Brainwave monitoring, a 3Dprinted heat exchanger, and innovative long, joint-free piping have been named among the best advanced manufacturing technologies for this year’s Australian Technologies Competition (ATC).

The ATC recently shortlisted 38 of Australia’s most exciting technology companies for the ATC16 Business Accelerator. These semi-finalists are industry-leading innovators with the capability to become game-changers across the sectors of advanced manufacturing, energy, food & agricultural technology, mining, medical technology, cyber-security and smart cities.

The Advanced Manufacturing category is being supported by AMTIL to help showcase some of the country’s most exciting manufacturing companies. Now in its sixth 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.

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 for not only the best technologies but also the best managers and the best business plans.

This year’s 146 entries have so far jointly spent $190m developing their technologies and have more than 600 employees. While many of the semi-finalists are already selling solutions, others are jointly seeking an additional $80m to bring all the solutions to market. The companies are developing a range of incredible innovations that address the big growth opportunities and challenges of the future.

This year’s semi-finalists in the Advanced Manufacturing Award category are as follows:

  • Advanced Fertigation Systems (WA) provides SWAN (Scheduling Water And Nutrients), a cost-effective management platform that helps to manage water resources, allocations and nutrient inputs precisely and to plan.
  • Aglive (Vic) has developed a system and method for digital supply chain traceability that has significantly enhanced tracking of red meat from the farmer to the end consumer.
  • Conflux Technology (Vic) uses metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) to produce a smaller, lighter and more efficient heat exchanger with intricate geometry and a high surface area density.
  • Cortical Dynamics (WA) has developed a disruptive brain function monitor, the Brain Anaesthesia Response (BAR) monitor, which better detects the effect of anaesthetic agents on brain activity and aids optimal anaesthetisation.
  • Gamechanger Technologies (Vic) has developed VForce Compound Motion technology for wind turbines and other airfoils, providing variable angle of deflection and extension (morphing) that other systems cannot achieve.
  • Long Pipes (WA) is the developer of the Fluid Highway, which produces continuous joint-free pipes at a rate of at 20km per day, using composite pipe technology cured onsite to provide the lightest, strongest, toughest, fastest-to-install, longest-lasting, cheapest solution for long distance transportation of gases and fluids.

“This year we have partnered with the Federal Government’s Industry Growth Centres to identify and work with technologies from the Government’s priority sectors,” says John O’Brien, the competition organiser. “The semi-finalists will have unmatched opportunities with industry, investors and partners that will help them get to market and realise their potential in Australia and globally.”

In addition to support from industry associations such as AMTIL, the 2016 program has the support the NSW Department of Industry, National Energy and Resources Australia (NERA) and, to access export opportunities, both the UK Department for International Trade and the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council.

Previous winners of the Advanced Manufacturing Award have included:

  • Ocius Technology, the 2015 winner, developed the Ocius Bluebottle unmanned surface vessel (USV), with between two and five times the power, payload and performance of its competitors.
  • Rheology Solutions, the 2014 winner, has developed an ‘OnLine Rheometer’, delivering real-time data to enable improved production process quality control by measuring flow curves for liquids in pipes.
  • BluGlass, the 2013 winner, is a listed semiconductor company bringing to market a breakthrough LED manufacturing technology called Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD).

“We are thrilled to see so many amazing companies with their eyes firmly set on global markets,” says O’Brien. “We receive incredible feedback on the value of this program and it is always a privilege to work with so many talented entrepreneurs.”

The winners of the Advanced Manufacturing award will be announced at a Gala Awards Dinner in Sydney on 2 November, which will feature international speakers and by hosted by James O’Loghlin, the host of the New Inventors ABC television program. Many of the semi-finalists will also be presenting at the ATC Showcase event alongside the All Energy Conference in Melbourne on 5 October.