Almost $5 million in funding to Predator Free 2050 will help the country’s pest-tech sector develop more innovative ways to deal with the burgeoning pest population.
Invested through the Products to Projects initiative launched in 2019, the funding is intended to promote development of technology that will remove the need for fences as part of the national pest control strategy.
Pest Free 2050 science director professor Dan Tompkins says new investments in technology include smart self-resetting kill traps employing AI to “learn” what species are target species and avoid capturing non-target animals.
Remote reporting capabilities on live and cage traps or bait stations in remote areas are also in the development pipeline.
New methods of targeting rats and stoats in particular include SWARM satellite networks.
These are low orbit satellite clusters where ultra-small satellites provide good coverage in remote areas for IoT technology rapidly developing with trap technology.
“The new investments alone will support an estimated 26 full time equivalents employed with Jobs for Nature.”Professor Dan Tompkins
Predator Free 2050
“The new investments alone will support an estimated 26 full time equivalents employed with Jobs for Nature,” Tompkins said.
Earlier recipients of funding include Boffa Miskell for a long last ceramic predator lure with an initial production run of thousands selling out in a few weeks, with tens of thousands now being delivered.
One of the newest recipients of funding is company eTrapper.
The company’s technology remotely monitors kill traps to allow users to reduce time spent checking them and gain real time data on each trap’s performance via a cloud based reporting dashboard.
Iain Hook, project lead for eTrapper, says the company would not have been able to get over the initial development hurdles without the funding.
The new funded projects are due for completion in mid-2024, to add to the portfolio of 15 existing tools already developed through earlier funding investment.