The major aim of the Applied Research Program is to address Western Australian challenges and opportunities of immediate concern to the community.
Shark Hazard Mitigation
The State Government has awarded a total of almost $1.9 million to fund eight applied research projects focused on keeping beachgoers safe from shark attacks.
Second round: successful research projects
A Western Australian company and two Western Australian universities have been awarded $967,161 in the second round of applied research funding. For more information view the media statement.
These new projects will complement research undertaken under Round 1 of the Applied Research Program.
The State Government is funding four projects under Round 2 of the program:
Two projects are being led by The University of Western Australia (UWA):
Mr Shane Chambers from UWA's School of Physics was awarded $252,417 over two years to develop an acoustic system to detect sharks as they approach beaches
Professor Shaun Collin from UWA's Ocean Institute was awarded $284,620 over two years to lead a project to define the actual visual, electrical and vibrational (sensory) cues that trigger shark attacks. Information collected on what causes shark attacks will assist in the design of shark deterrents.
Dr Christine Erbe from the Centre for Marine Science and Technology at Curtin University, was awarded $130,124 over three years to develop systems that mask noises of beachgoers (including swimmers and surfers) that attract sharks.
Western Australian company Shark Shield Pty Ltd was awarded $300,000 over two years to develop new surfboard fins with an inbuilt electronic shark deterrent. It is intended that this will lead to the development of a deterrent device that can be retrofitted to all modern surfboards.
First round: successful research projects
The State Government is funding four projects under Round 1 of the program:
Two projects are being led by Professor Shaun Collin from UWA's Oceans Institute.
The first project was awarded $220,573 over two years to independently test and improve existing shark deterrents, including the widely known product, Shark ShieldTM.
The second project was awarded $222,221 over two years to develop and test novel deterrents such as bubble curtains, underwater sounds and strobe lights.
Dr Miles Parsons from the Centre for Marine Science and Technology at Curtin University was awarded $273,468 over three years to research sonar imaging and detection of sharks.
Professor Mohammed Bennamoun from UWA is a world expert in computer vision, image processing and artificial intelligence who was awarded $203,234 over two years to develop computer algorithms to improve visual shark detection.
Round 1 was announced in December 2012. For more information view the media statement.