Startup News & Analysis

Brisbane clean tech startup Redback Technologies gets $1.96 million boost from Queensland government as it looks to Dubai

Dinushi Dias /

A Brisbane clean tech startup has secured $1.96 million in resources from the Queensland government as it prepares to run a major pilot project in Dubai.

Redback Technologies, co-founded and led by Philip Livingston, specialises in residential and commercial solar energy solutions.

Its latest funding support comes from Energy Queensland, a government-owned electricity distributor, which has injected $1.42 million worth of staff and resources into the startup. Redback Technologies previously received $9.3 million from EnergyAustralia in October 2016.

Advance Queensland has backed this up with a $540,000 research fellowship to assist Redback Technologies and the University of Queensland with advancing the development of smart grid capabilities.

“The latest round of investments kind of signals the evolution of where the company is going,” Livingston tells StartupSmart.

The investments will see Redback Technologies gain a team coordinator and two mid-level engineers from Energy Queensland, who will help the startup create and deploy advanced monitoring systems in renewable energy over the next three years. Advance Queensland’s support will equip the startup with three data scientists.

“We’ve got some good data scientists … but having more resources with very smart PhDs that are mid in their careers as postdocs is a huge benefit into looking into new research questions,” says Livingston.

Livingston believes this will create a “monumental” shift for the startup as it works on developing a “broader basket” of intelligence gathering capabilities, including smarter algorithms for its hardware and software products.

“We’re actually working together to reach a common goal of providing a greater penetration of renewables into the networks,” he says.

“I don’t think that could have been achieved to as high a degree of accuracy if it were to be two disparate functions working on it in two disparate ways.”

The startup also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai government’s Duserve Facilities Management in March that will see it collaborate on a solar solutions pilot at Dubai South, a new smart city expected to accommodate 1 million people.

Duserve Facilities Management is also working on a separate pilot with Queensland startup Gruntify.

Livingston says the pilot with Redback Technologies will run for 12 months starting this June, and has the potential to develop into a much larger project.

“It is initially looking at a small volume of residential and commercial applications, gathering intelligence on those applications and providing outputs to Duserve on how to optimise energy and other related services,” he says.

“The aim of it is to reach a position of forming a joint venture for Duserve to serve [a larger customer base across the] middle-east, North Africa region.”

*This article was updated at 8am on April 6, 2017. 

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.

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