Clean tech competition highlights diversity of ideas

The Australian Cleantech Competition is now open for registrations, with information sessions in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, in a bid to build on the success of last year’s competition.


The ACC, an initiative of the federal government’s $8.2 million Supplier Advocate Program, is supported by Enterprise Connect, Commercialisation Australia, the CSIRO and Austrade.


The competition, managed by private research and advisory business Australian CleanTech, is part of the US-based Cleantech Open, which plays host to the Global Cleantech Competition.


The winner of this year’s ACC will represent Australia at this competition, which is being held in November.


The ACC is now open for registrations, with an information session to be held in Melbourne this evening, followed by sessions in Sydney and Brisbane.


The sessions are designed to provide further information on the competition. Attendants will also have the opportunity to hear from last year’s finalists and learn about other clean tech initiatives.


Some of the 2011 finalists’ successes include joint ventures with overseas companies, funding and investment, and commercialisation in Australia and internationally.


This year, up to 30 semi-finalists will qualify for a tailored mentoring program, which will cover commercialisation pathways, business modelling, VC funding solutions, and pitching.


Last year’s Australian winner, SMAC Technologies, has developed air-conditioning technology that reduces energy consumption.


“The access to the Silicon Valley investment community really helped our business,” SMAC Technologies director Wayne Ryan said in a statement.


“The domestic exposure has helped us develop a stronger presence here in Australia.”


The other 2011 finalists highlight the diversity of the competition entrants:


SolMax (second place)


The SolMax combines existing roofing and solar products to produce a cheap, efficient solar concentrator that can be retrofitted and delivers heat, cooling and electricity to commercial premises at the lowest cost.


LubeMaster (joint third place)


LubeMaster, produced by Clean Oil Services, utilises a centrifuge technology to provide ongoing cleaning of oil in a more efficient way than standard pore membrane filters.


YellowDot Energy (joint third place)


YellowDot Energy has developed Australia’s largest solar high-flow groundwater extraction system based on a proprietary control algorithm.


As a result, it operates a bore motor in such a way that it can achieve maximum possible shaft speed given the available solar energy incident on the PV array at any moment in time.


AquaGen SurgeDrive (2011 StartupSmart Awards Top 50)


AquaGen’s SurgeDrive wave energy system has its energy conversion system above water for reduced costs and improved efficiency.


It provides a solution that is scalable and cost competitive with other renewable energy sources.


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