The Australian Technologies Competition (ATC) celebrates Australia’s best emerging technology companies. With the support of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and many industry associations, the program has to date assisted 160 companies.

Now in its seventh year, the ATC finds, mentors and develops Australia’s best technology companies with the greatest global potential. The Business Accelerator Program aims to help turn good technologies into great businesses.

In 2016, from the 150 entries, 38 companies were shortlisted and provided with opportunities that included:

  • Mentoring support with an expert business advisor assigned to each company to provide advice and connections and improve the company’s opportunities to succeed.
  • Pitch training and presentation opportunities at Technology Showcase events in Melbourne and Sydney.
  • Investor speed dating opportunities with Australia’s leading technology investors.
  • Attending the ATC Trade Mission to Hong Kong and China.
  • Profiling in industry journals and through social media.

Whilst there are separate industry awards for manufacturing, energy, agri-tech, mining, oil & gas, medtech, cyber-security and smart cities, most of the shortlisted companies are manufacturing products in Australia. Many of the companies are growing and creating highly skilled local employment opportunities. This stands in contrast to much of the IT innovation activity that, even when successful, creates few local jobs.

Five of the Federal Government’s six Industry Growth Centres are supporting their respective awards to help grow the most promising SME companies in their sector. For the Advanced Manufacturing award, however, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre has decided not to be involved. The Program is therefore fortunate to have the support of AMTIL to showcase some of the country’s most exciting manufacturing companies.

The judging panel features the country’s leading experts in commercialisation, finance, intellectual property and technology development, from companies such as Deloitte, Bird & Bird and FB Rice. With a focus on building global success stories, the judges are looking not only for the best technologies, but also for the best managers and the best business plans.

Each year, the shortlisted companies are developing a range of incredible innovations that address the big growth opportunities and challenges of the future. In 2016 the semi-finalists in the Advanced Manufacturing Award category were:

  • Advanced Fertigation Systems. A cost-effective water and nutrient management platform.
  • A system and method for digital supply chain traceability from paddock to plate.
  • Conflux Technology. An additive manufacturing solution for high-efficiency heat exchangers.
  • Gamechanger Technologies. VForce Compound Motion technology for efficient airfoils.
  • Long Pipes. Continuous joint-free, composite piping for gases and fluids.

The 2016 Advanced Manufacturing Award winner was Cortical Dynamics (, which has developed a disruptive brain function monitor, the Brain Anaesthesia Response (BAR) monitor. This device detects more effectively the effect of anaesthetic agents on brain activity and aids optimal anaesthetisation.

“This year we have again partnered with the Federal Government’s Industry Growth Centres to identify and work with technologies from the Government’s priority sectors,” explained John O’Brien, the ATC competition organiser. “Each year we are amazed as the quality of the entries steps up and provides an amazing demonstration of Australian ingenuity and the global opportunities that are available.”

Previous winners of the Advanced Manufacturing Award have included:

  • Ocius Technology. The developer of the ‘Ocius Bluebottles’, unmanned surface vessels (USVs) that have between two and five times the power, payload and performance of their competitors. (
  • Rheology Solutions. Developer of an ‘OnLine Rheometer’, which delivers real-time data to enable improved production process quality control by measuring flow curves for liquids in pipes. (
  • A listed semiconductor company bringing to market a breakthrough LED manufacturing technology called remote plasma chemical vapour deposition (RPCVD). (

First-round entries for the Australian Technologies Competition opened on 28 March. The 2017 shortlisted companies that qualify for the Business Accelerator Program will be announced in June.