Woven Optics is a South Australian startup developing tech solutions for wool farmers to improve current farming practices and overall wool quality for the Australian market.
It is currently led by Co-Founders Dr Vicky Staikopoulos and Mr Ben Pullen, Director Mr Tom Ashby and investor Mr Gary Lyons (MD of Heiniger Australia Pty Ltd).
Co-Founder and Managing Director Dr Vicky Staikopoulos said the company is working in consultation with wool producers to design technology that will be effective in assessing wool trait quality in real-time.
“We are currently in the final stages of completing our second prototype device in time for field testing and data collection,” Dr Staikopoulos said.
“This prototype includes both the required hardware and software in one unit, and will set the benchmark with which to test the feasibility of our fully independent hand-held device.”
Earlier this year, it was announced that Woven Optics received a $100,000 Seed-Start* grant from the Government of South Australia, to help accelerate the rate of business development.
“The Seed-Start funding has allowed us to hire people within SA and partner with Australian engineers to assist with our prototype development and move closer to building a marketable device that will support wool producers within Australia,” Dr Staikopoulos said.
“We aim to complete the field testing using our prototype, which will feed into the next iterations of the design and bring us closer to a final MVP that will allow us to manufacture and sell our product.
“The ag-tech sector is ripe for innovation as farmers have always worked to find new ways to improve their farming practises in response to ongoing changes and demands on the agricultural sector.
“They rely heavily on data collection to manage their farms and businesses and are open to new ways to improve on this through technology.
“With a growing demand on food and natural fibres, this will only continue to increase and will require the support of new technologies to compete on a global scale.”
*The Seed-Start Program provides early-stage high growth potential startups with grants of between $50,000 - $500,000. The Seed-Start Program is an initiative of the Government’s Research and Innovation Fund (RIF) (formerly Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund).