Whitsunday Moorings and Marine Construction
ASIS is a robotic scanner that encircles commercial marine pylons and tracks up and down the vast cylindrical structures to provide a digital assessment of their condition.
The cost of shutting down and fixing a huge pylon in a commercial setting can cost more than $20 million when you take into account lost revenue plus repair costs.
With ASIS, we can assess and repair defects much sooner. Replacing a diver with ASIS also removes safety issues for divers and enables owners and operators to make more informed decisions about the structural integrity of assets.
ECRi Hub support
WMMC worked through the first stage of the program with mentoring from GHD and access to technical specialists in materials technology, condition assessment and marine infrastructure. This enabled them to target market weaknesses.
Stage two’s tailored, one-on-one partnering program guided WMMC through the commercialisation process, including understanding the value proposition, developing a business model, business planning and investment attraction.
The Business Mentoring for Innovation Program provided know-how and networks to verify many of the underlying assumptions made over the development phase. The program was invaluable in creating a strong and verified knowledge foundation that converted into real world opportunities.
The company predicts an increase in employment from five to 100 people in the next three years. As the product enters the international marketplace, WMMC is commited to keeping it local.
WMMC will continue to work with ECRi Hub, GHD and port customers to deliver pilot trials and further develop the technology. ECRi Hub is also helping connect WMMC to the investor community and has already introduced it to an international engineering service organisation, resulting in ongoing licensing negotiations.
"For the well-armed entrepreneur, the Business Mentoring for Innovation Program is an undeniable crucible of learning."
Darren Foster, Managing Director, Whitsunday Moorings and Marine Construction.
Architectural Metalworks Australia
AMA's innovative balustrade reduces the speed of installation by 60 to 70%. It also improves safety for the end user by using a stronger laminated glass and a custom-fixing mechanism.
General Manager, Sam Bevis, invented the modular balustrade, stating that it's 'the only product on the market that solves significant risk, safety and time issues for builders, developers, architects, designers and, ultimately, the end user'.
Conventional balustrading is costly to install and at high-risk of shattering during installation and when insitu. Existing commercial products require maintenance, installation of a costly handrail and they lack the aesthetic appeal of a sleek product.
AMA's new modular balustrade product is a natural extension to its existing business. This is an innovative product with a distinct competitive advantage. However, it faces several challenges. To meet these challenges, it needs structured feedback on its commercialisation; a deeper understanding of how to take the product to the market; a review of past business activities; and a solid business pathway for the future.
In Stage One of the Business Mentoring for Innovation Program, ECRi Hub and GHD addressed these challenges by identifying opportunities to progress the innovation along a six-stage commercialisation pathway. Critically, AMA was able to access GHD's technical expertise and deep understanding of target markets. This was significant as most early-stage innovators do not have this opportunity.
‘The major benefit of Stage One of the program,' explains Sam Bevis, ‘was the specialist knowledge and market insights provided by GHD. This helped us realise where our product was placed in the market.'
In partnership with GHD, the ECRi Hub will continue to support AMA to develop a robust business model for expansion, identify project opportunities, and introduce AMA to a broad range of industry networks.
ECRi Hub support
AMA participated in business analysis and fact-finding workshops, research and market analysis, and market strategy development. It also identified anticipated outcomes and opportunities in the local and international markets. Stage Two of the program will be completed in late 2017 and will provide tailored, one-to-one mentoring focused on entering into prestige residential and commercial property markets.
With the continued assistance of ECRi Hub, AMA anticipates its new modular balustrade will lead to the expansion of its business from a local to a national supplier. This growth will require an additional 10 employees in 2018 creating another 300 indirect jobs in the supply chain.
"By participating in the ECRi Hub Mentoring program, we were challenged to think about the future of our business and not just our product."
Sam Bevis, General Manager, Architectural Metalworks Australia.
Q-Cool Pty Ltd was founded to commercialise its patented Thermosphere technology initially in Australia and thereafter in Asia and North America. The patented technology integrates air conditioning, purification, filtration and ventilation into a smart system that delivers substantial energy savings as well as producing superior indoor air quality. The innovation will revolutionise the way buildings are designed by reducing ceiling space requirements, and eliminating unsightly and inefficient external or roof-mounted units.
Greg Beaver, General Manager of Q-Cool says: "In a highly competitive marketplace, the challenge was to enter a new product that challenges traditional climate technology."
The solution ThermoSphere is a highly-patented platform technology which meets this challenge on many levels.
Based on market feedback Q-Cool developed the Thermosphere product. In addition to technical and market understanding, the company needed to connect and collaborate with decision-makers in the industry.
ECRi Hub support
Q-Cool worked through Stage One of the mentoring program with a broad range of technical specialists from GHD to identify the significant market opportunity for the technology.
Greg Beaver says ‘The scrutiny from GHD's in-house HVAC specialist was brilliant. From the outset, GHD challenged the technology and now appreciates its uniqueness.'
Stage Two of the program involves Q-Cool developing the value proposition of its product with GHD and a target customer. GHD will carry out desktop assessment of ThermoSphere for a sample project to determine how it performs compared to traditional technology. When coupled with field trials, Q-Cool will be able to obtain evidence to support the value proposition of the technology.
By participating in the program, Q-Cool confirmed it is on the correct strategic and commercialisation pathway.
The company currently employs four people and predicts this will increase to 20 in the next five years, and will create more than 200 new jobs in the supply chain over the same period.
Greg Beaver says: ‘By participating in the program we are now equipped to take on the world.'
The ECRi Hub will continue to support the innovation through engagement with target customers and supporting Q-Cool to design and deliver full-scale demonstration projects.
"Market insight and product validation from a major stakeholder in the value continuum, and
validation of our business go-to market priorities and strategies were invaluable."
Greg Beaver, General Manager, Q-Cool.
StringAir Vision CASSI
StringAir Vision has developed CASSI, a combined camera and work light with external monitoring for use in confined spaces. The product will raise the bar in safety by allowing personnel working within one or more confined spaces to be visually monitored at all times from a single monitor. This not only can reduce the number of support personnel required outside the confined space (who may experience focus fatigue), it also exceeds legislative requirements. ‘You can see for real what is going on inside,' explains Liz Stringer, co-owner of StringAir Vision.
Co-owners Rob and Liz Stringer, who both have industry and workplace health and safety backgrounds, identified the need for better, realtime safety monitoring. They used their industry connections to test the product in their existing business, Highpoint Access and Rescue. This blossomed into instant demand for CASSI in their local networks. However, to take the product further, the Stringers needed assistance in understanding the broader market and how to develop the supply chain.
Being new to product development, they approached ECRi Hub to help them make sense of the commercialisation process and to access valuable engineering industry perspective on the value of CASSI.
ECRi Hub support
Stage One of the mentoring program provided analysis of the product, evaluation of the technology, and a list of potential industry markets not previously considered by the Stringers. ‘Our business planning was always out of step,' explains Liz Stringer. ‘We would jump ahead without realising we had missed crucial steps. GHD has given us a clear path.'
Stage Two of the program is about commercialising CASSI and putting effort into marketing and sales of the basic and more advanced models under development. GHD is working with StringAir Vision to identify the best approach to commercialising its technology. This involves developing a business model that aligns with StringAir Vision's core business.
‘One of the key elements of this process is developing the most appropriate business model as this underpins all aspects of commercialisation,' explains Rob Stringer.
ECRi Hub has also identified another technology within its network that may enhance the capability of CASSI. By providing StringAir Vision with opportunities for collaboration, ECRi Hub can potentially fast track CASSI's product enhancement cycle.
StringAir Vision plans to employ two staff to support CASSI's commercialisation in early 2018. Over the next five years, the Stringers hope to create 50 additional local jobs as they market CASSI via their existing customer base and by licensing the product.
StringAir Vision will continue to work with ECRi Hub, GHD and its customers to further demonstrate the technology. ECRi Hub is also assisting StringAir Vision to develop its industry networks.
"The program gave us a clear path, we knew what our industry needed, how to do it, but had no experience manufacturing or commercialising the product."
Liz Striner, Owner, StringAir Vision.
Round 1 successful participants
- Q-Cool Pty Ltd, for Thermosphere, a revolutionary re-engineered air conditioning solution
- Strusol Pty Ltd, for a cost saving building system utilising pre-cast concrete construction
- George's Loader Hire Pty Ltd, for an electronically controlled height detection system for heavy machinery
- kkooee.com, for a global crowd sourcing marketplace for engineering services
StringAir Vision Pty Ltd, for an invention to improve safety during confined space rescues.
- WMMC Pty Ltd, for a robotic scanner for marine infrastructure.
- Architectural Metalworks Australia (AMA), for StructGlass, a frameless modular balustrade system that is safer and faster to install.
- CadTech Australia Pty Ltd, for a new drawing document management platform.