Clean tech start-ups have been targeted by the 2012 Australian Clean Technologies Competition, which promises entrants access to mentors, training opportunities, potential customers and investors.
The competition, which first ran last year, was introduced by the Federal Government in an attempt to identify the best ways of tackling the challenges of climate change and sustainability.
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It is part of the government’s $8.2 million Supplier Advocate Program, and is supported by Enterprise Connect, Commercialisation Australia, CSIRO and Austrade.
Ideas can be for technologies, services and policies that address pollution, waste treatment and energy storage.
The competition also encourages new ways of looking at energy efficiency, building materials, transportation systems, public utilities, etc.
According to Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation, the competition allows clean tech firms to develop their capabilities and gain market exposure.
“Last year we had an overwhelming response to the competition,” Dreyfus said in a statement.
“[There were] 70 entries tackling current issues including pollution, energy efficiency, renewable energies, green buildings, smart electricity grids and new transportation systems.”
Through the competition, entrants gain access to business mentors and training opportunities, and showcase their capabilities to potential customers, investors and the media.
Competition finalists are given access to the Cleantech Business Accelerator Program, which culminates in the companies preparing a business plan, used to expand their businesses.
The accelerator program provides mentoring on commercialisation pathways, business modelling, funding solutions and techniques for pitch delivery.
It is tailored to suit the needs of each business – be it access to venture capitalists, patent support, legal advice, research support or corporate assurance.
Up to 30 of the best companies will qualify as competition semi-finalists and be eligible to take part in the accelerator program, which will be delivered over two months.
Up to six companies will then be selected as finalists and will receive additional advice and introductions. The winner will be announced at an investment showcase and dinner in October.
The winning firm will then represent Australia at the international Global Cleantech Ideas Open Competition in the United States in November.
All of the finalists will be invited to join the Australian delegation attending this event.
Last year’s 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 says.
“The domestic exposure has helped us develop a stronger presence here in Australia.”