Plans by a Toowoomba-based technology systems company to commercialise its liquid animal supplement dispensing units and place them in the $18.4b Australian live export industry received a boost on Monday.
DIT Technologies has received a $1.2m grant from the federal government under its Entrepreneurs Programme, which it says will fast track its plans to fund the commercialisation of uCALM Export and Nutripro dispensing units.
The project will mean 40 units will be installed in various aspects of the live cattle export supply chain - properties, handling yards and export boats - to track animal welfare and financial benefits over a six month period.
DIT will monitor the trial and complete a Commercial Proof of Concept study.
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The grant announcement follows a partnership between DIT and Australia's largest exporter Wellard and other major Australian exporters and is the first of its kind in Australia within the livestock industry.
Last month, DIT installed its first set of uCALM Export doser machines on Wellard's live export ships to Asia following a 12-month trial period.
According to the company, subsequent research showed a 20 per cent improvement in the average daily weight gain by animals on the supplement.
A spokesman said the new product, unique to DIT, had been developed to assist in reducing animal stress during handling, yarding and transportation and was made up of multiple ingredients including cobalt, copper, magnesium and manganese, the key ingredient a form of concentrated glucose.
DIT aims to sell 8820 units by 2023, supplying 10pc of Australia's cattle and sheep populations, with projected total earnings revenue of $217 million.
DIT founder Mark Peart said he was proud of the continued endorsement by the federal government and the office of Queensland MP, John McVeigh.
"To have the endorsement of both the federal government, industry and continued support by our local MP John McVeigh is a huge coup for DIT and reinforces our maturity and reputation in the livestock agricultural sector. No longer are we a small startup," he said.
"DIT continues to disrupt the agricultural industry in Australia, acquiring two of its largest competitors in the last six months and increasing our company valuation from $10 million to $30 million.
"We're focused on partnering with fellow innovators in the agricultural sector to create impact and use technology to power positive change."
Mr McVeigh said he was delighted to see a local success story and leader in the industry supported by a federal grant.
"As one who has been involved in agribusiness all of my personal, professional and political life, I am always excited by new technology and innovation such as that being introduced by DIT through this project," Dr McVeigh said. "I consider Toowoomba and the Darling Downs to be the agribusiness capital of Australia and this project is further proof of that reality."
DIT said its ability to reduce liquid dosing supplement costs from 40c to 8c per animal was what had earned its reputation, via a proportional dosing system.
It said a peristaltic pump allowed more precise and smaller dose rates of supplements to be safely administered.
It has its sights set on expansion into the US, South America and New Zealand.