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Sydney start-up enLighten wins 2012 clean tech crown

Oliver Milman /

Sydney start-up enLighten is to take part in a global innovation showcase in the US after winning the 2012 Australian Clean Technologies Competition.

The business, which was launched in 2008, designs and supplies energy-efficient LED lighting for commercial and residential buildings.

Its patented Chameleon lighting product, designed for low occupancy spaces such as car parks, is credited for reducing energy consumption by up to 93% compared to traditional fluorescent lighting.

Steve Cahill, general manager of enLighten, said he was “delighted” with the award, while Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation, praised the overall quality of the competition.

“The Clean Tech Competition has attracted over 100 entries this year. It’s brought together emerging technology developers with venture capitalists and mentors experienced in the commercialisation of new products,” said Dreyfus.

“The winner, enLighten, is helping consumers dramatically improve their energy efficiency and reduce Australia’s carbon footprint.”

“Their energy saving lighting is already being used in Australian universities, local councils and high density residential apartments.”

“This sort of ingenuity and innovation gives Australian businesses a commercial edge over competitors and helps create high skill, high wage jobs.”

By winning the award, enLighten will take part in the Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition in the United States, where it will compete with entrants from 90 countries for more than $100,000 in services.

Along with the six other finalists, enLighten will also take part in a trade mission to the US, in the hope of securing investors and customers overseas.

The runners up for the award were Melbourne-based VR Tek and Biofiba, of Gosford, NSW.

The full list of the finalists, aside from enLighten, are:

1. Advanced Plant Nutrition

Advanced Plant Nutrition has developed an innovative product (MaxSil) from post-consumer waste glass which will reduce the amount of waste being taken to landfill and can be used to significantly increase plant nutrient uptake and increase crop yields by up to 25%.

MaxSil has also demonstrated the capacity to reduce carbon intensive phosphate inputs by up to 50%.

2. Aeratron

Aeratron has developed a new fan design with increased airflow efficiency that reduces energy use by up to 50% on air conditioning, creates reduced noise and can be retrofitted.

3. Biofiba

Biofiba is a composite comprising 100% natural organic matter sourced from commercially grown, renewable, non-food crops processed and extruded into a simulated timber plank as an alternative to timber, plastic, cardboard and polystyrene in the manufacturer of biodegradable export shipping pallets.

4. SkyCool

SkyCool manufactures a cool-roof coating that reduces the internal temperatures of buildings such as shopping malls, airports and warehouses to below ambient typically saving 30-50% of a building’s air conditioning energy giving IRRs of 25-100%.

5. Tropiglas Technologies

Tropiglas Technologies is developing energy-generating clear glass technology that will have market entry as a clear low-emissions glass for the automotive and building industries.

The technology blocks IR and UV radiation and associated heat whilst allowing visible light through.

6. VR TEK Global

VR TEK Global has developed a process to turn end of life tyre waste into high-value, very fine devulcanised and activated rubber powders that can be used to economically replace virgin material in the manufacture of high-end products in the areas of rubber, plastics and elastomers.

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

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