Griffith has partnered with Gold Coast-based environmental company Natura Pacific to produce gardening app GroNative, which will promote the planting of local flora.
Established 10 years ago by Griffith graduate Kieran Richardt, Natura Pacific has always had strong ties with the University, with several Griffith alumni also working within the company.
Professor Catherine Pickering says the University is excited to partner with the award-winning environmental social enterprise on this new development, which will see Griffith’s high-tech teams turn Natura Pacific’s content into a free and easy-to-use app.
GroNative is likely to have massive uptake based on the popularity of gardening and the absence of any similar information in app or book form for the region
Professor Catherine Pickering
Environmental Futures Research Institute
“You can use it to work out which native trees work best in your garden, based on the size, shape and colour of the tree and the sorts of flowers and fruit it produces. The app will also let you select which local plants are bird attracting, water-wise, hardy, provide shade, or will survive in that shaded spot in the back of the garden where nothing seems to grow.”
Professor Pickering says the app will provide benefits beyond the backyard.
"By using local natives in our gardens, we can choose more water-wise plants, reduce the chances of spreading weeds and provide habitats for local birds and butterflies,” she says.
“We also get to showcase to the world, including during the Commonwealth Games, just how amazing south-east Queensland is, including its stunning plants."
Professor Pickering says initial funding for the app has come from the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland Knowledge Transfer Partnerships program.
Another Griffith graduate, Dr Rochelle Steven, will develop the content in collaboration with local botanical experts, and will be employed in part from funding from the Queensland Government as well as Natura Pacific.
Mr Richardt says the app is due to go live early 2017, and is honoured by the support of the Queensland Government and Griffith University for the project.
“It is exceptional that a small business like ours is able to collaborate on research and development projects through a broader network than we traditionally do,” he says.
“Together we are taking very valuable steps towards better connecting the research and industry sectors, which really is the future direction for Queensland and Australian jobs and economy.”