Case study: How NASA and Apple tech provider Liquid Instruments took their products to the global stage

liquid instruments

Members of Liquid Instruments' founding team outside their Canberra office.

Liquid Instruments was founded in Canberra by a team of experimental physicists and engineers, including former researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Their equipment helps scientists, engineers, students and professionals seamlessly acquire data, run measurements and control their experiments.

“We started Liquid Instruments because we were frustrated with current test and measurement equipment and realised that a new approach based on a different technology could really make a difference,” says Liquid Instruments CEO Professor Daniel Shaddock.

The company’s flagship product, Moku:Lab, integrates 12 precision test and measurement instruments into a single, compact hardware device.  

The company’s flagship product, Moku:Lab.

To replicate all that Moku:Lab can deliver would require tens of thousands of dollars in separate equipment purchases and significantly more lab space to house it all. 

Liquid Instruments began making Moku:Labs in a small storeroom at the Australian National University in 2014. 

The company now has an office in the US, exports around the globe and can name many of the world’s biggest companies, governments and organisations as customers. For example Apple, NASA, Nvidia, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin and more. 

Global expansion supported by the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) provided support by reimbursing the money spent promoting their products overseas while starting to explore opportunities throughout the USA and China.

Find more information on the EMDG and discover if your business is eligible.

Further assistance from EMDG meant that Liquid Instruments could continue their marketing activities to seek growth into new markets, predominantly in the USA, Europe and Asia.

Liquid Instruments were able to plan a targeted strategy and invest with confidence to drive their expansion overseas, knowing they would be reimbursed for almost 50% of expenses through EMDG. 

Through their hard work and international marketing efforts, they have been able to showcase their products in key markets to buyers, distribution partners and secure new business. 

Liquid Instruments now employ 45 staff based in Canberra and a business development team in the USA. Export now makes up more than 85% of sales, including a number of A-list clients.

How did Export Solutions help?

Even though Liquid Instruments were a young company and had only just begun making sales, Export Solutions provided strategic advice and successfully navigated the grants process to provide a cash grant of over $50,000 in the first year, with grant values increasing in the following years.

“The team at Export Solutions guided us through the process to ensure that we received our maximum entitlements,” says Professor Shaddock. 

“It’s exactly the helping hand we needed. Having someone to navigate the grant process on our behalf allowed us to maintain focus on the core aspects of the product marketing.” 

The EMDG team at Export Solutions were able to assist Liquid Instruments claim expenses including: 

Advertising and promotion

  • Digital marketing 
  • Promotional materials (brochures, flyers, and other branded materials)
  • Advertising in print publications
  • Website expenses

Marketing consultants

  • Consultants engaged to undertake export market research or marketing activities.

Overseas representatives

  • Engaging a representative to market and promote products overseas.

Trade fairs and seminars

  • The costs associated with participating at a number of international trade fairs and conferences in key markets.

Travel to overseas markets

  • Airfares to attend marketing events and meeting international clients for marketing purposes.

export solutions
Export Solutions

Export Solutions is a private company having its genesis some 36 years ago, with a sole focus of assisting Australian exporters. Under the current management team for some 17 years, we have maintained our position as the leading national grants advisors, and (since 2001), stood alongside exporters assisting them exhibit at major international trade fairs.

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