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Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation

Innovation plays a crucial role in delivering productivity gains and improved profitability and also in protecting and enhancing the international reputation of Australian wool growers as custodians of the world’s largest population of Merino sheep.

Innovations that improve wool sheep health, welfare and productivity represent the greatest overall opportunity for on-farm R&D for the benefit of the Australian wool industry

In response to this need we have developed Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation program in order to support new innovations in the Australian Wool Industry.

Innovation is the Key

Sheep health and welfare challenges are estimated to cost the Australian sheep industry more than $2.0 billion per annum in control, prevention and production costs.

Labour use efficiency is an important contributor to farm profitability, and seasonal labour availability constraints have been shown to limit important profit drivers and can also impact on sheep health and welfare. More significantly and specifically, the wool industry suffers by comparison to other livestock enterprises due to the frequency of hands-on sheep management and harvesting activities.

Recent advances in the field of electronics and software development, especially the advent and wide uptake of mobility devices, has created new opportunities for development of labour-saving devices offering realistic potential to generate substantial labour savings for routine operations, and to simultaneously improve management skill and deliver spin-off benefits for sheep health, welfare and productivity.

The Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation provides an opportunity via an applied innovation forum, to ensure Australian wool growers are availed of practical, low cost digital tools which automate routine operations, support productivity and welfare improvements, and genetic progress.

The Program

The Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation program is run by the Entrepreneurship Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) at The University of Adelaide and has stimulated entrepreneurship in Australia since 2001.

The Tech eChallenge provides a proven teaching and learning environment that exposes participants to:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Market Research
  • Product Idea Generation
  • Prototyping

The Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation program is based around the development of prototypes of technical innovations for the Wool industry. Participants pitch their product to panels of potential investors from the local business community.

It is a program where entrepreneurial teams compete for prizes and for the prestige of being nominated the most outstanding technical innovation of the year.

The Process

This 12-week program is a hands-on, experiential course based around the successful innovation process developed by The Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC). In this program, you will be exposed to key techniques and processes that help uncover the types of technical innovations that are sought after and how to create apps to do so.

Each week you will be taken through workshops on topics ranging from entrepreneurship, market research, product idea generation and prototyping. In addition to learning from key app/software developers, other successful South Australian Entrepreneurs will be on hand to support you through your app journey.

At the conclusion of the workshops, the teams submit a product development brief and following that they pitch to a panel of judges. Successful teams are then invited to compete in the finals. The finals judging includes a second oral pitch. The judges are looking for technical innovations that have commercial viability based on the quality of the opportunity, the market, competitive advantage, and the team strengths and weaknesses.

The Tech eChallenge Wool Innovation winners will be announced in June 2017.

Who is eligible to enter?

Teams of 1-6 people:

  • Academics and students from any South Australian university
  • Researchers
  • Business professionals
  • General community


First prize $10,000

Second prize $3,000

Third prize $2,000

Total Prize Pool $15,000


Registration for 2018 Now Open

Australian Entrepreneurs' Challenge
Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation
and Innovation Centre

Level 5, Nexus 10 Building
10 Pulteney Street
The University of Adelaide


T: +61 8 8313 7131
F: +61 8 8313 7512
Enquire online now

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