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Briefcase: Business snippets from around SA


In this week’s briefcase, local space company Fleet wins a sizeable grant to develop its Internet of Things technology, Archer Materials enters the missile and guidance weapons arena and northern suburbs company AML3D is granted a patent for its 3D printing tech.

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Fleet taps in to Moon to Mars funds

Adelaide-based Fleet Space Technologies has been awarded a federal ‘Moon to Mars’ grant to help it improve its low-powered wide area network (LPWAN) for two major customers.

The $386,770 received through the Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement grant will allow Fleet Space to upgrade the capabilities of its agnostic hybrid satellite (LPWAN).

Fleet Space, which already has five nanosatellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and its sixth is launching this weekend, will be specifically channelling the grant into two of its customers SA Power Networks and OZ Minerals.

It will use its device-agnostic LPWAN network for the development of remote massive IoT applications, both on Earth and in space, and deployed throughout urban and regional South Australia.

Fleet Space CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said the grant means her team can improve their manufacturing processes on devices that will ultimately end up on the Moon and Mars.

“Making them smaller with the ability to function when exposed to extreme temperatures they would experience once deployed in space, is really cool,” she said.

“It is an exciting acknowledgement of the high quality of work we are producing right here in Australia, and a step towards scaling up our capacity for global space industry customers to access.”

The government’s $150 million Moon to Mars initiative, driven by the Australian Space Agency in Adelaide, aims to help local businesses tap into national and international space supply chains while growing skills and capabilities.

Queensland hi-tech electronics manufacturer also received a $461,118 grant in the latest round announced this month.

Fleet will launch Centauri 4 aboard SpaceX Falcon9 on Saturday morning from US launch site Cape Canaveral.

C4 is only the size of a shoebox, and in a world first, has been integrated with digital beamforming technology.

Fall detection technology provides safety net for seniors

SA Smartwatch company Spacetalk has launched fall detection technology on its smartphone watches for seniors.

The new technology incorporates real-time data, triangulation and artificial intelligence and compares it with the wearer’s baseline fall data to determine whether a fall has occurred.

When detected, a fall alert is activated, giving the wearer 30 seconds to cancel before the smartwatch automatically sends an SMS to all emergency contacts with the location before automatically calling them. If none of the contacts respond, ‘000’ is dialled.

The Adelaide company that initially made its mark by pioneering school messaging systems, changed its name from MGM Wireless to Spacetalk in November 2020 to help it ramp up a global push into the smartwatch market.

It launched its first kids smartwatch in 2017 and released Spacetalk Life for seniors last year.

The company, which has distribution in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, also last week announced its watches would now be available in bundles through Woolworths Mobile in Australia.

It followed an announcement in March that the smartphone watches would also be sold by Telstra.

Sacrifices key to business survival

More than half of South Australia’s small business owners have made significant sacrifices in the past year in order to keep their business afloat, according to the results of a national survey released last week.

The Vistaprint Small Business Recovery Report was based on research from 505 small businesses across Australia between May 28 and June 7.

It found 53 per cent of SA business owners made sacrifices including cutting back on small pleasures like takeaway (59 per cent), dipping into savings (58 oer cent) and scrimping to reduce utility bills (53 per cent).

It also found that SA business owners took on an average of 5.7 roles – the most across all states and territories.

Almost half of the SA small business owners in the report identified as sole owner-operators and 70 per cent said they believed their sacrifices would pay off in the long run.

Vistaprint is the marketing and design partner to millions of small businesses around the world.

The company’s “99 days of design” initiative is offering six Australian small businesses a brand refresh and a $15k financial contribution each. Those wanting to get involved can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else by June 25.

Archer targets missile project

Archer Materials will collaborate with the Australian Missile Corporation to identify opportunities to use its CQ quantum computing chop technology to support missile and guided weapons manufacturing in Australia.

The Adelaide-based company announced last week that it had signed a letter of intent with AMC, which is a subsidiary of Queensland-based NIOA and is the largest Australian owned weapons and munitions Prime.

The Sovereign Guided Missile Enterprise was announced by the federal government in March. Archer is a semiconductor company with technology it says will be critical to the program.

Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said the company supported the government’s vision for the development of a sovereign guided weapons enterprise.

“Archer brings to this national endeavour key capabilities in quantum computing and advanced semiconductor materials manufacture which will be critical to creating, supporting and developing Australian defence capabilities,” he said.

Meanwhile, the company has finalised the sale of two Eyre Peninsula tenements to Perth-based NextGen Materials.

Archer announced on Friday it would receive 9.25 NextGen shares as the result of the sale. It has sold all of its remaining tenements to Adelaide-based iTech Minerals, which is expecting to list on the ASX by the end of September.

The tenement sales complete Archers move away from mining and exploration so it can focus on the development of its technology.

3D printer lands Aussie patent

Northern suburbs hi-tech manufacturer AML3D has been granted an Australian patent for its market-leading Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAM) process.

The patent provides coverage over the method and apparatus for manufacturing 3D metal parts.

The ASX-listed company is ramping up production of its 3D printing and robotic welding units to fuel increasing global demand.

It is also growing its contract manufacturing from its Edinburgh Parks base as customers from around the world utilise the technology to produce components for the marine, defence and mining industries.

AML3D managing director Andrew Sales said the patent was a significant milestone for the company.

“The granting of this patent is further validation of our technology and also secures our position as a provider of a major 3D printing process,” he said.

“The market demand for advanced wire feedstock additive manufacturing continues to accelerate, driven by the global pandemic.

“International patent protection will further strengthen our position in a significant and growing addressable market.”

Local lenders crowned at business awards

Two team members from HomeStart have been recognised by their peers as among the best Business Development Managers in their industry.

Elizabeth James was recently crowned best Business Development Manager, Lender/Support Service Provider at the South Australian Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) and for the second year running, Scott Hills won South Australia’s best lender BDM (non-bank) at the Better Business Awards.

Hills was recognised for his support of local brokers to enable them to better assist their clients access home finance.

As a Business Development Specialist for HomeStart, his role is to provide a support service to brokers which includes training in product, policy, system support and networking.

James, who is celebrating 18 years at HomeStart, has been commended for her passion for building strong relationships with brokers so that together, they can help more South Australians to achieve their dream of home ownership.

She has now been shortlisted for the National MFAA Awards in Sydney on July 22.

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