By AMDA Foundation Limited, 8 July, 2015



Award-winning Australian innovators are reaping the rewards of their hard work and creativity, thanks in part to the Industry Innovation Awards program pioneered by the organisers of Pacific 2015.

Perth-based One Atmosphere Pty Limited, whose Pegasus helicopter buoyancy aid won the Maritime Australia Limited National Defence Industry Innovation Award in 2013, has secured a $1 million commercialisation grant under the Commonwealth Department of Industry's Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Program. It has also won further funding through the Defence Innovation Realisation Fund (DIRF). This will help the company bring the Pegasus system into service and protect ADF personnel operating helicopters at sea. In 2014 One Atmosphere won the Telstra WA Innovator of the year award as well as the prestigious DSTO Eureka prize for Outstanding Science for Safeguarding Australia.

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.

Just submitting an entry for the Innovation Awards program generated benefits for the innovators concerned, according to a survey of 100 participants conducted earlier this year. Two thirds of the respondents used their entry to promote their innovations in their target market and 90% said they had generated useful publicity for the innovation. Some 45% reported they had been exposed to new partnership opportunities as a result of the program and nearly 20% reported their participation had resulted directly in new customer enquiries.

Maritime Australia Limited has called for entries for the next round of Industry Innovation Awards which will be presented later this year at Pacific 2015.

The Industry Innovation Awards were established in 2013 by the Aerospace Maritime and Defence Foundation of Australia Limited (AMDFA) and are presented at each of its major events: the Pacific International Maritime Exposition, the Australian International Airshow and aerospace and Defence Exposition at Avalon Airport, and the Land Forces Exposition. More than 100 companies and young innovators have submitted entries for the awards and $140,000 of SME Innovation Grants and Young Innovator Scholarships have been awarded.

The CEO of AMDFA, Mr Ian Honnery, said, "The survey results show that we're achieving what the Awards program set out to do: we're helping promote and reward innovative Australian companies and young innovators and helping them tell the story about Australian industry's capabilities and potential."

"Because we present the awards in front of an international VIP audience at our major events, we showcase the companies and innovations concerned – and not just the winners, but also the shortlisted contenders. Our feedback says that this Expo environment generates lots of exposure and contacts that wouldn't other wise occur for many of these innovators."

Maritime Australia Limited will present six Industry Innovation Awards at Pacific 2015:

  • Defence Industry National Innovation Award
  • Civil Industry National Innovation Award
  • Defence Industry SME Innovation Grant
  • Civil Industry SME Innovation Grant
  • Young Innovator Scholarship for Defence Industry Innovation
  • Young Innovator Scholarship for Civil Industry Innovation.

Eligible SMEs stand to win a $10,000 Innovation Grant while Young Innovators stand to win a $10,000 innovation scholarship. The winners of the National defence and civil innovation awards will be presented with trophies. These awards will be presented by the Chairman of Maritime Australia Limited, VADM Chris Ritchie AO, RAN (Retired) at Pacific 2015 on 6 October this year.

To find out further information about the eligibility criteria or to submit an entry for the Maritime Industry Innovation Awards go to:

The 2015 Pacific International Maritime Exposition will be held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island from 6-8 October 2015 and is supported by the Australian Defence Force, in particular the Royal Australian Navy, and the Department of Industry and Science.

Source: Aerospace Maritime and Defence Foundation of Australia