Australia’s national science agency CSIRO has announced the formation of a new company that will take an Aussie innovation with immense global potential to market.
The newly established FutureFeed Pty Ltd will commercialise a livestock feed additive made from the methane-busting seaweed Asparagopsis, which has been shown to reduce methane emissions in beef and dairy cattle by more than 80% in research trials in Australia and the USA.
The company, which expects to deliver commercial volumes of the feed additive to the Australian beef and dairy market by mid-2021, will be bankrolled by five investors including the AGP Sustainable Real Assets-Sparklabs Cultiv8 Joint Venture, GrainCorp, Harvest Road, Woolworths and CSIRO.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews described CSIRO’s announcement as ‘a game-changer’ for livestock production, with the potential to create an entirely new industry.
“This is an example of what can be achieved when industry and researchers work together to solve real-world problems,” the Minister said.
“It also highlights the ongoing jobs and economic opportunities that can come from ensuring our world-leading research is commercialised.”
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said FutureFeed will develop ‘a full value chain’ for the livestock feed supplement, from seaweed cultivation and production through to processing and feed manufacture in order to supply beef and dairy industries globally.
“FutureFeed enables agriculture and the environment to be partners not competitors, helps overcome negative perceptions of the cattle industry, and gives Australian farmers an advantage in the global marketplace as first adopters of this Aussie innovation,” Dr Marshall said.
“FutureFeed is addressing some of the greatest challenges we face, including food security, sustainable production and climate change, by turning science into a real product in the hands of business so they can turn it into jobs and economic growth.”
“By earning equity in FutureFeed, CSIRO can continue to invest in great science for the future of industry.”
According to CSIRO’s estimates, the adoption of this feed additive by about 10% of beef feedlots and global dairy industries could reduce livestock industry greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 120 megatonnes per year, equivalent to taking around 50 million cars off the road for a year.