We’re inviting applications for early stage conceptual ideas to one (or all!) of the outlined challenges below. 

Applications closed Friday 16 November 2018


Would you like to put your creative problem-solving mind to the test to help the Australian red meat industry become carbon neutral by 2030 and in doing so, have the opportunity to win some amazing prizes?

We invite you to participate in this important mission to reduce the livestock industry’s carbon emissions for environmental sustainability and a greener future.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Cicada Innovations have launched three challenges designed to investigate and find innovative solutions to key problem areas identified within MLA’s Carbon Neutral by 2030 Initiative

To find solutions for these challenges, Cicada Innovations is hosting an invitational hackathon on Saturday February 2 2019. If you’ve got an early stage conceptual ideas to one or both of the outlined challenges, we’d love to invite you to apply to be selected for an invitation to this event.

At the hackathon, one winner for each challenge will be chosen and each awarded a $10,000 cash prize. Other prizes on offer include opportunities to join the Cicada Innovations agrifood tech accelerator program GrowLab, MLA co-investment and more!




Challenge 1

Methane Emission in Livestock

Delivery mechanisms for continued supply of bioactive or novel compounds into the diet of cattle, sheep and goats in order to reduce or eliminate methane emissions without compromising the productivity of the animal.


Challenge 2

New efficient methods of measuring carbon in soil:

Measuring carbon in soils at depths of at least 1.2m in an accurate, scalable, and cost-effective manner.


Challenge 3

Open innovation challenge

Submit your elegant solution that will boost the Australian red meat industry productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions!


The timeline and the key dates of the Carbon Neutral Challenge


Five ideas for each of the challenges will be selected to participate in a Challenge Hackathon in February 2019. Finalists will have access to the shared prototyping labs to enable the demonstration of their early proof of concept and solutions presented to a panel of judges from MLA, Cicada Innovations and the Livestock industry. 

Leading up to the hackathon, the ten shortlisted applications will be able to hot desk at Cicada, access Cicada’s expertise around design thinking, and use our shared prototyping lab between 30 November and 30 January 2019.



I have an early stage idea but I haven’t developed it, can I still participate? 
Absolutely! We are looking for early stage ideas. You can work on your ideas through the challenge to be able to demonstrate your proof of concept, solution or MVP (minimum viable product) at the hackathon style final on 2 February 2019 to take place here at Cicada Innovations. 

What’s in it for me? 
The winner of each challenge will receive a cash prize of $10,000 with no strings attached for any IP created through or brought into the challenge. 
As well as having an opportunity to make a profound impact on one of Australia's largest and most important industries and their mission to a greener future, there may be partnership opportunities with MLA post challenge to further develop your idea. 

What about Intellectual Property? 
The IP stays with you! Please make sure you do not disclose anything in your application, simply note how you might approach solving the problem without providing any technical information.
We can also arrange for a free consultation with IP lawyers to ensure that you don’t give away anything you don’t want to. 

Do I have to be in a team to apply? 
You can apply as an individual or team, it's up to you. If you are an individual and concerned you might not have the necessary skillset to develop your concept, do let us know and we may be able to assist.

Can you be part of several ideas across several of the challenges? 
Yes you definitely can, but make sure to manage your time and your energy.

What happens at the Hackathon Final? 
At the final on Saturday 2 February 2019, finalists will present their proof of concept, solution, MVP  to a panel of judges made up of representatives from MLA, Cicada Innovations and Industry. 

I've been selected as a finalist, what happens next? 
Finalists will be notified on 26 November and you have free access to Cicada Innovations' facilities and community to develop your concept over the next 2 months. This might not be practical if you are located outside of Sydney, interstate or overseas but the offer is there if you need it.

What advantages comes with working with a community like Cicada? 
We have a very social and collaborative community and you will be part of this community during the challenge and have access to equipment, labs, hardware space and a co-working space. You are also welcome to participate in our design thinking sessions that will be scheduled to take place during the challenge to make sure you are on track with your solutions.

What happens at the Hackathon Final? 
At the final on Saturday 2 February 2019, finalists will present their proof of concept, solution, MVP  to a panel of judges made up of representatives from MLA, Cicada Innovations and Industry. 

Any Questions?