AlgaEnviro owner Dr Simon Tannock is confident his product has the potential to reduce impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.
AlgaEnviro owner Dr Simon Tannock is confident his product has the potential to reduce impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. Stuart Cumming

Coast discovery tipped to save Great Barrier Reef

PROTECTING one of the world's natural wonders starts at home for Coast scientist Dr Simon Tannock as his microscopic work earns substantial recognition.

Dr Tannock's use of nanotechnology to essentially feed "helpful" algae is being heralded by the State Government as a way of reducing pollutants affecting the Great Barrier Reef.

He and wife Lily Kelly have based their company AlgaEnviro from their Nambour home for the past few years but Dr Tannock feels they are on the cusp of needing a much bigger premises.

Their product has gained attention from some large-scale operators who want AlgaEnviro to make their water healthy.

"When we get a couple of these big jobs we definitely need to get a premises to expand," Dr Tannock said.

He said he planned on staying in Nambour, a town he has fallen in love with since moving up from Brisbane about two-and-a-half years ago.

"Once we got out business to the stage where 95 per cent of our business was in the home office we said 'why are we still living in Brisbane'."

His products can be applied to lakes, ponds, dams and rivers as well as commercial operations like aquaculture farms and waste water treatment.

"We encourage the natural biology to correct itself," Dr Tannock said.

The State Government has recognised the product's potential to improve the quality of water affected by farming before it flowed out to affect the Great Barrier Reef.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said it could be used to control toxic algae blooms, a major threat to coral reefs.

"There is huge potential for this concept to help to preserve the reef and also great commercial scope to scale up AlgaEnviro's business to create sustainable jobs in Queensland," Ms Jones said.

She said the company was one of 120 the government helped showcase at the Myriad innovation forum in May.

Dr Tannock said that exposure had helped to develop more industry contacts.

"Attending Myriad has given us more exposure to the right people and we expect that the conversations to come will create new projects," Dr Tannock said.

He said there was a community of innovators from different fields on the Coast and had found local authorities like Sunshine Coast Council and Unitywater to be supportive.

"That helped lay the groundwork to really seal why we came."