Australia is in dire need of scientists to help save the Great Barrier Reef. The country is ready to offer hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund projects which would prevent the world’s largest reef system from vanishing.
Ocean temperatures have been affecting marine life everywhere in the world, pushing some species like the blue whales to extinction or feminizing large populations of green sea turtles. Thus, the Australian government announced on Tuesday that it would provide “the greatest scientific minds, industry and business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs” with a A $2.0 million budget (US $1.6 million) to save the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is often listed in the top seven natural wonders in the world, however, the Earth’s rising temperatures have been gnawing at this title for years. One of the main threats faced by the reef system is coral bleaching. In March 2016, an aerial survey revealed that the northern parts of the Great Barrier Reef have been seriously affected by climate change.
Australia’s Environment Minister, Josh Frydenburg, said that the Australian government needs “big thinking” to solve the crisis and that solutions can come from anywhere.
“Solutions could focus on anything from reducing the exposure of corals to physical stressors, to boosting coral regeneration rates by cultivating coral larvae…,” said Frydenburg.
Researchers who would like to test the technical and commercial feasibility of their proposed solutions would receive up to Aus$250 thousand in the initial stage. The government said that they would accept more than one proposal during this stage.
Those who are able to pass the initial feasibility stage will then be granted an extra Aus$1 million for them to develop and test prototypes. The testing will last for approximately one year.
Researchers whose projects prove to be successful will be able to retain intellectual property rights as well as be granted permission to commercialize their project.
Image Source: WikipediaCommons