percentage of asbestos in a product as well so there’s australian standards for what the detection limits are great thank you so much for that belinda now this is your opportunity to ask as many questions as you want of both the agency and free regarding your application so if you’d really ask a question i suggest you jump on now to be able to do that so we can answer them as thoroughly as possible i’ve got one here which i think is a common question that people are asking and i’d just like you to be able to address if you could pete is uh is there will be their available recording of this uh presentation also copies of the slide after after the webinar yes absolutely so we will actually post this up onto our brie website onto the uh business dot gov dot a u backslash b r double i um and so the the webinar will be up there it’ll actually have closed captions i will also have the q a for people to view as well and any questions that are actually answered live in the little q and a form will actually uh have a time stamp on there so people can go back they can view the the webinar you know see the slides once again and they can go through all of the questions and answers that’s great uh how how where can we get the acm material for testing sorry i’ll just unmute myself with that um belinda do you want to handle that one or do you want julian and i to deal with that question oh look if julia can that would be great yes julie are you okay yep you’re there sorry sorry yep okay so i’m assuming that means getting the acm for testing for the purposes of the challenge i’m sure we can make available access to acm through the contacts that we have in the industry so yeah i don’t see that as being a particular issue yeah and i’ll just add to that it’s actually quite a good question because you know work involving asbestos is of course prohibited as well under the work health and safety leg regulations but there is the exception for um for testing for testing and analysis research testing and analysis thank you very much for that now we don’t seem to have any more questions for the panelists uh here today or the presentations oh there’s a few more coming through thank you very much but please we if we don’t get any more questions we’ll actually end the webinar early so this is your one chance to be able to ask any questions you have directly to both free and asia so if an organization is successfully delivering a proof of concept will a potential commercial agreement with asia be negotiated directly before the standard public procurement phase thanks justine i can i can get that one so what will that normally happen through uh feasibility if you’re successful moving into the proof of concept stage you’ll end up going into uh i guess some sort of contract negotiations with asia if they feel like your solution is actually going to provide a solution to the problem itself sometimes the challenge agency will actually uh procure the the solution so whether or not that’s a buying it outright so other times they might look at doing some sort of a leasing uh procurement um or alternatively uh you can actually look at uh you know trying to on sell the the prototype or the minimum viable product into industry itself so there are times where the government agency they will directly purchase the solution other times it could be an industry-based procurement process that would be more of a negotiations and discussions uh during the proof of concept to ensure that you know all parties are happy uh moving forward um but you know the challenge agency are being asia they’ll uh obviously do everything possible to actually get a a good solution to this particular challenge thanks for that and this is a bit of a two-part question can you talk about some of the technology that’s current currently being used to detect asbestos and is there any expectation that any technology developed can deal with all types of asbestos thanks justine i’ll start with the second part of the question first uh yes all types of asbestos there are six types of asbestos um and they’re silicate minerals um and the asbestoform um version of those minerals is the one that creates the hazard now as far as second part of the question uh the technologies that have already been developed look there are a range of detection technologies um however do they meet regulatory requirements so as we talked about previously in in the presentation look if you could leverage off existing technologies to deliver a solution that meets regulation requirements that would be something um so both in the air detection space as well as the handheld analyzer space is a range of technologies i’ll also invite any of my colleagues from asea to add to that answer if they would like to uh yeah i was just going to add to that belinda yeah there are sort of a range of technologies um already already out there um there’s there’s some in the handheld space that don’t in fact meet the regulatory requirements and then there’s others that do meet the regulatory requirements but as said earlier in our presentation but just just slow i guess yeah just to that point justine when you say meeting the regulatory requirements what uh could you give us some examples um so it’s getting back to that identification of asbestos so the so the duty that a duty holder has to identify asbestos and this is in the workplace so it’s under work health and safety safety laws um so that has to be that um able to i identify by taking that that sample and going to a lab and now not accredited lab and um and that the identification by that process which is what the regulations require or if um you just then assume if you don’t go through that process you have to then assume that the material it does in fact contain asbestos and then it has to be treated like it is asbestos-containing materials great that’s actually a great point because this plays into the next question that just jumped that’s coming through and uh richard said you know while the need for detection methodologies in technologies is understandable is there any work being done or the development of new methodologies and technologies in the areas of management and disposal where the potential for contamination is the key issue and certainly greater at the times of detection uh julia do you want to answer that one or do we want to take that might take that on notice um we do know of some technologies around improving asbestos disposal thermo chemical conversion technology i think’s being trialled so you can actually remove asbestos and potentially use it again in various products so in basically making it inert but you know yeah we we haven’t particularly focused on on those types of technologies for this challenge it’s really about the detection thank you for that that was great well thank you all for attending we don’t seem to have any more questions coming through at this stage if you would like to know more information or download the fact sheets please go to business.gov dot a u slash brie where you can actually re-watch this video in a couple of days along with the transcript on the website thank you for everyone and stay safe and have a good day [Music] thanks thanks everyone

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