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9 September 2015 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Innovators in the spotlight

Ten Australian innovators have been shortlisted for the prestigious Maritime Australia Limited Industry Innovation Awards.

The winners will be announced at PACIFIC 2015 International Maritime Exposition in Sydney on 6 October.

Among those shortlisted are

  • A Sydney firm that has created an improved decompression system for rescued
    submariners
  • A low-cost simulator developed in Tasmania to help train merchant navy officers in the
    use of electronic charts
  • An offshore trans-shipper designed in Queensland that enables the export of bulk commodities such as grain, ore and coal without investing in massive port and seabed infrastructure, and
  • An automated welding system developed at the University of Wollongong, NSW, to help construct submarine and warship hulls faster, to a much higher level of quality, and cheaper.

Another brilliant innovation came in response to a near-tragedy in 2012 when the NSW-based inventor, a friend and their two 11-year-old sons found themselves clinging to an Esky after their boat unexpectedly sank beneath them 10km off the coast. They have created a self-deploying safety pack for leisure and work boats to help others survive similar incidents in the future.

The two winners of the National Awards for Defence and Civil Innovation will be presented with trophies, while the winners of the Defence and Civil SME Innovation Grants will receive cheques for $10,000. All 10 candidates shortlisted for the Innovation Awards will be showcased at the PACIFIC 2015 International Maritime Exposition in Sydney, the premier commercial maritime and naval defence exposition in our region.

The Chairman of Maritime Australia Limited (MAL), VADM Chris Ritchie, AO, will present the awards at PACIFIC 2015. The Innovation Awards were presented for the first time at Pacific 2013 and many of that year's entrants have gone on to further success. The winner of the 2013 National Defence Industry Innovation Award, Perth-based One Atmosphere Pty Limited, went on to win the prestigious 2014 DSTO Eureka Prize and has secured additional development funding to help bring its Pegasus helicopter buoyancy system into service with the ADF.

Similarly, Melbourne-based Tectonica Pty Limited has been chosen by US defence giant Rockwell Collins to provide the crucial power management system for its new FireStorm Integrated Targeting System. Tectonica's Bantam power and data hub, which is a core component of FireStorm, won the $10,000 Land Defence Australia Limited SME Innovation Grant in 2014.

This was presented at the Land Forces Expo in Brisbane which is organised by Land Defence Australia Limited, the sister company to Maritime Australia Limited.

"Innovation isn't just about having good ideas - it's about putting good ideas to use," says Maritime Australia Limited CEO Ian Honnery. "Australians have a special relationship with the sea, and we've shortlisted 10 companies from four States who have set out to be game-changers in the global markets they're tackling."

"They illustrate the strengths of the companies operating in these sectors here in Australia."

The specially created Maritime Innovation Awards Showcase in Hall 3 is the perfect venue to present the best of Australian innovation to a global audience of maritime professionals. It is adjacent to the Innovation Theatrette which is the venue for the pacific 2015 Innovation Pitchfest organised by the Defence Science Institute and DST Group. The Innovation Awards will be presented there by VADM Chris Ritchie AO at 4.10pm on Tuesday 6 October.

The PACIFIC 2015 International Maritime Exposition will be held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, Glebe Island from the 6 - 8 October.

 

For enquiries about the Innovation Awards contact:
Gregor Ferguson - Executive Manager Industry Development
gferguson@amda.com.au
0414 803 717

For Media enquiries contact:
Tom Bennett - Executive Manager Media
tbennett@amda.com.au
0458 068 372