Piper Prize

Funding innovative ideas to benefit grain growers

The Council of Grain Grower Organisations (COGGO) has  committed up to $150,000 every two years to encourage the development and commercialisation of innovative ideas that will benefit Western Australia’s grain industry.

Australia has a proud history of innovation, and the agricultural sector in Western Australia is again setting out to embracing new and innovative ideas and practices to maintain its place as one of the leading providers of wheat and other grains internationally according to COGGO Chairman Chris Wilkins

“West Australian grain growers have had to deal with dramatic changes in climate over the past 50 years to maintain and increase our crop outputs while having to also reduce expenditure per tonne and that has required innovation, flexibility and a willingness to accept change,” Mr Wilkins said.

“Without continued and increased innovation, our global grains industry will struggle to compete against aggressive and often subsidised competition.” he said.

The Piper Award aims to identify and assist the commercialisation of innovative ideas which can benefit Western Australian Grain Growers.

The award will promote and reward agribusiness innovators and entrepreneurs whose ideas have potential to improve performance and accelerate growth within the WA grains industry.

Applicants are invited to submit ideas for consideration for a $25,000 Piper Award which can be spent on developing their innovation. Up to three Piper Awards are available every second year,

After the first year, those who have secured a Piper Award are invited to apply for the biennial Piper Prize, which offers $75,000 to help commercialise the idea.

The Piper Awards and Piper Prize are named in honour of COGGO’s past Chairman, former Bindi Bindi cereals farmer Bruce Piper who led COGGO for 16 years.

Funding for the Piper Award and Piper Prize is made available by COGGO’s members whose voluntary contributions are received by COGGO through grain marketing companies who deduct 0.5% from grain sales nominated by the members.

Since 2000, COGGO has directed over $8 million in research and development funds towards the WA grains industry through sponsoring university, government and grower group organisational research relevant to the State-wide or regional grains industry.




Piper Award and Piper Prize Background

A panel will review all applications received and three finalists could be selected who would each receive a “Piper Award for Innovation in the Grains Industry” to the value of $25,000 to further prove up their ideas over the following twelve months.

At the end of the first year the finalists submit their results to an assessment panel which will recommend the winner of the “Piper Prize for Grains Innovation”. The winner of this prize would receive an additional $75,000 to assist in the further development and commercialisation of the product or service.

The Piper Award focuses on developing an idea to a stage where commercialisation is an option.

The Piper Prize bridges the gap between research and commercial reality and the $75,000 prize can be spent on anything the applicant believes will bring their idea to life or help advance their innovation.

The Piper Award promotes and rewards agribusiness innovators and entrepreneurs whose ideas have potential to improve performance and accelerate growth of the Western Australian Grains Industry.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents and may be an individual, partnership or a company with a registered Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN).
2. The applicant must be able to demonstrate ownership or beneficial use of any intellectual property required for the project.

Selection Criteria

The following selection criteria are designed to align, as much as possible, with the selection criteria used in the Federal Government’s Accelerating Commercialisation Program.

This will assist in identifying scalable start-ups which may progress to be eligible to enter this Program. The Piper Award and Piper Prize may not provide sufficient support to enable full commercialisation and it is important to articulate with other programs such as the Accelerating Commercialisation Program which may be able to provide further development assistance.

Five Key Criteria

Benefits - If this product or service is fully commercialised what will be the improvement in individual business performance for those who adopt the innovation? What will be the overall benefit to the WA grain industry?

Value proposition - What is the value proposition. Why would the intended customer want to adopt the technology / innovation? Why would they spend money to buy the service, product or process?

Market Opportunity - Is the market for the innovation clearly defined? Is the size of the target market clearly articulated? Is an indication of the likely route to market provided? Are barriers to adoption addressed? Are there any significant regulatory or market factors that would need to be overcome?

Project plan -  A sound project plan of activities for the next 12 months with significant milestones identified is required. E.g. clear set of objectives, clearly defined methodology, path to market described, a sound IP strategy, sound manufacturing strategy (where applicable) a sound financial plan

Management Capability The applicant must demonstrate an appropriate level of expertise in, or access to expertise in: commercialisation management, business management, the relevant technology and the grains industry.