Home Articles Victorian Technology Profiles Oct/Nov 05

    Victorian Technology Profiles Oct/Nov 05

    The path from start-up to success story can be a challenging journey. These two Victorian innovators are taking the path less travelled, turning good ideas into profitable international businesses, and they’re not looking back!
    As history reveals – from Florida’s hanging chads to your typical internecine board rivalry – electoral systems can be as fallible as the candidates they validate. Victorian company Everyone Counts (E1C) offers a product that is fast acquiring a global reputation as a leader in online voting systems.
    Established in 1997, E1C acknowledges that elections are, fi rst and foremost, a human process and actively supports human oversight.
    “A lot of other e-voting projects have met with great resistance because their fundamental premise is that voting is like banking, where you can install ATMs and sack all the tellers,” says Craig Burton, E1C’s Managing Director. “That’s just not the case with voting. People who support voting need to play an active role.”
    E1C’s system builds a unique Java applet for every election. The Java election runs in a standard web browser and encrypts the voter’s vote. Each vote remains encrypted through delivery over the internet and storage in E1C’s databases, and can only
    be decrypted by the electoral returning offi cers or the election’s predetermined supervisory board. This system affords added security, but also facilitates the process of electoral auditing and public scrutiny. The applet code can be made public and can be signed by any number of trusted auditors.
    E1C primarily targets postal voting, which Burton sees as becoming more inadequate as it tries to cope with an explosion in postal voters. To date, governments have been late-adopters of the technology, but Burton believes that will change with the inevitable introduction of identity cards.
    E1C runs online elections and e-surveys predominately for international blue chip organisations, including the Mortgage Industry Association, the British Labour Party, Deloitte in London, Ernst & Young in New York and KPMG Australia.
    The US private sector alone holds 1.3 million elections each year. It is a huge potential market and E1C, with its balance between technological function and common sense, is well positioned to prosper.

    Manufacturers are fully aware that quality is vital to building reputation and success. You can have the most accurate machines and highly refined systems, but it counts for little if the customer receives damaged or missing goods.
    Melbourne-based company, Detection Systems Pty Ltd, has been designing and manufacturing inspection solutions since it’s formation in 1979. Their latest technology can inspect the contents of closed packs as they are conveyed at high speed along production lines.
    “Our technology uses low frequency, low energy radio waves to visualise the contents of a sealed pack and determine if there are any packaging defects or items missing,” says Lachlan Maher, Technical Director of Detection Systems. The product, known as PCIS, can look at an individually packaged item (such as a confectionery bar), or items inside a pack, or packs inside a shipping box.
    Traditionally, closed pack inspection systems have relied on weighing (rough estimation) or x-ray (expensive and unsafe). The great strength of the PCIS is that it is safe, supports the high-production conveyor rates that are essential to successful manufacturing, and, therefore, protects the precious brand names of high profi le customers. The company has sold PCIS units to Mars, Arnott’s, Johnson & Johnson Medical and several other big name food, beverage and pharmaceuticals heavyweights.
    According to the company’s Managing Director and founder, Tony Maher, Detection Systems is the only company in the world using this type of technology. “It’s a fast technology – much faster than x-ray. It’s also safe, simple, reliable, low maintenance and has very low operating costs. With x-ray, you have a tube that might cost $20,000 and has to be replaced regularly.”
    Detection Systems has exported PCIS to several countries, including the US, Canada, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy and Austria. It is actively pursuing partnering and alliance opportunities.

    What is the Australian Technology Showcase?
    Based on public and private sector collaboration, the Australian Technology showcase (ATS) supports the development of Australian technologies and their promotion internationally.
    Who can join?
    ATS membership is free and open to Australian small-to-mediumsized companies, R&D organisations and educational facilities that own an export-ready technology.
    How do I join?
    Check out the details at www.ats.business.gov.au. View the membership information relevant to your State and contact the ATS secretariat for assistance through the ­­­­­membership process.
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