Business Connect Newsletter

July 2014

This newsletter provides business news and events on the programs and activities of the Innovation, Trade and Investment branch, part of the ACT Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.

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Canberra stand at the CommunicAsia conference in Singapore

Singapore connections strengthened

In June, Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr led the ACT Government’s biggest ever overseas-bound delegation to Singapore, promoting Canberra’s trade, investment and tourism credentials as well as the education, ICT, creative, food, wine and sport sectors.

Participants on the trade mission included, Link Digital, SchoolPro, Quintessence Labs, E-Way, Contentgroup, Wild Bear Entertainment, OnTheGo Sports and 2014 Telstra ACT Business of the Year, Intelledox.

Other participants included prominent Canberra organisations such as ActewAGL, the National Gallery of Australia, University of Canberra, the Australian National University, Canberra Airport, the Canberra Business Council, NICTA, CollabIT, the National Zoo and Aquarium, the University of Canberra Brumbies, the AIS, ACTSport and the Accor and Rex Hotel groups.

Trade missions are component strategies of the ACT Government’s Global Connect program. The mission to Singapore had multiple objectives, from continuing to advocate for direct international flights to Canberra, to presenting investment opportunities around transformational projects such as City to the Lake External Link - opens in new window and Capital Metro External Link - opens in new window, deepening tourism connections and leveraging the business of sport.

The trade mission also showcased Canberra’s ICT capabilities with a number of participating companies taking part in CommunicAsia, Asia’s largest ICT exhibition. In the context of CommunicAsia, Intelledox announced a new deal that would see the company partner with business giant Fuji Xerox. The deal means that Fuji Xerox will become an authorised reseller of Intelledox’s Infiniti software in the Asia-Pacific market. Read more in Canberra software company Intelledox to partner with Fuji Xerox External Link - opens in new window.

Canberra business OnTheGo Sports also had success on the mission, signing an exclusive deal to supply customised fitness apparel to international fitness chain, Anytime Fitness, for its Asian operations. The deal means OnTheGo will expand on its partnership with Anytime in Australia by supplying more than 30 individual products to gyms across Singapore, China, India, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines. Read more in Canberra fitness startup signs new Asian deal External Link - opens in new window.

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Accelerator program announces 2014 participants

Five Canberra-based businesses have been accepted into the inaugural 2014 GRIFFIN Accelerator program. Launched by the Chief Minister Katy Gallagher in March, around 40 project teams applied to participate in the program from Canberra, across Australia and overseas Focussing on ‘Servicing Government’ the accelerator program received applicants with solutions in the Government Software, Government Services, Education and Health space.

Nick McNaughton, spokesperson for the Accelerator said “We are delighted with the interest in GRIFFIN. It has been a very difficult task for the organisers and mentors to select the participants for this program. We were impressed by the diversity of ideas and innovations submitted for consideration”.

A group of Canberra mentors evaluated the applications and selected the following five start-ups to go through the initial three month program.

  • Made for Me – World’s easiest 3D printing marketplace.
  • Quizling – Mobile platform for creating, delivering, managing and monitoring educational quizzes in the classroom.
  • Symberra – A scenario modelling platform to exploit an organisations big data and inform decisions.
  • Enabled Employment – A recruitment site connecting people with special needs with employment opportunities.
  • Snapknock – Mobile enabled marketplace.

Made for Me, Quizling and Enabled Employment have also been recognised for their innovative products, previously receiving support through the ACT Government’s Innovation Connect grant program.

James Antifaev, one of the founders of Made for Me said “the Made for Me team is extremely excited to participate in GRIFFIN’s inaugural program”.

“The opportunity to be mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs in the supercharged start-up environment that GRIFFIN is creating is exactly what we need to take our venture to the next level as we launch our 3D printing marketplace. By creating a critical mass of start-up related activity in Canberra, GRIFFIN will not only benefit us, but also the broader entrepreneurial community”.

Jessica May from Enabled Employment said “we are very excited to be chosen to take part in the 2014 GRIFFIN Accelerator Program and will benefit from the assistance and advice of the mentors to help close government departments as our customers. This will lead to more opportunities for people with a disability to secure meaningful employment”.

The program is driven by a group of mentors who provide the capital to invest up to $50,000 in each startup. The mentors provide advice, targeted education, networking and more to enable the start-ups to succeed. A demo day will be held at the end of September where the five companies will present to investors hoping to secure additional capital to continue their journey.

The GRIFFIN Accelerator program is being run with the assistance from the ACT Government under the Strategic Opportunities Funding Program. The program has broad support from a wide variety of organisations including ANU Connect Ventures, ATP Innovations, The Australian National University, Australian Capital Ventures Limited, Capital Angels, CollabIT, CSIRO, eGov Cluster, Entry 29, Lighthouse, NICTA and the University of Canberra.

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Small business making waves across the ocean

eValua are a locally based company regarded highly in their provision of ideas, expertise, services and tools to assist business endeavours.

Their ability to achieve significant savings for clients through the application of innovative products and solutions saw them crowned with the Small Business Award at the 2013 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards.

Since then the company has expanded significantly and their efforts this year have been directed in New Zealand. In May this year their online tendering service, NZ eTenderBox™, went live and has already reaped dividends.

eValua Chairman and Executive Director Hugh Howell says that being based in Canberra has opened up business opportunities.

“As a small business, working amongst large public service bodies we have certainly learnt some lessons along the way,” Howell said.

“Canberra provides the right environment for ICT service companies like us and our staff can continue to improve their skills through ongoing studies at top class Universities.”

Mr Howell encouraged other small and emerging businesses to participate in the 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards.

The annual awards acknowledge the innovation, hard work and success of businesses, large and small, in reaching new markets through exporting their products or services.

Entries for the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards close 22 August 2014.

Find out more about the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards.

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ANU's Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre 

ANU's Mount Stromlo space facility opened

The ANU last week launched their Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre (AITC) located at Mount Stromlo.

The AITC provides design, manufacturing and testing capabilities for precision instruments and is the only facility in Australia that allows for the engineering of equipment right from the design stage through to being launch-pad ready. The AITC also provides opportunities for student participation in technical projects at the ANU’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA).

RSAA Director Professor Matthew Colless said the AITC will provide a hub for Australia’s space industry. The space sector generates up to $1.6 billion in revenue every year and employs over 4,000 scientists, engineers, policy makers and support personnel.

“Australia has many small to medium enterprises in the space industry. We want to enable them to get together to take on larger projects” he said.

During the opening, it was announced that ANU had signed two major contracts totalling over $11 million for projects at the AITC. The first is a $5 million design contract for one of the first instruments to be installed on the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), the GMT Integral Field Spectrometer.

Professor Colless said the instrument will significantly advance the science.

“This is going to be a fantastic facility that will take full advantage of the giant mirror and give us images that are ten times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope.”

The second contract is a $6.4 million project to develop a space junk tracking system for the Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute. Researchers at ANU are providing technological support for industry partner EOS to build an adaptive optics system for a ground-based telescope system.

Professor Colless said the contracts will lead on to more work for the AITC.

“We expect a $20 million or thereabouts construction contract will follow on from the design contract,” he said.

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Intelledox staff receiving the 2014 ACT Telstra ACT Business of the Year award

Software innovator named Telstra ACT Business of the Year

Locally-based software company Intelledox was recently named Business of the Year at the 2014 Telstra ACT Business Awards.

Intelledox, who recently participated in the ACT Government’s trade mission to Singapore, was founded in 1992 by ANU science graduates Phillip Williamson and Michelle Melbourne.

Since that time Intelledox has attracted more than one million worldwide users to its flagship product, Infiniti, with the company now competing with some of the biggest names in IT.

The business has experienced rapid international expansion from its small base in Fyshwick, with staff now based in offices in Singapore, Toronto and recently opened offices in New York and London.

Intelledox’s win at the 2014 ACT Telstra Business Awards comes just weeks after they announced a new partnership with business giant Fuji Xerox External Link - opens in new window.

Continuing the digital innovation trend at the awards, digital security contractor, Cogito Group, was named winner of the Start-Up category - recognised for its digital inscription technology that protects key public infrastructure from hackers and cyber attacks.

Other winners at the 2014 ACT Telstra Business Awards were Phillip-based micro business, Solace Creations, which specialises in energy efficient windows and doors, and father and son small business, Today’s Homes, which provides custom design and construction services for residential home-builders.

Winners of the ACT awards progress to the Telstra Australian Business Awards, which will be announced in Melbourne on 7 August.

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Airbus Group arrives in Canberra

Leading local defence manufacturer Australian Aerospace Limited has been rebranded as Airbus Group Australia Pacific, marking the occasion with the formal opening of a new headquarters complex in Canberra.

The new offices were officially opened on 16 July 2014 by the Federal Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston.  Its location at Brindabella Park positions Airbus Group Australia Pacific close to Australia’s Defence community.

The move to rebrand Australian Aerospace Limited means that the new Airbus Group Australia Pacific will be home to, and represent, three distinct brands in the Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific region: Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space.

Commenting on the start of a new era for Australia’s defence and aerospace industries, former Australian Aerospace Limited Chief Executive Officer and inaugural Airbus Group Australia Pacific Managing Director, Dr. Jens Goennemann said “across the world, the move to Airbus Group strengthens our position in the market.”

“Airbus is a strong brand name and we now have a unified corporate name in commercial aircraft, helicopters, defence and space – that also represents the three divisions of the Airbus Group – trading on Airbus’ brand recognition of quality, innovation and reliability.

“Airbus Group Australia Pacific seeks to grow the business within the region where we have identified a range of opportunities to expand our portfolio of products” Dr Goennemann continued.

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2014 ACT NAIDOC Business of the Year named

Canberra business, Darkies Design has been named 2014 ACT NAIDOC Business of the Year Award at the NAIDOC ball on 5 July 2014.

The ACT NAIDOC Business of the Year awards aim to recognise the range of great Indigenous owned and operated businesses in the ACT.

The awards are open to any business that is at least 50 percent Indigenous owned, is registered and operating as a business in the ACT.

This year’s winning business, Darkies Design, was established in 2010 by Dion Devow who is of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.

The business produces a range of creative designs for apparel and has also branched out into designing and sourcing promotional materials for organisations and government departments for events such as NAIDOC, Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day and Mabo Day. Darkies Design also produces printed products and is working with marketing and procurement areas in all sectors to produce magazines, books, brochures, reports, stationery, posters and more.

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Canberra BusinessPoint recognising local businesses

Canberra BusinessPoint, the ACT Government's business mentoring and advisory service, has launched its 2014 annual awards program.

The Canberra BusinessPoint Awards showcase the range and depth of successful businesses operating in the Canberra region. They include six award categories: Web and Mobile; Clean and Green; Bricks and Mortar; Creative and Design; Micro-enterprise; and High Growth. One winner from these categories will also be named the Canberra BusinessPoint Business of the Year.

Applications are now open for the 2014 Canberra BusinessPoint Awards. Entries close 29 August 2014.

Winners of the awards will be announced at the Award Ceremony on 25 September 2014.

Find out more about the 2014 Canberra BusinessPoint Awards External Link - opens in new window.

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Local technology and ICT innovators acknowledged

Some of Canberra’s most cutting edge technology and ICT innovators have been acknowledged for their work at the recently held ACT iAwards.

The annual awards aim to discover, recognise and reward the ICT innovations that have the potential to, or are already having a positive impact on the community – at home, in the office and on a global scale. The iAwards also recognises the achievements made and value added by ICT professionals, CIOs and innovators.

The ACT iAwards, held on 17 June 2014, acknowledged the innovative solutions being delivered by the following companies and individuals:

  • Category: Community
    Winner: MyABDR
    Company: National Blood Authority
  • Category: Consumer
    Winner: mHITs Remit
    Company: mHITs Limited
  • Category: Financial
    Winner: mHITs Remit
    Company: mHITs Limited
  • Category: Government
    Winner: MyABDR
    Company: National Blood Authority
  • Category: Health
    Winner: MyABDR
    Company: National Blood Authority
  • Category: New Product
    Winner: ArmorVox10
    Company: Auraya Systems Pty Ltd
  • Category: Research & Development
    Winner: InsectScan
    Company: CSIRO
  • Category: 2014 ACT Pearcey Award
    Winner: John De Margheriti

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Screen shot of the Canberra. Create your future website Work portal

Are skills shortages affecting your business?

Employing workers from overseas can give your business a real advantage by introducing new ideas and technologies through different skill sets,  alleviating skill shortages and boosting economic output.

The ACT Government’s Canberra. Create your future program has recently introduced a new portal featuring dedicated information for ACT employers who are experiencing skill shortages that cannot be met by the local labour market and are interested in this employment option.

The information can help your business to decide if employing overseas talent is the right option, the visa pathways you can take and how you can help to settle and retain your overseas workers.

To find out more visit the Canberra. Create your future website.