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What Australia’s solar power initiatives really need: A boy and his ‘death ray’

When Australia decides to get serious about its renewable-energy initiatives, we recommend that Ms. Gillard give Eric Jacqmain a ring. The youngster from the American Midwest created a portable "death ray" that, at its focal point, boasts the heat of 5,000 suns.

Think smaller: Victorian Government introduces nanotechnology ‘vouchers’

The Government of Victoria has launched a $6.5 million program designed to promote the use of small technologies, including nanotech, biotech and information technologies, among business organisations. It's doing so by offering vouchers.

Colour him ‘green’: Clean tech for car paint earns Victoria Prize

Gutowski’s work addressed a waste problem faced by the auto industry, which uses 9.68 million litres of paints a year in manufacturing, with all solvents becoming airborne and 2.5 million litres of solids going to landfills.

Exposed nipples cause row between Victoria Buckley and Facebook

“Like Big Brother they are inaccessible and omnipotent,” says Victoria Buckley through a statement distributed by AAP Medianet. You may wonder what got Victoria, the owner of the elite Victoria Buckeley Jewellery Company, so worked up? Well, it all started with the nipples of an enchanted doll making headlines the world over.

Electric cars ready to go mainstream

Better Place, an ambitious, venture capital backed company, is building electric car infrastructures targeting major cities around the world. The idea is simple yet constitutes a radical departure from conventional wisdom – instead of stretching the technological limits of a battery’s life, Better Place is constructing a network of battery swap stations that will allow electric cars to replace its depleted battery for a new one in less than 60 seconds.

The Lab Team Composition – Experiential Team Building (SMART 100)

The Lab Creative was launched in April 2009 -- a dynamic live experience agency that deals in producing live corporate events and has revolutionized corporate team building in Australia. Securing some of the nation's largest companies -- such as Coca-Cola, Amatil, NAB, and Wesfarmers -- this is an inspiring story of vision and belief that creativity is the key to unlocking the best potential out of corporations all over the world. We are the interface between the corporate and creative -- it is a proven science.

Funnelweb (SMART 100)

Our customers kept asking us about the best way to fill bean bags.

Creativity Talent Tool (SMART 100)

One of my clients asked me how she could accurately identify creative performers in recruitment for her organisation. I told her I would try and find her a tool, and found out nothing existed - so we set about creating one.

Reverse Vending Machines (SMART 100)

We developed this solution around Wincor Nixdorf's solution, however the EPA of South Australia requires that these machines pay end users cash at collection point. These Reverse Vending Machines will be used thru out the state of South Australia as a start. Recyclates are captured in a clean fashion and all empty plastics, cans, and bottles are recycled. Hence, a cleaner environment for people using this technology. The modern day "cash for cans".

Signmanager (SMART 100)

Signmanager was born from an idea developed by directors Dan, Kris and Alan, who at the time were working for a sign manufacturer and saw a gap in the market for their idea: Signmanager. Signmanager acts as an independent consultant on behalf of major corporations to procure and manage their global branding requirements and the ongoing maintenance of their branded assets in the retail environment. Signmanager currently manage the corporate brands of more than 30 multinational corporations at over 40,000 retail outlets worldwide. Signmanager has offices in the Asia-Pacific region, UK and Europe, and the US.

Online1984 (SMART 100)

We were looking for solutions to our clients’ needs for social media monitoring and analysis. We found many technical solutions that provided data but could not allow for human sarcasm, vernacular, industry jargon, spelling errors, abbreviations, etc., and so provided inaccurate or irrelevant analysis. If someone tweets “I’d kill for a Cadbury chocolate” it would be scored as a negative when in fact it is a positive. We realised that to provide a genuine understanding of how a brand, product, or person was being positioned online we had to have a human being evaluate, analyse, and score every feed individually.

CoverMe (SMART 100)

I was 24 and doing a program called Slingshot, which helps young people in the West realise a business. I noticed that there was very little available for Muslim women and the scarf they were wearing was always held in place by pins. I wanted to create something comfortable and without any pins.

www.handleyourownpr.com.au (SMART 100)

We wanted to help small businesses that couldn't afford our PR fees to generate publicity themselves.

BillsTrust (SMART 100)

One of the partners receives lots of bills and invoices (10+ a month), varying from handwritten to printed bills, and payment methods all vary. He came up with a simple proposition of a web-enabled service that took care of all your bills to get them out of your headspace by not having to remember due dates or do any data entry to physically pay them.

CAPTure Strategic Workforce Planning Software (SMART 100)

A couple of women got really tired of employers talking about how important their talent was...and not really meaning it! They decided that they could use software to show big companies why they needed to care about people...and also to help them know how to.

Works Central (SMART 100)

Someone mentioned to one of our team members that it would be great to have a central location for all planned works being conducted by councils, utilities and others to avoid them duplicating effort (after a roadway was dug up and resealed in his street for the second time in 3 months -- once by the Council and once by the water authority). A team was assembled and the business problem was identified before we started to think about what the business solution needed to look like.

Utilibill Lite (SMART 100)

This innovation came to life when we realised a gap in a developing segment in the telecommunications market. With telecommunications becoming commoditised, many entrepreneurs have joined the groundswell of companies offering innovative product mixes in voice, Internet, data, PBX, and hosting segment. While there are plenty of wholesale providers of these services, No one in the market has delivered an end-to-end BSS/OSS platform (front, middle, and back office solution) for these innovators. Utilibill Lite empowers such players to be competitive and offer first-class service while minimising overheads that were previously required to set up a telco.

Unbooked (SMART 100)

Founders Sarah Taylor and Jeff Dusting realized how time consuming and unsatisfactory it was to locate, book, and pay for home, health and beauty services, and how few service providers had access to efficient low-cost online trading.

CommunityCarbon (SMART 100)

The founders were searching for the points of greatest inflexion to help move us to a sustainable economy. We realised that to be successful in this goal, we needed to engage consumers, and work to create a new market from the bottom up. Realising that government and corporate action on climate change was in regulation and artificial institutional markets we saw the need for a retail carbon market that everyday consumers could participate in on a daily basis, and trust enough to want to.

Cursions – the online resource database for Australian teachers (SMART 100)

We have spent almost fifteen years working in the Victorian education sector, teaching everything from Outdoor Education to Science to History to Geography. After seeing firsthand the increasing frustration felt by many teachers trying to find the best educational opportunities for their students, and how this was matched by an inability by many providers to successfully advertise their products to schools. Having identified a big gap in the market, we looked around at the technology available, decided upon ones and zeros as our medium, and after many sleepless nights and cups of coffee -- Cursions was born!
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