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2015 SME Engagement Centre brochure


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2015 SME Engagement Centre brochure

  1. 1. SME ENGAGEMENT CENTRE Connecting researchers and Australian business for a more competitive and prosperous SME sector
  2. 2. Thank you TO THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH PROVIDERS FOR COLLABORATING WITH US IN 2014 • University of South Australia • University of Tasmania • The University of Western Australia • Swinburne University • Edith Cowan University • Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research • Telethon Institute of Child Health Research Research Connections CSIRO’s SME Engagement Centre helps connect small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to research through the Australian Government’s Research Connections program, while providing guidance on grant opportunities. Research Connections is an Australian Government initiative that offers eligible SMEs an opportunity to improve their competitiveness by building relationships with research organisations in Australia. Its focus is on helping businesses to collaborate with the research sector to develop new ideas with commercial potential and to identify any knowledge gaps that are preventing business growth.
  3. 3. We live in an increasingly competitive world WHERE GLOBAL DYNAMIC MARKETS ARE CONSTANTLY SHIFTING For Australian companies to continue to survive and grow, they must adapt their business and take advantage of new knowledge and technology. Through collaboration with the research sector, companies and experts can share ideas, develop new capabilities and deliver products that would not be possible in isolation. Collaboration can help companies meet the challenge of global competition. However, successful research collaborations are not simple or easy to achieve. It takes an accurate understanding of a company’s needs and the ability to identify and draw from the right expertise. This is where SME Engagement adds value. We have worked with growing Australian SMEs to establish over 145 collaborative research projects to directly benefit those companies. We have helped businesses operating in a wide range of industries – from food and healthcare to mining and manufacturing – access technical expertise from across the nation to grow their business. We’re excited to share with you a snapshot of our SME projects from 2014, covering the diverse challenges they have met and the exciting opportunities they have been able to realise. Each project was undertaken through an Australian Government Department of Industry grant program. These forward-thinking Australian SMEs demonstrate the opportunities available in making industry-research connections work. MICHAEL EGAN, DIRECTOR CSIRO SME ENGAGEMENT CENTRE
  4. 4. Specialised Industrial Products PLUNGING INTO NEW MARKETS Tasmanian SME Specialised Industrial Products (SIP) supplies a range of niche products to industry, some of which they manufacture in-house. SIP collaborated with CSIRO to investigate new applications for their products and materials. They identified an opportunity to make significant improvements to traditional mooring systems, which the oil, gas and fisheries industries rely on to hold equipment in place off the coast. Together they developed a new mooring system that uses an advanced rubber bungee to overcome the major limitations of traditional systems. The bungee allows it to stretch with the dynamics of the water to avoid snapping. It’s estimated to have twice the working life of traditional moorings for about the same initial cost. SIP is working with an Australian manufacturer to bring it to market in 2015. The product will give SIP a huge advantage in the Australian and international market. “Through working with SME Engagement, we gained insight into new potential applications for our products and materials that were outside our typical market segments. By doing this, we hope to strengthen our sales, potential growth, employment base and long-term viability in an environment where the traditional manufacturing customer base is shrinking.” IAN HOLTHOUSE, MANAGING DIRECTOR SPECIALISED INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS MARINE MANUFACTURING TASMANIA
  5. 5. Admedus PATCHING UP PATIENTS AROUND THE WORLD Australian medical technology company Admedus has developed a revolutionary, life-saving heart patch for the repair and reconstruction of cardiovascular defects. Research undertaken with CSIRO investigated new, potentially ground-breaking applications for the product known as CardioCel. The research specifically focused on using stem cells. It found that the heart patch has the potential to deliver stem cells and help tissue heal better than other existing products, when used for cardiac repair. On the basis of these promising results, Admedus is continuing to explore stem cells and the possibility of using the product in reconstruction, to speed-up recovery and for patients with different defects. Admedus anticipates growing its annual production capacity to 100,000 by 2017. This SME has since opened a new $8 million manufacturing facility in Western Australia and begun exporting CardioCel to the global market. “After listening to our business needs, SME Engagement connected us to the right expertise, streamlining the process and setting up the project.” DAVID RHODES, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER ADMEDUS MEDICALTECHNOLOGY WESTERNAUSTRALIA
  6. 6. Northern Project Contracting BRINGING SOCIAL VALUE TO THE TABLE Queensland’s Northern Project Contracting (NPC) has historically been a service provider to the mining and civil construction industry in remote Australia. Their services include providing labour and equipment contract services such as drilling, earth moving, crushing and road building. As a large employer of local Indigenous people, NPC enables communities to take part in wealth-generating activities on their traditional lands to earn long-term economic and social benefits. Seeking to better articulate and create a framework for their value proposition, the company turned to social research with CSIRO. The research found that NPC’s business model helps facilitate important contact between their clients and the local communities they operate in (a key stakeholder). This results in better trust and relationships, which companies in the mining and construction industries recognise as integral to the future of their operations. NPC is using the framework created from the research to take their value proposition to other regions and industries. It’s given them the tools and insight to develop a competitive edge that will help grow their business both nationally and internationally. “Drawing on their extensive network, SME Engagement was able to connect us to the research expertise we needed to develop a tool that will have positive global impact.” BRAD JACKSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR NORTHERN PROJECT CONTRACTING REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT QUEENSLAND
  7. 7. Australian Zircon PRODUCING PURE MINERAL SANDS Australia has abundant reserves of the mineral sand zircon, which has a range of applications such as ceramics, pharmaceuticals, medicine and various industrial processes. Emerging mining company Australian Zircon (AZC) is seeking to tap into these resources and is on track to developing a mineral sands mine in Victoria for production in 2017. Seeking to improve the quality of their zircon product, AZC turned to SME Engagement to discuss processing methods. Together they identified the CSIRO-developed pure zircon process – a method with key advantages and potential for their product. The successful application of the process has allowed AZC to produce a premium zircon product, ensuring its marketability and optimising its price. This will be instrumental in AZC establishing a highly profitable, long-term mineral sands mining and processing business. “This project has allowed Australian Zircon to confirm the effectiveness of a CSIRO-developed technology to improve the quality of our WIM150 zircon product, ensuring marketability in today’s challenging mineral sands market place.” ANDREW REEVES, WIM150 PROJECT MANAGER AUSTRALIAN ZIRCON MINERALSANDMINING SOUTHAUSTRALIA
  8. 8. ROH Automotive NEW WHEELS WITH NEED FOR SPEED ROH Automotive designs and casts premium alloy wheels as the nation’s only wheel manufacturer for the Australian car industry. With their unique flow-forming technology, the company is introducing a new product line of significantly lighter aluminium road wheels for Toyota Australia. These will make Toyota’s 2015 vehicles more fuel-efficient and reduce carbon emissions. Because the technology is new and these wheels have a different casting shape to conventional wheels, ROH needed to modify their casting process. ROH turned to CSIRO for their computer modelling expertise and equipment to help them do this more efficiently. Together they created a virtual simulation of the casting process to identify any potential defects, make design modifications and improve the process. ROH was able to tailor their process more cost-effectively than would otherwise have been possible. These modifications have also improved the quality of their new products and reduced the time to manufacture them, giving them a competitive advantage. Now, the company is implementing and testing the new process so that the wheels can be brought to market and fitted to Toyota Australia’s next generation Camry and Aurion vehicles in 2015. “With the help of CSIRO’s SME Engagement, we were able to bench test and reduce the time to develop and bring our new product line to market.” BILL DAVIDSON, DIRECTOR ROH AUTOMOTIVE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING SOUTHAUSTRALIA
  9. 9. Conexio Genomics A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN Before an organ or tissue transplant can be safely undertaken, it’s essential to check that the donor and recipient tissue type matches. This process is performed using a technique called DNA sequencing. Operating out of Western Australia, Conexio Genomics is a global leader in specialised genetic matching products that can be used by health professionals to accurately and efficiently perform tissue type matching. With innovative ideas on how to improve their products, Conexio turned to SME Engagement to find the expertise they needed to quickly turn their ideas into a reality. In collaboration with researchers at the Royal Perth Hospital, Conexio has been able to develop new innovative technology that simplifies testing, reduces costs and improves accuracy. This next generation product will enhance Conexio’s competitive edge when it brings it to the global market in 2015. “CSIRO’s SME Engagement has been key in enabling Conexio to collaborate with researchers in a clinical setting so that we could turn our ideas into a unique transplant matching product at a much faster rate than would have otherwise been possible.” DR DAVID SAYER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER CONEXIO GENOMICS HEALTHCARETECHNOLOGY WESTERNAUSTRALIA
  10. 10. Yolngu Business Enterprises FINDING THEIR NICHE One of Australia’s most successful Indigenous companies, Yolngu Business Enterprises (YBE2) specialises in mine site rehabilitation, environmental management and construction services in north-east Arnhem Land of the Northern Territory. When YBE2 was tasked to control destructive pest ant infestations for their client Rio Tinto Alcan, they needed to develop their capability in order to secure the work. YBE2 was connected to CSIRO experts to help develop protocols to monitor the land, identify yellow crazy ant infestations and accurately map their location for eradication. As a result, YBE2 has added ant pest control to its services and secured an ongoing contract to control ant pests for Rio Tinto Alcan. This niche service is vital to the local area where YBE2 operates to prevent the spread and environmental threat of invasive pest ant species. It makes YBE2 more competitive and has the potential to open up new business opportunities. “Having the capacity to monitor and capture data from the land ourselves will serve the business well and potentially open up new opportunities at other sites.” TONY SHULTZ, ENVIRONMENTAL SUPERVISOR YBE2 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT NTH.TERRITORY
  11. 11. PepinNini Minerals TARGETING EFFICIENCY PepinNini Minerals undertakes greenfields exploration, which involves searching under-explored areas for new mineral deposits. This kind of exploration relies heavily on research, and new tools and methods are providing the insight to make it more targeted and cost-effective. Seeking to take advantage of the latest technology, PepinNini collaborated with leading experts in the field at CSIRO. Together, they focused on analysing the geochemistry drill core samples from one of their major projects in South Australia. The analysis revealed that one of the areas PepinNini was targeting was not suitable for platinum and nickel mineralisation and hence had limited potential for ore discovery. As a result, PepinNini could efficiently focus its efforts to a more prosperous area, saving time and costs. PepinNini is continuing to work with CSIRO to develop more efficient and productive exploration targeting methods, utilising airborne electromagnetics. “Collaborating with CSIRO’s SME Engagement has helped us to refine our targeting methodology and clarify our strategic approach so that we can come up with more efficient exploration methods.” REBECCA HOLLAND-KENNEDY, MANAGING DIRECTOR PEPINNINI MINERALS LTD MINERALSEXPLORATION NEWSOUTHWALES
  12. 12. B&M | 14-699 CONTACT US t 1300 363 400 e w AT CSIRO WE SHAPE THE FUTURE We do this by using science to solve real issues. Our research makes a difference to industry, people and the planet. AT CSIRO WE ASK, WE SEEK AND WE SOLVE. FOR MORE GREAT CASE STUDIES AND TO MEET THE TEAM PLEASE VISIT CSIRO.AU/SME-ENGAGEMENT