Government invests in organic preservative to fight off fruit flies

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A Caloundra company that’s developed an organic preservative that will be used as a natural pesticide against fruit flies is sharing in more than $8.3 million in Palaszczuk Government innovation funding announced this month.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Cluster Biotechnology would receive more than $90,000 in Ignite Ideas funding.

“Cluster Biotechnology has developed a product that has international appeal. That’s why we’ve invested to help them scale-up their operation, potentially export overseas and ultimately create more jobs in Queensland,” Ms Jones said.

“The funding announced today is part of more than $8.3 million in Ignited Ideas grants given to Queensland companies this month.

“These companies are at an exciting point with their products and they will use the funding to ramp up market development, expand their markets and workforce.

“Through a highly competitive, independently assessed process they showed they have the innovated products, the talent and the right mindset to take their businesses to new levels and new markets, and the government is pleased to support them.  

“The Palaszczuk Government has now supported 271 Queensland businesses through $34.65 million (four rounds) of Ignite Ideas, driving more than one thousand new jobs.”   

Cluster Biotechnology chief executive officer Dr Gustavo Maia De Cerqueira said the product Apical Foodie, made of an Australian microorganism, was developed to extend the shelf life of fruit.

“Farmers in Kingaroy noticed significantly less fruit fly larvae in organic peaches grown with Apical Foodie, when applied as a pre-harvest product, which gave us the idea to investigate its use also as a natural pesticide,” Dr Cerqueira said.

“This funding will enable us to perform both laboratory and field trials of the effect of Apical Foodie on reproduction and survival of adult flies.

“Queensland fruit fly is particularly devastating because it severely hampers the ability of local farmers to sell their produce interstate.

“This trial will create four new jobs initially and we expect it to lead to 25 new jobs within three years.

“Cluster Biotechnology on the Sunshine Coast has been working at the forefront of Australian organic innovation, and the group has developed a range of innovative organic preservatives of meat, seafood and cut produce.”

Ignite Ideas is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $650 million Advance Queensland initiative.

Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones

Advance Queensland :
Queensland Government Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, Queensland Wide
13 74 68
Advance Queensland
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