Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Manufacturers celebrates novelty and entrepreneurialism

Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Manufacturers were announced during Australian Manufacturing Week in Sydney with AMGC members among the very best of the best.

Following a five-month campaign by independent publisher @AuManufacturing and scoring by a panel of five experts, the prestigious list was recently announced at a breakfast event on April 18.

Placed among the Top 10 Gold Award winners were two AMGC project alumni – laser diode maker BluGlass, and Sleeptite which is developing a solution for monitoring aged care residents based on stretchable, printable electronic sensors.

BluGlass received a $250,000 AMGC co-investment to assist the scaling up of its Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) technology in collaboration with industry and university partners.

Sleeptite was awarded $872,004 from the Commercialisation Fund, supporting a collaborative project to bring its REMi product from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 to TRL 9 in collaboration with mattress manufacturer Sleepeezee, the RMIT Centre for Functional Materials/Microsystems, and foam manufacturer, Joyce.

Other AMGC-backed projects featured in the Top 50. These include body scanner and biometric intelligence company Bodd, product commercialisation specialist Evolve Group, electronics engineering and design company Tekt Industries, and waste-to-energy business Capricorn Power. Eco Detection, which is part of a recently announced project to develop a world-leading integrated water monitoring and filtration system for remote communities, was Highly Commended.

According to the campaign’s organiser, @AuManufacturing editor Brent Balinski, the median among the Top 10 Gold Awards was 15 per cent of revenues devoted to R&D. Seven of the ten mentioned in their nominations that they had developed world-first technology.

However, while novelty is important, it means nothing without a business case. Through its nomination, judging and coverage, the campaign sought to identify and celebrate innovation as implementation, rather than the development of technology, and to focus on projects that met a real-world, commercial need.

There was also an acknowledgement of the risk and entrepreneurial nature involved in innovation.

According to @AuManufacturing, innovation is not the result of a business being “high-tech” versus “low-tech”, but rather of a business going about understanding, then obsessively focussing on, then solving meaningful problems – all through a commercial lens.

To highlight this, companies on the list were a disparate bunch. They included manufacturers of flying cars, frying pans, soil, surgery robots, heat engines, hydrogen electrolysis cells, soft drinks and much more.

AMGC was delighted to see so many of its projects and members a part of this list.

The full list can be seen here.