(Now closed)New Products to Projects Funding Round

The Products to Projects Tranche 2 request for applications is now closed, with those received currently undergoing assessment. Details on how this progressed in the previous 2019 Products to Projects Tranche 1 funding round can be found here

First Funding Round

An alliance with the Provincial Growth Fund has enabled Predator Free 2050 Limited to fast track research, development and production of new predator control and eradication tools and technologies.

The company sought expressions of interest in funding in March 2019 and, following assessment of 62 applications , expects to disburse investment totalling $6.5m over the next three years.

The first five successful projects were announced in November 2019.

A further four projects were announced in July 2020.

The final three projects were announced in November 2020.

You can find more information on the successful projects below;

AutoDispense Lure

Boffa Miskell Limited is developing, field testing and validating a low cost, open-source, automated system for dispensing lures to rodents, mustelids and possums.

The AutoDispense Lure dispenses an egg-mayo mix at pre-determined times and is designed to last for up to a year, drastically reducing the labour costs involved in rebaiting.
The device will fit with both existing and new technologies.


Red Fern Solutions of Christchurch is developing a remote data reporting and management system to process inputs from traps and monitoring devices, and transmit data to the cloud using Bluetooth, Wifi, cellular, and satellite communications.

This ‘Flexi-comms’ system aims to be a market leader through capability to transmit images from remote cameras.

Back country camera

Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) is developing a highly sensitive back country detection camera to detect and identify possums, rats and stoats to help protect remote predator-free landscapes.

The device is based on a thermal camera, coupled with on-board Artificial Intelligence software and remote reporting functionality, to identify predators and provide real-time notification of detections.

This camera is expected to significantly reduce the costs associated with camera-based detection; from $60/ha/year to $10/ha/year.

Funding from Predator Free 2050 Limited, along with the NEXT Foundation, Department of Conservation and Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, will enable completion of the entire development cycle from prototyping and field-testing through to supply.

Norbormide formulation

The rat-selective toxicant Norbormide is being redeveloped by Auckland-based company Invasive Pest Control, University of Auckland and Boffa Miskell.

Norbormide is selectively toxic to rats and its lack of toxicity to birds and other mammals is unique, but taste aversion has previously limited its efficacy for rat control.

New chemical synthesis to limit impurities and improve bait palatability has shown promising results with Norway and ship rats.

The funding enables researchers to fast-track research and development, registration, production and supply.

Long Life Lures

Long-life lures for rodents, possums and mustelids developed by biosecurity experts at Boffa Miskell Limited aim to provide a cost-effective alternative to food-based baits that deteriorate quickly in the field.

The lure is created using a solid-state, biodegradable plastic polymer block which goes through a treatment process to make it highly attractive and longlasting. Different treatments will be developed and tested to create a lure as attractive as fresh bait which will last for months at a time, vastly reducing labour costs associated with replenishing baits.

Blocks will be manufactured and distributed from Rotorua and other regional centres.

The Spitfire

The Spitfire is a self-resetting toxin delivery device, being re-engineered by an environmental technology start-up, Envico Technologies in Tauranga.

The Spitfire can be left unattended for a year and two different housing designs allow for control of both possums and stoats. When a target animal enters the housing, sensors detect its unique characteristics, triggering a spray of liquid toxin onto its abdomen, which is later ingested during grooming. Approved, humane, species-targeted lures and toxins are used with the devices.

The Spitfire is expected to be used long-term to help stop re-invasions following initial knock-down operations and in remote areas requiring ground control tools.

The Hammerforce Self-Resetting Trap

The Hammerforce trap, being developed by Hammerforce Limited, is intended as an airpowered, self-resetting, multi-species trap. It will uitlise the same patented Hammerforce Technology® valve actuation system used in the new-to-market Airbow Framer nail gun and concrete gun.

The trap will be designed for quick, humane kills. Its compressed air system means there is no disposable canisters and it can be recharged in the field. The trigger technology will be trialled in different entrance architectures to avoid trap shyness.

Assembly and distribution is planned for Whangarei.

The AT220 Auto Rebait Reset Trap

The AT220 Auto Rebait Reset Trap was invented by NZ Autotraps, currently a two-person team in Hamilton. The trap uses a mechanical drive, rechargeable battery and auto-lure dispenser to reset a possum and rat trap 100 times so that it can be left in the field for six months.

The funding will enable design improvements, the purchase of manufacturing equipment and a move to new premises in Whakatane, with capacity for six assembly staff to meet demand.

The Remove and Protect Approach

The Remove and Protect approach, being developed by Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) aims to enable the complete removal of possums, rats and stoats from mainland New Zealand landscapes. The system includes an automated lure dispenser, innovative rat and stoat trap, electronic transmitter, LoRa-Iridium satellite box and webserver for handling data from remote trapping networks.

These tools are already being trialled in the regional projects supported by Predator Free 2050 Limited, and the funding will enable the production and supply of products to projects from early-to-mid 2020.

Autorat 2.0

Goodnature is adapting its non-toxic, automatic resetting and humane trap technology to a new product optimised for ship rats and Norway rats in urban and back country environments.

The company’s design team will explore breakthrough technical improvements, including: reducing the interaction to kill ratio; a second-generation automatic lure pump to dispense highly attractive lures for longer; second generation Chirp (IoT) technology for more accurate kill detection, geo-location and record of maintenance cycles; an improved Chirp App for viewing and sharing trapping data.

This product will take three years to develop and be available in 2023.

Blind-snap Model A trap

The Cacophony Project is developing a new type of high interaction rate trap designed for the last few, hard to catch predators that may remain in an area after a control operation.

The trap will be approachable from all directions with sensors triggering its closure. Deployed along with Cacophony’s thermal cameras, the trap will be able to recognise the animal, enabling release of non-target species.

Auto set and auto kill functions are also planned as well as integration with AI and remote communications technologies.

The product will be available from June 2021.

Web-based image recognition service

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research is working to solve the problem of managing and interpreting the large amounts of image data generated by camera traps. Manual processing of images is expensive and time consuming.

The project uses large numbers of images of target species in New Zealand landscapes to train and refine the AI analysis, utilising software previously developed in Australia.

This will create a web-based image recognition service that is linked with camera trap data management and record keeping and will be available to community groups on the Trap.NZ platform from March 2021.