Predator Free 2050 Ltd announces $4.8m for new tech and new jobs

June 16, 2022 9:54 am

Thanks to funding from the Government’s Jobs for Nature Mahi mō te Taiao programme, Predator Free 2050 Limited (PF2050 Ltd) has today announced $4.8 million in funding for seven companies developing predator eradication tools and ‘best practice’ for their use, while creating and supporting jobs.

Professor Dan Tompkins, our Science Director, talks about the new products being funded.

The funding is being invested through the ‘Products to Projects’ initiative, launched in 2019 to accelerate development and commercialisation of new tools that will help groups working to achieve mainland eradication of possums, rats and mustelids at landscape scale without the use of fences.

Now, three years on, a number of new tools are already available to buy and are successfully in use, with many more only months away. PF2050 Ltd Science Director Prof Dan Tompkins said it’s crucial to be continually innovating to get New Zealand to the 2050 national eradication goals at pace.

“Products to Projects is providing options for more efficient and cost-effective ways of achieving and maintaining predator eradication. These new investments include smart self-resetting kill-traps that use A.I. to prevent non-target species from being harmed, remote reporting of both live-captures in cage-traps and bait levels in bait-stations, new ways of targeting rats and stoats, and systems to use ‘SWARM’ satellites for device communications in remote regions,” Prof Tompkins said.

“We are already seeing the positive impact of new tool development not only for Aotearoa’s biodiversity, but also commercially and socially through the support of local businesses and jobs. The new investments alone will support an estimated 26 full time equivalent employed with Jobs for Nature.”

Previous recipients of Products to Projects support, Boffa Miskell, recently released their PF2050 Ltd -funded POAUKU long-lasting ceramic predator lures onto the market. Associate Partner Helen Blackie said, “These new environmentally-friendly products are proving hugely popular. Our first production of thousands sold out in a few weeks, and now tens of thousands are being delivered.”

New recipient of support eTrapper is a start-up Internet of Things technology company. Project Lead Iain Hook said, “We wouldn’t be able to get over the hurdle from early prototype development to final product manufacture and commercial availability without the support of PF2050 Ltd.”

The newly funded developments are expected to be completed by June 2024, providing 11 tools and 3 best-practice guidelines, complementing the 15 tools already being delivered from the earlier investments, and guidance on the use of mātauranga (traditional knowledge) for predator eradication.

View more information on the successful projects.

More from News we like