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Eco Innovator

Helping Commercialize Australia's leading Environmental Ideas

September 2011 - Year 1 No 1
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Welcome to Eco Innovator
Welcome to the first edition of Eco Innovator. Eco Innovator is a commercialization newsletter for innovators, entrepreneurs and business executives who are commercializing environmental technologies and business ideas.

The environment is an exciting area for new technologies and businesses, and will only get more interesting with time, but commercializing technology can be difficult - often taking considerable time and capital.

Eco Innovator is designed to make that job a little easier. Each edition will give you information you need to know on the key areas of commercialization - Government Policy, Government Grants, Equity Capital, Management, Marketing, what other innovative companies are doing, and other strategic issues.

Eco Innovator will cover the full range of environmental sectors - clean energy, pollution, waste management, recycling, transport, environmental engineering and many others. If you are commercializing a technology, intellectual property or innovative business idea that addresses an environmental problem, Eco Innovator is for you.

Eco Innovator is published every second month. Our first issue is below. Please read it and if you have any comments feel free to use the Reply button and let us know.

If you would like to subscribe, you can use our secure order form Here. If you would like to subscribe by email, fax or mail, you can download a form Here. Or simply call us on 02 9713 7608.

Eco Innovator is published by Eco Investor Media, which also publishes Eco Investor Magazine, Eco Investor Update, Eco Investor Database, and organizes the annual Eco Innovation Forum and Eco Investor Forum.

Eco Innovator is our latest product to help environmental innovators and investors achieve success.

Thank you

Victor Bivell
Editor
Eco Investor Media
PO Box 3102
Wareemba NSW 2046 Australia
Ph 02 9713 7608
Fx 02 9713 1004
Email vbivell @ ecoinvestor.com.au
Web www.ecoinvestor.com.au

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Contents
Welcome Marketing
Feature Strategy
Government Policy Incubators
Government Grants Meet the Editor
Equity Capital Subscribe
Opportunities Contribute
Management Advertise
Milestones

 

Feature

Capital the Missing Ingredient in Australian Cleantech

By Victor Bivell

Every Australian knows that Australia is good at invention but that often it is the overseas investors who make the big money. As a nation we've been seriously pondering this dilemma for decades, with still no solution in sight. And it applies to cleantech and clean energy as much as any other technology.

Explaining why is easy enough.

The first reason is our relatively small and isolated population. At 22 million our market lacks the critical mass to commercialize many technologies at home.

So many companies have to be "born global" or set up in the US, Europe or Asia before they can walk, let alone afford to fly. This increases start-up costs and time and makes a hard job harder.

Another reason is that our equity market is both relatively small and conservative. So our entrepreneurs need more capital but have less of it. There is plenty of institutional money for property and mining projects, but as a group the institutions have still not figured out how to make money from technology, and no one has given them the full-proof plan they want.

So we have relatively big, safe banks for property based debt, and relatively big superannuation funds who love the top 200 listed equities. But our equity and debt markets for innovative technology companies remain small and struggle to grow.

Nor is it any easier for those bigger cleantech and clean energy projects that need infrastructure levels of capital.

And at the retail investor level, for some reason the well known Australian penchant for punting on horses and junior mining stock hasn't yet grown into a love of punting on technology or cleantech.

So entrepreneurs can soon run out of doors to knock on.

Australian Venture Capital Funds - Additions and Exits to Investments
in Investee Companies. Source: ABS

The government has been trying to solve this capital market problem for nearly 30 years, but with limited success. Government has done a great a job of encouraging research and development, but not as well at moving this great abundance of innovations to the next, crucial stage of commercialization.

One reason is that it put all its eggs into the managed venture capital funds basket. This was meant to encourage institutions to give venture capital a go, and many did. But apart from a small number of exceptions, Australia's venture capital fund managers have not been able to deliver the returns they promised or aimed for. The institutional view is that venture capital is too hard and takes too long.

An option the government is yet to explore is to help the angel market, as they do in Scotland and New Zealand.

Nor, so far, has it helped the small cap end of the listed market, which has many world leading cleantech companies. This is odd as Australia developed its strong mining sector through the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and even today there is barely a classic venture capital fund for the resources sector in sight.

One or two new Government backed renewable energy venture capital funds are in the pipeline, and will also be able to invest in listed clean energy, but these are still some time away.

So we wait for the government to twig to the old expression "go with your strengths". Meanwhile the angel market is growing steadily anyway, and the listed market continues to dig deep for many cleantech stocks.

But the ASX is as volatile as any other exchange these days, and many cleantech and clean energy stocks are still suffering from the Government's 2009 failure to introduce a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) as it said it would. This dramatically dampened investor sentiment to the sector and so far the mooted carbon tax is yet to bring back that CPRS zing.

So our many cleantech companies have only a handful of VCs to talk to, not enough angels to meet, and need to wait for the IPO window to open a little further.

The missing ingredients that could fire up the local cleantech market are performance enough from the VCs to impress institutional investors, and innovative government support for technology commercialization and the cleantech sector in particular.

So is there an opportunity for international investors? You bet there is.

Many Australian companies haven't waited, so for example fuel cell developer Ceramic Fuel Cells is listed on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM), dye solar cell developer Dyesol is listed on the Frankfurt Exchange, and ocean energy developer Ocean Power Technologies is listed on NASDAQ.

Many companies such as these are also good enough to win backing from the governments in their new locales.

And others have been able to impress international venture capitalists. Solar thermal developer Ausra was backed by several high profile Silicon Valley venture funds before being sold last year to European nuclear energy giant Areva.

One question for international investors is why wait for the Australian companies to come to you, when the entry price may be lower at an earlier, local funding round?

Whether it is as a private investor, institutional investor or venture capital fund, Australian cleantech has proven it has great dealflow and is open to savvy overseas investors.

This article was commissioned by Creating Climate Wealth magazine in the UK.

Contents

Government Policy

Australian Innovation System Report 2011
The growth in green innovation has the potential to drive economic prosperity and solve many key problems around climate change, our emissions intensive and water intensive economy, food security, biodiversity and land quality, says the Federal Government's Australian Innovation System Report 2011.

"This is the second annual report on the performance of Australia's national innovation system, and provides the latest data and analysis of how our innovation system is performing compared with other countries. It also tracks progress against the Government's innovation priorities and targets," said Innovation minister Senator Kim Carr.

"The analysis shows Australia has a strong capacity to innovate. This report shows that our performance in the area of research and skills has been above OECD average and our performance in entrepreneurship is one of the best in the world," he said.

However, despite the Government's record investment of $9.4 billion in innovation, science and research for 2011-12, there are big challenges.

These include the impact of the global financial crisis on innovation activity and a 40 per cent drop in early stage venture capital investment in 2009-10; barriers to business innovation such as the lack of skilled people, and a fall in the level of collaboration between business and publicly-funded research agencies.

The Australian Government wants businesses to embrace innovation as the path to greater competitiveness, and will this with policies that minimize barriers and maximize opportunities for the commercialization of new ideas, said Senator Carr.

The report sees "green growth" as a new driver of innovation. This is supported by current trends such as consumers changing their behaviour to reduce their environmental footprint, financial markets increasingly promoting positive green outcomes, and the recognition of environmental risk factors that make it more difficult for companies to obtain finance for environmentally risky projects.

Governments are also promoting change by addressing market failures, educating consumers and providing incentives for the development of green products and services.

"The combined result is a massively increased demand for green technologies, products, services and skills, driving rapid expansion in green markets. This trend is expected to continue with global green markets projected to double from US$1.4 trillion per year to US$2.7 trillion by 2020," says the report.

Innovation for green growth involves two processes.

The first focuses on research and development to invent new technologies and solutions. New energy delivery techniques, alternate transport solutions, novel agricultural processes and improved communication tools are examples.

"Such radical innovation requires the continuous strengthening of Australia's public sector research capabilities. There is a need to enhance collaboration between public and private organizations to strengthen research and development, support commercialization of new technologies and catalyse the emergence of new industries.

"Other key issues to be addressed include assisting innovative businesses gain access to finance, addressing inadequate business management experience and maintaining effective legal frameworks to support the commercialization process."

The second process is about greening the existing economy. "Green growth potential often remains unrecognised or unexplored, due to a lack of information, inadequate skills, or perception that it is peripheral to the bottom line. In other cases, cleaning up business operations may require significant investment or retooling." Government programs and better access to business finance can make a difference here.

The report says specific opportunities exist to:
- Leverage Australia's extensive renewable resources to become a testing ground for new technology;
- Develop the bio-economy;
- Enhance the impact of green service opportunities, especially through improvements in information and communication technology;
- Promote a green transformation in the manufacturing industry; and
- Achieve building efficiency improvements.

The report is Here.

CSIRO's Strategy 2011 - 2015
Delivering national solutions for carbon including facilitating the scale-up of new energy technologies, particularly for carbon capture and storage, solar, geothermal and smart grids, and better land use and water use are among the environmental outcomes CSIRO will seek to achieve over the next few years.

These are among the strategic imperatives for the organization's National Flagships program in CSIRO's new 2011-15 Strategic Plan. Among CSIRO's Flagship programs are Climate Adaptation, Energy Transformed, Sustainable Agriculture, Water for a Healthy Country and Wealth from Oceans.

Over the four year Strategy period CSIRO's total revenue for operations is planned to be $5.25 billion including $2.12 billion of revenue from external sources.

As Australia's leading patenting enterprise, CSIRO holds over 3,900 granted or pending patents or other forms of intellectual property, and over 150 spin-off companies have been based on intellectual property and expertise it has generated.

Deputy chief executive Mike Whelan said CSIRO is always trying to find better ways to engage with the community to grow awareness of its research and stimulate interest in science and discovery.

The report is Here.

New Institute for Energy and Resources at Newcastle
Opened in July, the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) will be a hub for leading-edge research into the development of clean energy sources, said the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson.

The $42.2 million project, backed by $30 million from the Australian Government's Education Investment Fund, aims to build capacity through increasing research training and providing facilities to accommodate industry partners and academic researchers at the one location.

The refurbished BHP Billiton site has 20 labs and five industrial-scale pilot-plant workshops, and a new research building is under construction. NIER is expected to have around 300 research staff when fully operational.

"Better managing consumption of energy and water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing new energy sources are at the heart of the government's plan for Australia's clean energy future and the NIER will significantly contribute to achieving these objectives," said minister Ferguson.

"Newcastle also hosts the Government's $100 million Smart Grid, SmartCity project and the CSIRO's Energy Centre, which is home of the CSIRO Solar Research Tower and headquarters of the $150 million Australian Solar Institute.

NIER's home page is Here.

Carbon Tax Under Fire
The Government's introduction of a carbon tax continues to draw intense and opposition from the Coalition despite its ability to reduce the economy's dependence on fossil fuels and spur massive investment in clean energy and innovation. Environmental innovators will be among the big winners from the tax and the changes it will bring.

But the Federal Opposition is continuing with a campaign of negativity and misinformation about the carbon tax that can be seen as scaremongering and talking down the economy. It is also aided and abetted by what look to be anti-environmental policies and statements by Liberal premiers in NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald exposed selective and politically motivated scaremongering by NSW premier Barry O'Farrell in a page 1 story on 20 August. This says that the "analysis used by the Premier to claim the introduction of a carbon tax would be an economic disaster for NSW shows Sydney would actually have more jobs and stronger growth at the end of the decade because of the tax".

The article says "One of Australia's most distinguished economists, John Quiggin, of the University of Queensland, said Mr O'Farrell's claims were misleading. The NSW government has cherry-picked all the scariest possible numbers in a way that is totally misleading and absolutely dishonest," Professor Quiggin said.

The article is Here.

Federal Climate Change and Energy Efficiency minister Greg Combet said "The reliance on contradictory assumptions shows the NSW modeling to be a purely political exercise. And the so-called modeling by the other Victorian and West Australian Governments is no better."

Mr O'Farrell's and his government's environmental credentials were already in doubt due to his lack of support for a timely solution to the solar feed-in tariff fiasco in NSW that the Australian Solar Energy Society says is costing hundreds of jobs in the sector.

See Here.

Other anti environmental actions by the NSW government have been a delay by NSW Environment minister Robyn Parker in informing residents of a Newcastle suburb that they may "have been exposed to the carcinogenic chemical hexavalent chromium". This was despite finding the time to quickly inform fellow Newcastle MP Tim Owen about the spill.

The article is Here.

Environmental scientists are also among the first public servants to be axed by the O'Farrell Government. "Staff at the Forest Science Centre, which is associated with Forests NSW, were told yesterday that 11 of their 31 positions would be abolished," reported the Sydney Morning Herald.

The article is Here.

The premier also created public outrage when he said he did not support wind energy, enough to quickly offer a qualification that it was only his personal opinion. "The Premier, Barry O'Farrell, was forced to recommit to his government's renewable energy targets after he stated a personal view that he did not want to see any new wind farms approved in New South Wales," reported the Sydney Morning Herald.

The article is Here.

Victorian premier Ted Bailleau has also come out against the carbon tax, and is now threatening to review Victoria's "legislated target to cut greenhouse emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 because of the federal carbon price", reports The Age.

The move could mean that Victoria and the Victorian Government do not shoulder their share of the national carbon reductions, despite the Victorian economy's reliance on dirty brown coal. Like Mr O'Farrell, Mr Bailleau does nor appear to be open or honest in regard to environmental issues.

"The Victorian government has released its own regional modelling by Deloitte Access Economics in recent days, suggesting 24,000 fewer jobs will be created in Victoria by 2015 under a carbon price. But it has not released the full report behind the numbers," said the newspaper.

The article is Here.

This is in addition to Mr Bailleau's well known opposition to wind energy. See Here.

The Federal Government's carbon tax will see major investment in clean energy development and commercialization, funded by a $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and the $200 million Clean Technology Innovation Program.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will invest $10 billion in businesses seeking funds to get innovative clean energy proposals and technologies off the ground.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will independently administer existing Federal Government grants for research and development into renewable energy technologies and initiatives to bring them to market.

The Clean Technology Innovation Program will provide $200 million in grants to support business investment in renewable energy, low emissions technology and energy efficiency. This could support manufacturers to develop new clean technology products.

Further information is Here.

Parliament Passes R&D Tax Credit
The new R&D Tax Credit is a key element of the Government's innovation agenda, Powering Ideas, and will help businesses in every sector of the economy invest in the future, said the Government when the Bill was in parliament.

The Credit effectively doubles the support for small firms to 15 cents in the dollar and increases support for all other firms by a third, to 10 cents in the dollar, said Innovation minister Senator Kim Carr.

The legislation starts retrospectively from 1 July 2011. The two core components of the Credit are a 45 per cent refundable R&D Tax Credit for small firms with turnover of less than $20 million and a 40 per cent non-refundable R&D Tax Credit for all other firms.

Senator Carr said the R&D Tax Credit will complement Clean Energy Future and build on other initiatives like Enterprise Connect and Commercialisation Australia to provide unprecedented levels of support for innovative firms.

The R&D Tax Credit was supported by the Greens and all members of the crossbench in both Houses, but was opposed by the Coalition.

Australia-China Science and Research Fund
Cleaner energy and better environmental protection are two of the outcomes anticipated from closer research links between Australia and China to be established through the new Australia-China Science and Research Fund.

Each country is $9 million in the new fund. Five new joint research centres at up to $2 million each will be established. Expressions of interest are sought from the fields of biotechnology, geoscience, energy, engineering and material science including electric vehicles, among others.

"We will also provide $6 million towards research missions that will bring the best and brightest minds from each country together," said Innovation minister Senator Kim Carr.

The Government's $9 million will be provided over three years from 2011-12.

Australia's and China's research history includes discoveries and improvements in biodiversity, water conservation, and cleaner energy.

Further information Here.

Waste Reduction and Recycling Bill 2011
The Queensland Parliament's Environment, Agriculture, Resources and Energy Committee (EAREC) is calling for submissions for its review of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Bill 2011.

The objectives of the Bill are to:
* Promote waste avoidance and reduction, and resource recovery and efficiency actions;
* Reduce the consumption of natural resources and minimize the disposal of waste by encouraging waste avoidance and the recovery, re-use and recycling of waste;
* Minimize the overall impact of waste generation and disposal;
* Ensure a shared responsibility between government, business and industry and the community in waste management and resource recovery; and
* Support and implement national frameworks, objectives and priorities for waste management and resource recovery.

The Bill and Guidelines on making a submission are Here.

Contents

Government Grants

Emerging Renewables Program Open
The Australian Government has opened the $126 million Emerging Renewables Program to applications from promising renewable energy technology projects such as geothermal, solar and ocean energy.

The program aims to reduce the cost of new technologies, improve skills across the renewable energy industry and leverage finance from the private sector and from state and territory governments.

The program's funding has been increased by $26 million of unused funds returned from the Geothermal Drilling Program.

A minimum of $40 million will assist the development of renewable energy and enabling technologies with potential to generate large-scale base load power, such as wave, geothermal and enabling technologies. Another $26.6 million will be used to support the geothermal energy sector.

The program allows for greater collaboration amongst applicants.

It also has a continuously open application model that allows companies to submit applications as and when they need to with no cut off dates or set funding rounds.

Emerging Renewables is a merit-based grant program based on consultation with the renewable energy industry and financiers by the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE). ACRE will administer the program until the $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is established.

The minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, said "The Program allows a flexible approach to funding across the technology innovation chain, in line with stakeholder feedback to improve the sector's competitiveness. For emerging technologies this flexibility is critical."

Each proposal is assessed on its own merits. The Program can consider a broad range of projects and does not have a specific set of criteria for each technology sector nor specific requirement for a technology's commercialization stage.

Promising technologies will be funded under two categories: ACRE Projects and ACRE Measures. ACRE Projects are for renewable energy and enabling technologies and products as they move through the technology innovation chain, and to lower the cost of renewable energy. ACRE Measures are for renewable energy industry capacity building and skills development, or preparatory activities for ACRE Projects.

There is no maximum funding amount for any application, but collaboration and private sector and other government investments are key considerations.

ACRE may refer proposals to other funding programs or support mechanisms and identify opportunities for co-funding or collaboration between prospective projects.

The Emerging Renewables Program Information Guide for Applicants is Here.

Six Commercialisation Australia Grants
Six environmental companies are among the latest grant recipients from Commercialisation Australia.

BuildingIQ Pty Ltd won an early stage commercialisation grant of $1,243,528 for its technology that optimizes building heating and cooling, helping maximize energy efficiency while reducing costs and carbon emissions. The company says it has achieved up to 30 per cent ongoing energy savings in existing implementations.

The Commercialisation Australia funding will enable the technology to move from single site delivery to a cloud platform that is delivered remotely as a service across multiple buildings, channels and geographies.

QLD B-Pods Pty Ltd has won a proof of concept grant of $236,340 for its development of the Tractile composite roofing tile that is sustainable, lightweight, cyclone resistant, and integrates solar energy.

The interlocking Tractile roofing system can be used from residential through to commercial buildings, and is said to be fast and easy to install. The system is made from lightweight, high strength composite materials, and engineered to withstand extreme weather conditions and insulate the building.

The Solar++ technology creates both electricity and hot water in each tile. Qld B-Pods has also developed the KISSTile Solar ++, which integrates the solar technology into concrete roof tiles.

The Commercialisation Australia funding will be used to prove the concept that the products can be manufactured to meet the Australian Standards for roofing and within a marketable price band.

NSW based Metis Technologies was awarded a $250,000 Skills and Knowledge + Experienced Executives Grants. The company is commercializing advanced fibre pollution filtration technology. This is used for cleaner power generation and in industrial processes such as aluminium and cement production.

Victorian based gT-Energy Technologies received an Early Stage Commercialisation Grant of $600,000 for its next generation turbo-alternator heat engine power generator.

The company designs and manufactures heat engines for converting heat sources into electrical power using proven closed loop thermodynamic cycles with zero emissions. Currently only a few heat engine producers internationally service the fast growing global market in waste heat recovery and renewable thermal energy.

gT-Energy Technologies is developing heat engines that employ fully integrated turbo-alternators that provide over a 20 per cent reduction in component pricing and significantly improve reliability compared to existing products.

WA based Rytech Australia received a Skills and Knowledge Grant of $50,000 for its Wave Energy Conversion Device (WECD) that converts ocean energy directly into zero emissions electricity. The funding will allow the company to develop a business plan.

NSW based Ecobuild Solutions received an Early Stage Commercialisation Grant of $448,198. The company has the patented EasyFix wall cladding installation system which together with associated wall cladding products provides insulation and other environmental benefits to new and existing homes and buildings.

Ecobuild Solutions needs to prove the commercial viability of the innovation. It wants to consolidate its patents, build "full building" prototypes locally, train new installers and prospective distributors, develop a sales and marketing infrastructure, follow-up
overseas leads and secure a supply chain.

Before and after - Ecobuild's EasyFix insulated cladding system.

Since it opened to applications in early 2010, Commercialisation Australia has awarded $58 million to 145 companies, researchers and inventors. Funding offers range from $50,000 to $2 million.

Program participants can access a national network of 22 case managers from a range of industry sectors. Many of the case managers have built their own businesses and operated at senior levels in start-up and early stage companies.

"The rich source of market intelligence, networks and business experience grant recipients can access under Commercialisation Australia gives them a better chance of commercial success," said Innovation minister Senator Kim Carr.

WA Research and Innovation Fund
The Western Australian Government has called for expressions of interest in a suite of new programs that form part of the State Government's $54.5 million commitment to build industry, science and innovation, including where there is an environmental aspect.

Science and Innovation minister John Day said the first programs under the Research and Innovation Fund would encourage scientific research and foster industry-led innovation in areas of strategic importance to the State. "The Research and Innovation Fund aims to support the growth of innovative industries, including those in key areas of mining; oil and gas; health; and the environment," he said.

"These programs will focus on attracting innovative thinkers and encouraging science participation within the community. They will also support industry-led research and build strong links between industry, Government and research institutions to assist the commercialization process."

The minister has called for applications for the Western Australian Fellowships Program. This seeks to attract leading researchers from overseas or interstate to conduct scientific research of strategic importance to the State. A completed Expression of Interest form must be received at the Department of Commerce by 14 September.

Further information Here.

He also called for expressions of interest in the Innovation Co-investment Program. This program aims to support State, national and international research and development funding applications to leverage Commonwealth, international and industry research and development funding into WA. Grants of between $1 million to $10 million over three to five years may be made available. Expressions of Interest must be submitted by 31 August.

Further information Here.

Queensland's Next Big Idea
Queensland's most innovative businesses are invited to pitch their big ideas to the Bligh Government's What's Your Big idea Queensland? competition.

The grants scheme is aimed at providing assistance to innovative businesses to help commercialize their ideas, deliver new products and services or increase competitiveness. It offers grants of up to $50,000 for the most innovative business ideas.

Treasurer and minister for State Development and Trade Andrew Fraser said a successful pilot round earlier this year attracted more than 600 applicants, and so funding had been increased by $3 million in the State Budget.

"The standard of ingenuity and progress the 22 winners from the inaugural round have been able to achieve with their grants has been nothing short of impressive," said Mr Fraser. "I fully expect to see many of their business names next to potentially global success stories in the near future."

Previous What's Your Big Idea Queensland? winners include Cairns based Energy Innovations Polepower, which uses world-first technology to mount solar cells on existing electricity poles and feed renewable energy into the grid.

Applications close on 12 September. More information is Here.

Applications Open for CleverGreen Innovation Grant
The South Australian Department of Trade and Economic Development's has opened Round 4 of the CleverGreen Innovation Grant Program.

The CleverGreen program provides financial assistance for early proof-of-concept and commercial viability testing to applicants wanting to commercialize cleantech products, processes and services.

Successful applicants can receive a grant of up to $50,000 plus GST. Expressions of interest close on 15 October.

Innovate SA is providing mentoring, business advisory and product development services to applicants.

The CleverGreen Innovation Grant is part of the Cleantech Partnering Program, a $2.15 million grant program over three years from 2010-11. This helps small and medium sized enterprises take new cleantech products, processes and services from conception and early stage development through to market.

While the CleverGreen Innovation Grant offers up to $50,000 for proof-of-concept and commercial viability testing, the CleverGreen Commercialisation Grant offers up to $100,000 on a matched funding basis for commercialization activities.

Guidelines for the CleverGreen Innovation Grant are Here.

Geothermal Companies Terminate Grants
In an unusual move, four listed geothermal explorers have agreed with the Federal Government to terminate their grant funding under the Geothermal Drilling Program (GDP).

The companies: Torrens Energy, Green Rock Energy, Greenearth Energy and Hot Rock, issued a combined statement saying that they had been unable to find matching funding for their individual projects as required by the GDP.

Each company and project had been competitively and rigorously assessed, but in a sign of the state of the equity markets they could not find investors willing to put up the necessary matching funds.

The government said the projects span a range of geological environments and are some of the highest quality potential geothermal development projects in Australia.

"Regrettably current economic conditions over the past year combined with the agreed construction of the GDP grant has limited project recipients' ability to attract project funding and thus fulfil all the requirements of their GDP grants in the timeframes stipulated."

Geothermal remains the country's only potential large scale zero-emission renewable baseload 24/7 energy source, and this was recognized in a simultaneous announcement by the minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, that the Emerging Renewables program was open for applications, and that about one third of this is expected to go to geothermal companies.

$9.5 million Project for Zero-emission Homes and Offices
A $3.2 million grant from the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) will assist the country's leading solar researchers with a $9.5 million project to make solar energy more competitive for consumers.

Researchers at the ANU, CSIRO and University of NSW are working with industry partners, Chromasun and NEP Solar, to develop a product that will convert solar energy into both thermal and electrical energy for homes and commercial and industrial buildings.

"This project offers great potential to make solar energy competitive by delivering solar driven electricity, heating and cooling from one system direct to where it will be used at a price that competes with traditional retail energy," said ASI chief executive, Mark Twidell.

"The innovation combines the best of Australian solar photovoltaic technology and solar thermal technology to deliver a cost-effective complete solar energy solution for homes and businesses.

Grant for Small Hydro Power
The NSW Government has provided NSW small hydropower company Waratah Power with $310,000 in research funding to facilitate the installation of small hydropower projects on existing weirs and gate structures.

The technical research program, spanning up to 12 months, will provide information for the design of small hydropower projects so that they minimize any negative environmental impacts.

Waratah Power director, Andrew Jones, said the government funding is supplemented with plenty of additional contribution from the company and from the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

"Other research partners include the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (US), UNSW, as well as participation from an Asian regional research organisation," he said.

The work will provide the opportunity to unlock untapped renewable energy potential and should facilitate technology and services exports to major markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Waratah Power has developed approaches and technologies to generate power from rivers with low drops of water, known in the industry as ‘low head' hydropower resources. Environmentally-benign low head hydropower, particularly at existing weir structures, represents a major growth opportunity for renewable energy.

The company says global investment into small hydropower grew at a compound annual growth rate of 19 per cent between 2004 and 2010. In 2010 nearly three-quarters of the new investment was in developing countries.

Waratah Power chairman Graham Hart said the work will enable the development of truly sustainable small hydropower projects. Small hydropower is a well-accepted technology which generates emissions-free, reliable power, with the least environmental impacts of any technology.

Waratah also claims it is the cheapest form of electricity production from renewable resources, and is competitive with fossil fuels.

The company is working on project portfolios in Australia, Indonesia, and Laos.

Printing Solar Cells
Researchers and industry partners who have developed a way of generating zero-emissions electricity using a printing machine to produce solar cells have won additional government support.

The $7.2 million ‘Printing solar cells – A manufacturing proposition for Australia' project offers a potential alternative solar cell technology to more conventional photovoltaic systems and the opportunity to commercialize and produce cells competitively in Australia.

The Australian Government has supported the project with a $1.7 million grant from the Australian Solar Institute with matching funding from the Victorian Government.

The minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, said the project aims to develop efficient solar cells using organic materials and conventional printing methods.

A printed solar cell. Credit DJ Jones, University of Melbourne.

The Organic Solar Cells project is being undertaken by the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortia (VICOSC), made up of a consortium of researchers and companies including the University of Melbourne, Monash University, CSIRO Future Manufacturing Flagship, BlueScope Steel, Innovia Films and Bosch SEA.

By the end of the three-year program, VICOSC hopes to have developed a pre-commercial solar cell suitable for pilot scale demonstration, with plans for commercialization within Australia in around four to seven years.

The partners hope to commercialize the technology for a range of applications including as a coating for roofing steel.

Victorian minister for Energy and Resources Michael O'Brien said the Organic Solar Cells project at Melbourne University began in 2007 as a $12 million project with co-funding of $6 million from Victoria's Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS).

Australia-Germany Solar Collaboration
The Australian Solar Institute (ASI) is calling for proposals under an Australia-Germany Collaborative Solar Research and Development (R&D) program, and for its Skills Development program.

ASI executive director Mark Twidell said the Australia-Germany Collaborative program follows the establishment of Memoranda of Understanding with two of Germany's leading solar research organisations - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) and the Fraunhofer Institute.

"We encourage Australian solar research teams working with German researchers on concentrating solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic technologies at the DLR, Fraunhofer and other German research institutions to apply for funding under this new program," he said.

Under its second annual Skills Development program, ASI is seeking applications from potential PhD Scholars and Postdoctoral Fellows researching cutting edge solar technologies. This is to support and retain Australian research talent and to attract international expertise to Australia.

The Scholarships and Fellowships are provided over a three year period. The closing date for the Skills Development program is 27 October. The closing date for the Australia-Germany Collaborative Solar R&D program is 27 October.

Further information Here.

A Win for Modra Hayes
South Australian manufacturer Modra Hayes is one of five recipients in the latest round of the South Australian Government's Cleantech Partnering Program.

Based on the Yorke Peninsula, Modra Hayes won the $50,000 CleverGreen Innovation Grant to convert local crop waste into materials for products including its range of transportable housing sold under the modpod brand.

Innovate SA chief executive Greg Boundy said "It's wonderful to see regionally based companies achieving some great results and being awarded grant funding to further their businesses. Innovate SA is proud to have supported Modra Hayes through targeted, ongoing entrepreneurial skill development programs as well as assistance in navigating the grant process."

The $2.15 million dollar grant program helps companies develop innovative cleantech products and services from conception and early development stage through to market.

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Equity Capital

Tree Company Starts Growing
PolyGenomX has reached its minimum subscription and is live on the Australian Small Scale Offerings (ASSOB) board. The company has raised $200,000 and is seeking $300,000 in its first funding round. Longer term it is looking for $2 million.

PolyGenomX as developed a biotechnology that can produce plants and trees that grow faster than their peers, and can be adapted to deal with salinity, soil deficiencies and drought. The company says the technology has applications in coal seam gas water remediation, wood pulp, biomass, renewable energy, forestry, carbon capture and storage, reafforestation, milling timber, and biofuel.

The capital is to develop a range of commercial tree lines including pongamia, jatropha, paulownia, oil mallees, teak, sandalwood and cedar and oilseeds such as mustardseed and camelina. Commercialization will be through partners.

Working Capital Facility
BioSolar Ltd has drawn down a $175,000 working capital facility from Service Finance Corporation Ltd to replace the Wytown Pty Ltd facility of $200,000 that was repaid in full in April.

The company said the Service Finance Corporation working capital facility is secured by a Fixed and Floating charge over BioSolar's assets and undertakings and replaces the previous Fixed and Floating charge previously held by Wytown Pty Ltd that was discharged in June.

BioSolar provides residential solar panel installations on the east coast. It opened its first office in September 2010 and achieved sales of over $3 million to March 2011.

BioSolar is listed on ASSOB and is seeking to raise $3 million for working capital and to expand its sales team.

Starfish Sells Energy Demand Company
In July venture capital firm Starfish Ventures sold its investment in renewable energy company Energy Response to EnerNOC, the world's largest demand response (DR) company. Starfish investment director Ivor Frischnecht said it was a very good result for both Starfish's and Energy Response's investors.

DR is energy users reducing their use of energy temporarily at a time of peak use or grid emergency. Energy Response implements energy management solutions to make the electricity industry more efficient, particulary in such times.

"Usually we're talking electricity, but it could be gas, or water for that matter," said Mr Frischnecht. I'll stick with electricity for now. Since DR can drop aggregate demand on a network by 10-20 per cent, it can greatly delay the need for costly new infrastructure."

"Even more important, it enables intermittent renewable energy, such as wind or solar to become a substantial portion of electricity generation without storage—usually prohibitively expensive—or gas-fired backup. DR allows demand on the grid to adjust in the event of a sudden lull in the wind or a cloud passing over a solar farm."

$3.7 Million for Panax Geothermal
Panax Geothermal has raised $770,000 in a placement at 2 cents per share. The new shares receive listed options on a 1 for 2 basis, with a strike price of 4 cents per share and a three-year term.

The placement was to institutional and sophisticated investors and managed by Taylor Collison, which also managed the company's recent rights issue and had the right to place up to an additional $1 million in equity. The placement was on the same terms as the rights issue.

Since 1 July 2011 Panax has raised its cash reserves by $3.7 million through the $2 million renounceable rights issue, a $350,000 final instalment under its Geothermal Drilling Program Grant for the Salamander-1 well at Penola, a $550,000 cash rebate under the Federal Government's Research and Development Tax Concession program, and the $770,000 placement.

The cash will be used to advance Panax's portfolio of near-term geothermal development projects in Indonesia, to provide the certainty that company needs to commence development of these Indonesian projects, and for working capital.

Options Issue for First Revenue
Listed clean energy company Enerji says that its non-renounceable right issue closed on 26 July with shareholders subscribing for 104,902,767 options or 45.68 per cent of the options on offer. The remaining options were taken up by the Underwriter, SA Capital Pty Ltd.

The rights issue raised $460,000 before costs. The net proceeds will be used towards the company's first installation of one of its Opcon Powerbox units. This is at Carnarvon Power Station in WA, and will generate fist revenue for the company.

Metgasco Raises $21 million
Metgasco has raised $15.3 million under its share purchase plan. Together with its recent placement, the proceeds will be used to progress the company's gas commercialization plans, undertake a coal seam gas (CSG) drilling program to meet commitments to the NSW Government, expand its CSG reserve position, drill the potentially high impact Rosella E01 well on the Mackellar North structure, and for working capital.

Managing director, Peter Henderson, said "This capital raising program provides Metgasco with over $21 Million in new funding to progress our high value exploration and commercialization agenda. With our significant 2P reserve position and demonstrated gas flows from our CSG pilot wells Metgasco is well placed to progress our commercial plan."

Geothermal Rights Issue
Geothermal explorer KUTh Energy is undertaking an underwritten non renounceable rights issue to raise $1.875 million before costs.

Shareholders can subscribe for two shares for every three shares held. The price is 4.3 cents each. A shortfall facility will allow shareholders to subscribe for additional shares. The underwriter is Veritas Securities Ltd .

The proceeds will be used for working capital. This will be for minor exploration and regulatory works to facilitate the next stage of development at the company's geothermal projects in Tasmania and Queensland. In Vanuatu it will be for working capital for management, legal agreements, project packaging, structuring and planning to bring all component parts of the project to the point of implementation.

The company will also seek new business opportunities and some early stage exploration will be needed to determine the value proposition and possibilities to secure future development rights.

Geothermal Capital Raising
Listed geothermal explorer Petratherm has completed a $2.289 million capital raising through the placement of 18.3 million new shares at 12.5 cents per share, primarily for development works at the company's Paralana Project in South Australia.

The funds were raised from sophisticated and professional investors, including substantial shareholder Australian Ethical Investments Pty Ltd. The placement was managed by Patersons Securities.

Petratherm is offering a share purchase plan with shareholders able to invest up to $15,000. The issue price will also be 12.5 cents.

However, Petratherm has extended the time available for shareholders to participate in the share purchase plan, which had been scheduled to close on 29 August. It was first extended to 12 September, but has again been extended, this time to 30 September. The reason is "the current unfavourable general market conditions and the pending flow test of the Paralana 2 well which is now expected to be completed during September 2011."

Capital Raising for Island Sky
Island Sky Australia received applications for 27.7 million shares totaling $138,886 under its recent rights issue. The shortfall was 115 million shares totaling $575,365. The rights issue sought to raise $714,255 and was fully underwritten.

Island Sky is commercializing water from air technology.

The Skywater Emergency Service Unit.

It's latest product is the Skywater’s Emergency Service Unit (ESU-20), a water generator that can deliver up to 900 gallons of pure drinking water every day in crisis and emergency situations.

The unit contains three Skywater 300 atmospheric water generators, a 1,275 gallon storage tank with secondary water filtration, and a 30 kw electric diesel generator in a 20 foot mobile container.

The company says that in an average range of temperatures and humidity levels, the unit will produce from 450 to over 900 gallons of water daily.

Island Sky's product range includes units that are powered by solar energy and biofuel-gasifiers.

Water Loan and Raising
Water and air purification company Clean TeQ Holdings has entered into a loan agreement with Aqua Guardian Group (AGG) that allows it to borrow up to $1 million. This will mainly be used by Clean TeQ to repay the outstanding principal and interest due on the convertible note held by La Jolla Cove Investor, Inc and avoid its conversion to shares.

Interest on the AGG loan is on the drawn balance at 10 per cent per annum and the loan is to be repaid by 31 December 2011.

To fund the repayment, Clean TeQ will undertake a $1 million non-renounceable rights issue offering two new shares for every seven at 3.7 cents per share.

The issue will be fully underwritten by Wasabi Energy, which owns 50 per cent of AGG. ACG is commercializing technology to limit evaporation on dams.

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Milestones

BioPower Delivers Energy to the Grid
Ocean energy company, BioPower Systems has delivered stable power to the grid over extended periods with a high level of efficiency as part of extensive testing of its full-scale O-Drive power conversion module.

The 250 kW O-Drive module can plug into wave and tidal energy systems such as the company's bioWAVE and bioSTREAM systems. A test rig was built to reproduce ocean forces and apply these to the O-Drive.

The O-Drive operates in an oscillating fashion to convert the ocean energy harnessed by ocean energy systems into grid-ready AC power. It combines a hydraulic circuit, an electric generator, and control algorithms to convert the large forces and slow motions of ocean waves into a steady flow of electricity.

Chief executive officer, Dr Timothy Finnigan, said "Ocean energy devices typically oscillate slowly in response to huge forces, and this presents a significant challenge in terms of harnessing the energy to produce electricity. The O-Drive solves this problem outright, as it not only gears up the motion, but also rectifies it and smooths it, so that we can produce grid-ready electricity using a standard electric generator."

"We are very pleased with the efficiency of this system, and with the quality of power that is produced."

The O-Drive can be detached from a moored ocean energy system for easy maintenance. It produces high-voltage power, which allows ocean energy systems to be installed even at substantial distances from shore, as the losses during transmission are minimal.

A BioPower BioWave System.

BioPower Systems will use the O-Drive module in a bioWAVE pilot demonstration off the coast of Victoria. The company also intends to produce a 1 MW commercial version of bioWAVE that will utilize four 250 kW O-Drive modules.

BioPower plans to offer turnkey ocean energy solutions to project developers and to companies that currently develop wind farms.

"We intend to adopt a similar business model to those used in the wind energy sector. It is well proven, and serves as a good precedent for ocean energy," said Dr Finnigan.

Work commenced on the O-Drive in 2008 under a project partly funded by a Commonwealth Government REDI grant.

Protean to Install Commercial Wave Energy Device
Perth based ocean energy developer Protean Energy is to install the first commercial-sized Protean Wave Energy Conversion Platform off the coast north of Geraldton in Western Australia.

The agreement with the Shire of Northampton paves the way for a wave farm producing up to 5 MW. Protean intends to deploy the first device in the first quarter of 2012. This will collect data to support a financial investment decision in 2013.

The agreement includes the potential for the Shire to jointly commercialize the system to provide an economic and renewable energy supply to coastal towns in its boundaries.

Protean's ocean energy generation is based on a patent pending modular technology. Protean Energy chief executive, Sean Moore, says the technology is currently the only known independently verified wave energy system that uses all six degrees of freedom of movement - up-down, side-to-side, forward-back, and rotation, about each of the axes.

Other major benefits of the system are scalability, transportability, water co-production, and cost competitiveness with other renewable energies.

"Our Protean Wave Energy Conversion Platform is uniquely modular in design and is being developed so that it can meet the requirements of energy users from small communities right through to large cities,"said Mr Moore.

Mr Moore said the agreement is a perfect example of how the company aims to work co-operatively with local governments, communities and utilities to develop a tailored renewable energy solution for a region.

"We see this as the first of many such agreements to be executed around the world."

The president of the Shire of Northampton, Gordon Wilson, said the Shire is looking at a range of ideas to provide reliable and cost-effective services. The Shire's role is not one of financial commitment but advocacy to assist in the approvals processes required for the platform to be located off the Mid-West Coast.

Biggest Order for Ceramic Fuel Cells
Fuel cell developer Ceramic Fuel Cells has received its largest order for BlueGen units, an initial order for 100 from sanevo Lizenz-GmbH & Co. KG. It has also signed a distribution agreement that will see sanevo market, sell, install and service BlueGen units in regions of Germany and Austria.

The 100 BlueGens will be delivered in the first year, with a target minimum order of 500 units for delivery in the second year and a target of 2,000 units over years three and four. If sanevo orders these agreed minimum numbers during 2012 to 2014, it has exclusive rights to distribute BlueGen to commercial and residential customers in the German States of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, and in Austria.

Ceramic Fuel Cells retains the right to sell BlueGens to utilities and energy service companies.

BlueGen customers in Germany are eligible to receive a feed in tariff for the power exported to the grid.

Ceramic Fuel Cells has now received orders for a total of 206 BlueGen units and up to 200 integrated mCHP products. Revenue continues to rise. June quarter receipts from customers were $1.2 million, 166 per cent up from last quarter. Full year receipts were $3.3 million, 105 per cent up on 2009-10.

Strong US Orders for Nanosonics
Medical disinfectant developer Nanosonics is targeting October for the release of the upgraded International 220V version of its Trophon EPR sterilizer.

This will improve production economies of scale and enable full commercial release in European and Asia/ Pacific markets, it said.

Meanwhile, the company has shipped a significant proportion of the $2.4 million initial order received by GE Healthcare in the US, and early payment has been received for the shipments that have been delivered.

Nanosonics is commercializing a medical disinfection and sterilisation technology that is safe, non-toxic, fast, environmentally friendly and able kill the most resilient microorganisms.

Energy Monitor in Commercial Market
Queensland renewable energy company Auzion has launched its AuziMax energy monitor into the commercial market.

The AuziMax enables the user to monitor energy in the home or business through a secure web portal, and energy savings of up to 20 per cent have been achieved. The product has won a Living Smart Solution award.

The product grew out of Auzion's Sustainable Homes Project. "This project was launched in 2008 with the goal of providing 50 homes with at least 25 per cent energy savings and payback within five years," said founder and chief executive, Mark Leckenby.

"The results of the project led to the development of our AuziMax Energy Maximiser, which is a device that allows households to have better control over their energy usage."

In July Auzion supported the 6th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) held in Brisbane in July. Mr Leckenby said Auzion is an active supporter of education, particularly surrounding environmental and sustainability issues and solutions.

"This is the first time the WEEC has been held in Australia, providing us with a unique opportunity to showcase Auzion's capabilities in the innovation space and network with a wide range of delegates and international representatives," he said.

First held in Portugal in 2003, the Congress was created to provide a forum for discussion, learning and unity among environmental educators. Since its launch, the Congress has attracted thousands of environmental stakeholders from over 100 countries.

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Management

New CEO for Nubian Water Systems
Sustainable water solutions company Nubian has appointed Barry Porter as chief executive officer. Mr Porter has led performance transformations in financial and professional services, fast moving consumer goods, retail and technology companies, said Nubian.

His task at Nubian is to raise the company's profile in the water sustainability solutions area and capture market share for Nubian's innovative technology.

Chairman Gary Zamel said "Barry is a highly regarded executive with global management and sales experience. Barry will be responsible for cementing our strong footprint in Australia and expanding our global presence, where we are already delivering solutions to the Middle East and are about to enter the North American market."

Mr Porter said "We are dedicated to providing sustainable water solutions for the urban environment not only through our leading greywater treatment but also through our innovative water purification, quality monitoring and remote management technology."

Established in 2005 and based in Sydney, Nubian has patents in Australia and the US for its sustainable water systems. The company manufactures and implements organic treatment systems using chemical free products. The focus of its business has been grey water recycling, but Nubian has also developed solutions for water purification and DMC (diagnostic, monitoring and control).

Contents

Marketing

Prime Minister Promotes Cleantech Companies
15 of Australia's leading cleantech companies were showcased at the Clean Technology Showcase launched by prime minister Julia Gillard and Innovation minister Senator Kim Carr in August.

The companies are at the cutting edge of new green technologies, and were exampled as the sort of clean energy and energy efficiency technologies that can be developed as part of the Government's Plan for a Clean Energy Future.

Through its Clean Technology Program, the Government is providing $1.2 billion to help manufacturers make investments in clean energy opportunities. Putting a price on pollution will also encourage companies to innovate and invest in new technologies to use energy more efficiently, said Mr Gillard.

"Investment in clean technologies is good for businesses, good for jobs, good for our environment and our economy," she said. "Innovation here at home will also open up huge opportunities on the international market were we can become leaders of technologies of the future."

The companies the featured in the Clean Technology Showcase were:

* Carbon Revolution (CFusion) is developing the world's first one piece carbon fibre automotive wheels, which offer huge weight savings and efficiency and performance benefits. Carbon Revolution is collaborating with large vehicle manufacturers in Europe to bring the technology to the market in large volumes.

* Techni Waterjet is manufacturing high-pressure cutting machines that can work on steel, glass and marble, and is the only company in the world that makes this technology.

* MicroHeat has produced an electric continuous flow water heater.

* Cubed's Carocell Direct Solar desalination panels produce potable water from seawater, groundwater and contaminated water.

* Rubicon Water designs, manufactures, installs and maintains irrigation automation hardware and software.

* Auto CRC, SMR, and UniSA combined to reduce the weight of automotive mirrors from glass by 50 per cent, giving a possible collective reduction in greenhouse gas emissions due to the reduced mirror mass of up to 400,000 tonnes of CO2 over five years.

* Nissan Casting Australia has adopted advanced aluminium casting technologies from CAST CRC and CSIRO for the all-electric, zero emissions, Nissan LEAF family car that will support 150 jobs and generate $160 million in export revenue.

* Flip screen is a screen attachment for heavy machinery to transform waste destined for landfill into useable product.

* Licella has used innovative technology to convert woody raw materials to biofuel and bioalcohol.

* Oceanlinx is a leading ocean energy company that can extract energy from ocean waves and convert it into electricity or desalinated sea water.

* Overall Forge is a general steel forge producer for the oil, gas, mining and heavy duty industries. It has reduced gas consumption in furnaces and utilized hot exhaust gas for its burners.

* Windlab has a turbulence prediction model that predicts the occurrence of wind turbulence at prospective wind energy sites, improving the ability to optimally locate turbines for performance.

* Wizard Power's The Big Dish is the world's highest performing commercial solar thermal concentrator. It is a 500 square metre concentrating solar collector that accurately focuses direct beam radiation from the sun to concentrations in excess of 2000 times.

* Tarac makes fortified wine enhancers from 78 per cent of the nation's wine waste.

* Morton's Seed & Grain uses waste oat hulls and husks to produce energy to run its boiler to produce processed oat products, replacing the need for more than $400,000 a year in LPG.

UK Launch for Stormwater Tool
eWater Innovation, part of eWater CRC, has launched its popular Stormwater Quality Management tool, music, into the UK market. A Commercialisation Australia grant in 2010 helped the water software company to tailor the tool for UK conditions.

music (model for urban stormwater improvement conceptualization) accurately simulates real-time water sensitive design. It is designed to help urban stormwater professionals evaluate strategies to tackle urban stormwater flows and pollution impacts.

Since music was first developed in 2001, the software has been used by thousands of professionals in Australia. music has helped reduce pollution in streams, rivers, and receiving waters throughout Australia.

"Australia is a world leader in storm water quality management and music can assist other countries in making big improvements in stormwater quality by applying better treatment methods, setting achievable pollutant reduction targets and building in country capability," said eWater Innovation chief executive, Tim Blackman.

A study on a development application using music against current UK storm water design methods showed it could achieve around a 40 per cent improvement in pollutant reduction.

eWater Innovation has partnered with a UK water engineering company Jeremy Benn and Associates to market and improve music for the UK. eWater is planning to take music and other products to Europe, North America and Asia.

Distribution Agreement for Sustainable Insecticides
Bioglobal, a developer and manufacturer of innovative insect management products and services, has extended its distribution into regional Australia with an agreement with CRT, one of Australia's largest group of independent rural retailers.

CRT has a network of 400 outlets, and will give Bioglobal a stronger presence in the agricultural chemical market.

Bioglobal said the potential market penetration gives it the reach to meet it forecast sales targets.

Bioglobal is commercializing intellectual property that can lead to the development of clean and sustainable products for biochemical pest and insect management in crop protection, animal health and consumer products.

BioGlobal_Isomate_productBioglobal has proven products with its Mating Disruption and Attract and Kill technology platforms. These products have been tested and proven in a range of countries and crops. The company is building the sales and distribution networks for these products in Australia, China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the USA.

Its growth strategy is based on four drivers: entry into new countries and markets; the development of new active ingredients, delivery systems and manufacturing processes; establishing alliances and partnerships with researchers, engineers, manufacturers and distributors; and market solutions to sustainable and renewable inputs, minimum pesticide residues, and no environmental pollution or degradation.

Bioglobal's Isomate product utilizes
insect pheromones to disrupt mating.

Established in 2000, Bioglobal would like to list on the Australian Securities Exchange in the near future.

Geothermal Consultant to Enter Global Market
Geothermal energy consultancy Hot Dry Rocks (HDR) has appointed geothermal advocate Lawrence Molloy to drive new business development as it looks to expand its services into the global market.

A geologist and engineer, Mr Molloy's primary responsibility is to raise awareness of HDR's services in the geothermal sector, particularly in new markets such as Japan and Canada. He will also drive the commercialization of HDR's second generation Portable Electronic Divided Bar.

Managing director Graeme Beardsmore said "The recent Carbon Tax announcement has given Australia's geothermal energy sector substantial impetus to grow and Lawrence's brief will help reinforce HDR's position as a global leader and innovator in developing this previously-overlooked energy potential."

Mr Molloy began his career as a mining geologist for Royal Dutch Shell and more recently was the executive director of The Foundation for Geothermal Innovation, where he was instrumental in designing ‘The Global Geothermal Challenge'.

He also executed ‘Geothermal Washington', a policy initiative on geothermal energy in Washington State. In 15 years as technology officer with Japanese machinery and engineering multinational EBARA, he had global responsibility for the development and deployment of next generation water and power technologies.

The Australian Innovation Challenge
The Australian Innovation Challenge, a competition that promises to discover ideas and innovations to inspire the nation, has been launched by The Australian newspaper in association with Shell and supported by the CSIRO.

The Australian Innovation Challenge is open to individuals and teams in a range of professional categories and one general public category.

The Environment category has a prize of $5,000 and covers innovation, including clean energy technology, to help reduce Australia's carbon footprint and adapt to natural climate variability and global climate change. It also covers technology tackling problems in pollution control, biodiversity conservation, land degradation, and water conservation and quality. Breakthroughs in enabling technology such as nanotechnology and biotechnology will also be eligible.

The judges will short-list five finalists in each professional category to be featured in a dedicated section published in The Weekend Australian and online.

From these finalists, a winner from each category will be selected and awarded a prize of $5,000. Each category winner becomes eligible for the final round of judging, with the overall winner being awarded another $25,000 cash prize.

The winner of the Backyard Innovation category will receive $10,000.

CSIRO deputy chairman Terry Cutler is head of the judging panel.

Entry details are Here.

Award for Moisture Manager
NSW-based agricultural equipment company, SustainAg Global, won the 2011 Australian Business Award for Product Innovation for its patented agricultural planter, Moisture Manager.

Moisture Manager enables precision planting of broad-acre cereal crops including wheat, barley and other grains, as well as lucerne, grass seeds and canola. Its design maximizes retention of soil moisture, increasing crop yields and reducing farming costs.

In testing, Moisture Manager has contributed to improvements in crop yields of up to 40 per cent and reductions in planting costs, primarily water and fertiliser, of up to 40 per cent.

SustainAG says Moisture Manager offers farmers a solution to the problem of boosting crop yields in an increasingly difficult climate, while preserving soil health. The system also allows crops to be grown on land previously considered marginal.

Managing director and developer of Moisture Manager, Ross Hubbard, said the award confirmed the potential of Moisture Manager to offer hope to thousands of Australian crop-growers facing a water-constrained future.

"There are around 25 million hectares under planting in Australia at present. We need to get this up to 30 million hectares if Australia is to play its part in meeting demand for food and bio-fuels, here and overseas. This means using water more efficiently, and planting in a way that preserves soil structure and nutrients so as to improve crop yields."

More than six years in research and development, Moisture Manager is designed to incorporate a parallelogram planter that follows the contours of the land being cropped, ensuring consistency in planting depth. Its patented ground-engaging device means there is minimum disruption to the soil surface.

Moisture Manager is compatible with no-till and minimum till cropping and can also be used as a traditional field cultivator.

SustainAG is listed on ASSOB and has currently raised $150,000. It would like to raise up to $4.5 million.

Contents

Strategy

Intec Decides Focus
Following a review of its operations and strategies with assistance from the AFG Venture Group, Intec has decided to narrow its focus for the short to medium-term and concentrate on a core set of opportunities. These are intended to deliver immediate economic outcomes and a solid platform for growth.

Intec is commercializing a technology for recovering metals from waste steams. The five key areas for the remainder of the financial year are:

* Continue operation of the low-grade zinc mining project.

* Implementation of the SPL (spent pickle liquor) Recycling project, with development of subsequent SPL recycling projects when appropriate.

Intec's project partner, GB Galvanizing Service, is one of Victoria's largest galvanizing companies. Intec is working with GBG to deliver an SPL recycling plant at GBG's Dandenong site to recycle 1 million litres per year of SPL. The total project cost is around $2.85 million and EPA Victoria is contributing $780,000 to GBG from the HazWaste fund.

The project will be in three stages: Phase 1: Pilot plant trials; Phase 2: Semi-commercial demonstration plant trials; Phase 3: Commercial plant construction and operation.

* Investigation and the decision concerning the Burnie rare earth recycling opportunity.

* Pursuit of the Middle Eastern zinc/lead project implementation contract, and if successful, the delivery on the resulting engineering contract.

* Pursuit of opportunities for the Intec Gold Process via pipeline development and paid testwork, particularly for arsenic-bearing gold feedstocks.

The board said its strategy will remain flexible, and include considering corporate opportunities, and will be adjusted based on near-term outcomes, market conditions and forward expectations.

Contents

Opportunities

Electricity from Car to House
EDay Life Limited plans to launch a range of low emission vehicles into the Australian market. The vehicles will include a battery electric car that can be recharged at home or office, an LPG powered car with excellent fuel economy and a range of fuel efficient petrol vehicles.

EDay Life has developed a car and home charging system that can store excess car battery power in a home's electrical supply to minimize power costs during peak times and recharge the battery during off peak hours.

The company says it is not aware of any other Australian company that provides this technology.

The EDay E15 – a battery electric hatch.

The company estimates that each electric vehicle will avoid the need for the country to import 8 barrels of oil annually, saving $700 per vehicle in the trade deficit at current prices, reduce toxic urban pollution by 150 kilograms, save the public health system $400 per year per car and reduce net transport greenhouse gas omissions by between 1 and 4 tonnes per year.

EDay is currently raising capital through ASSOB.

A Pan-Asian Energy Infrastructure
By 2050, Asia can be connected by an electricity, natural gas and communications network that will deepen regional energy trading, encourage low-emission energy investment, and increase regional energy supply security, says the report Pan-Asian Energy Infrastructure: Outlook 2011.

The 230 page study by Grenatec says A Pan-Asian Energy Infrastructure is already taking shape through initiatives such as China's development of a nationwide electricity grid to carry wind, solar and hydro power, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline and Trans-ASEAN Electricity Grid projects, and Indonesia's Palapa Ring.

Other developments are Australia's National Broadband Network and China's Fiber Optic City telecommunications projects, and new onshore and offshore natural gas projects in Australia, Southeast Asia and China.

"As Asia's multi-decade infrastructure boom picks up speed, the case for bundling cross-border electricity, natural gas and data conduits is compelling," says Grenatec.

"Bundling will enable future energy networks to carry non-fossil fuel energy sources like hydrogen and biofuels but also wastes like captured carbon. Ubiquitous infrastructure also will introduce valuable and innovative 'transport or transmit' flexibility to energy markets.

"With a seamless Asian 'energy super highway' in place by 2050, market forces will then pick the winner in the high-stakes, low emission energy game of tomorrow."

The report is Here.

Waste Bin Sanitiser
Josh's Neo-Line Trade/Introtec is commercializing a newly developed Australian made waterless, eco-friendly waste bin sanitiser and deodorizer called Liquid Form.

Ricky Valladares from Josh's Neo-Line Trade/Introtec says the product is unique. The product saves water as there is no need to use water to rinse. Nor does it need chemical detergents. It is virtually labour free, "just spray and leave". It keeps insects away and the bin properly sanitised with fresh scent. It is also biodegradable.

It has applications in the residential, commercial/ industrial sectors and it can be retailed or sold as a service.

"The product is already developed and ready to be put in the marketplace but it is still a start up. Our aim is to make it available in Australia wide and worldwide but we lack of the funds due to the expense on research and development," he said.

Mr Valladares can be contacted Here.

Contents

Incubators

ATP Innovations Helps Companies Raise $79 Million
Companies at Sydney based incubator ATP Innovations have raised $79 million in capital since 2006, says ATP Innovations' 2011 annual report.

24 of its client companies have secured 46 rounds of investment including 23 rounds from angel investors, 15 rounds from venture capitalists, five rounds from strategic investors, and three rounds from public share issues.

$14.5 million in capital was raised by companies in the last year, with eight companies raising money from business angels, venture capital firms and strategic investors.

In addition, $17.5 million in competitive State and Federal Government grants has been raised by ATP innovations' companies since 2006. 24 companies have won a total of 30 grants.

The incubator's companies earned $44 million in revenue last year. 25 per cent of the clients more than doubled their revenues and almost 50 per cent of revenues were from exports.

For cleantech companies, the annual report examples CarbonSystems, a global provider of energy, carbon and sustainability accounting software.

The technology streamlines the delivery of financial and environmental data on fuel, gas, energy and water to reduce the time and cost of managing this information. "Crucially, it gives companies clear, real-time visibility of their environmental footprint and its clients use this visibility to drive business operations to become more efficient and profitable," says the report.

The technology is based on a software platform developed by Omni Meta, an energy and facilities management software developer that had been based at ATP Innovations since 2006.

In 2009 Omni Meta merged with CarbonSystems and the merged company trades as CarbonSystems. It has offices in Sydney, London and New York, and partners around the globe.

It also has more than 100 clients in Australia, UK, US, Asia and South Africa. These are in diverse sectors including corporate property management, education, electricity and gas, government, food services, fast moving goods distribution, information technology, managed services, mining, logistics, and professional services.

The annual report is Here.

LED Light Works Joins Incubator
Sunshine Coast business LED Light Works has joined the growing hub of over 30 technology businesses at the Innovation Centre incubator.

LED Light Works is an innovative, energy efficient lighting business that produces LED lights for the corporate, commercial, mining, industrial, and government markets. The company says its lighting solutions can reduce electricity usage by up to 90 per cent and last up to 17 times longer than traditional lighting. They are also fully recyclable.

Director and chief executive, Kevin Day, said cutting-edge LED lighting represents the latest revolution in lighting technology since fluorescents were introduced nearly 70 years ago.

"A surprise meeting with a former colleague on a business flight sparked the idea to fill a niche in the market and offer a green, efficient alternative to traditional lighting" he said.

"The challenge now is to continue the development of LED technology and educate the engineers, architects and end users on the benefits, applications and implementation of this emerging technology."

Mr Day said the company's distribution model enables the corporate headquarters, R&D and design to be carried out in Australia with international distributors, manufacturing and quality control in South East Asia.

"This model allows us to maintain strategic control while accessing markets in countries such as Canada, the US, Chile and the United Arab Emirates."

Queensland's diverse cleantech industry generates more than $3.1 billion annually in revenue, employs over 12,500 people and exports over $125 million worth of cleantech products and services annually.

The emerging cleantech sector is one of the Innovation Centre's key sectors along with ICT, health technology and creative industries. Other cleantech firms at the Innovation Centre including energy manager Auzion, water efficiency company Aquiba, and environmental management consultants Future-Plus Environmental.

Innovation Centre chief executive, Colin Graham, said since 2002 the Innovation Centre has assisted the start-up and growth of 82 businesses, and helped client companies to raise over
$23.8 million and create 350 jobs for the region.

The Innovation Centre is a University of the Sunshine Coast company supported by the Queensland Government.

Contents

Meet the Editor
Who is Victor Bivell? I've been a magazine editor for 24 years and have been writing about commercialization for nearly as long.

I edited a manufacturing and engineering magazine for five years and then in 1992 I established the Private Equity Media business which founded the Australian Venture Capital Journal and Australian Venture Capital Guide. I suspect this made me Australia's first full time venture capital journalist.

I've authored and co-authored three venture capital industry studies, and a paper published by the OECD. I sold the Private Equity Media business in 2006.

Also in 1992 I authored the Environmental Investment Directory of Australia, which was the first publication to use environmentally positive screening to identify environmental investments in Australia. In 2005 I founded Eco Investor Media, which publishes Australia's first specialist environmental investment magazine, Eco Investor, and produces two annual conferences: Eco Investor Forum and Eco Innovation Forum.

If you'd like to know what I think of the commercialization process, you can read my paper The Whole of Commercialization Approach to Innovation Here.

I believe that environmental innovation is fascinating and fun as well as serious business. As editor, I will do my best to find and present information that will help you to develop your ideas and business.
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Contribute News and Articles
Eco Innovator welcomes contributions from our readers, be they news or articles. Articles should be up to 800 words, your own work, and previously unpublished. To discuss making a contribution or to forward material, please email the editor by clicking Here.
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Eco Investor Media
PO Box 3102
Wareemba NSW 2046
Ph: 02 9713 7608
Fx: 02 9713 1004
Em: info @ ecoinvestor.com.au
Web: www.ecoinvestor.com.au

 

 

 

Companies, Organizations and Programs in this edition

AFG Venture Group
ANU
Aqua Guardian Group
Aquiba
ASSOB
ATP Innovations
Ausra
Australia-China Science and Research Fund.
Australia-Germany Solar R&D Program
Australian Ethical Investments
Australian Solar Institute
Australian Renewable Energy Agency
Australian Innovation Challenge
Australian Centre for Renewable Energy
Auzion
Bioglobal
BioPower Systems
BioSolar
BuildingIQ
Carbon Revolution (Cfusion)
CarbonSystems
Ceramic Fuel Cells
Chromasun
Clean Technology Innovation Program
Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Clean Technology Showcase
Clean TeQ Holdings
Cleantech Partnering Program
CleverGreen Innovation Grant
Commercialisation Australia
CRT
CSIRO Future Manufacturing Flagship
CSIRO
CSIRO Energy Centre
Cubed
Dyesol
EBARA
Ecobuild Solutions
EDay Life
Education Investment Fund
Emerging Renewables Program
Energy Innovations
Energy Technology Innovation Strategy
Energy Response
Enerji
EPA Victoria
eWater CRC
eWater Innovation
Future-Plus Environmental
Geothermal Drilling Program
Green Rock Energy
Greenearth Energy
Grenatec
gT-Energy Technologies
Hot Dry Rocks (HDR)
Hot Rock
Innovate SA
Innovation Co-investment Program
Innovation Centre
Intec
Island Sky
Josh's Neo-Line Trade/ Introtec
KUTh Energy
La Jolla Cove Investor
LED Light Works
Licella
Metgasco
Metis Technologies
MicroHeat
Modra Hayes
Monash University
Morton's Seed & Grain
Nanosonics
NEP Solar
Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources
Nissan Casting Australia
Nubian Water Systems
Ocean Power Technologies
Oceanlinx
Omni Meta
Overall Forge
Panax Geothermal
Patersons Securities
Petratherm
PolyGenomX
Protean Energy
QLD B-Pods
R&D Tax Concession
REDI Program
Rubicon Water
Rytech Australia
SA Capital
Service Finance Corporation
Skills Development Program
SMR
Starfish Ventures
SustainAg Global
Tarac
Taylor Collison
Techni Waterjet
Torrens Energy
UniSA
University of NSW
University of Melbourne
University of the Sunshine Coast
Veritas Securities
Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortia
WA Research and Innovation Fund
Waratah Power
Wasabi Energy
What's Your Big Idea Queensland? Competition
Windlab
Wizard Power
Wytown

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