On Friday, 21st October at the Technology Industry Association (TIA) annual awards dinner, the winner of the prestigious TIA Gold Cup for Excellence in Engineering and Commercialisation was awarded to REDARC Electronics. The Gold Cup is the most prestigious TIA award and is given to a company that performs best in taking an innovative idea through product development and onto national and global markets. Steeped in history going back to 1984 when the first perpetual gold cup was presented, the technology industry eagerly wait each year to see who has been awarded this esteemed award.
REDARC were awarded the Gold Cup based on development of an in-vehicle battery charger family of products. In the development phase REDARC identified a market need where potential customers including owners of camper trailers, caravans and motor homes, boats, police vehicles and even defence vehicles were being troubled by an inability to gain the security, freedom and flexibility while travelling. Essentially they were unable to fully charge high cost auxiliary batteries when these differed in chemistry from the main battery. The successful creation of the family of new REDARC in-vehicle battery charger products has resulted in the creation of eight FTE positions at REDARC’s Lonsdale premises.
Minelab Electronics in partnership with Applidyne Engineering Design Solutions were awarded the Excellence in Innovation Award for their small form-factor tactical metal detector which is used to locate landmines by military personnel. The detector collapses to a compact carry size, is waterproof and most importantly has a superior detection ability over its competitor’s small form-factor detectors. Minelab engaged the support of Applidyne throughout product concept development and manufacturing phases. The F3 Compact detector has been successfully launched and is currently being used to save lives around the world. The F3 Compact detector project began in June 2009, involving extensive research including a field trial phase with; the US Marine Corps, US Army Corps of Engineers, Halo Trust, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, DSTO and the Defence Research Development Canada.
IMAGINiT Technologies were awarded the Service to the Electronics & ICT Industry Award in recognition of their high level of support to Autodesk software clients. IMAGINiT is a reseller of Autodesk software and is passionate about seeing clients integrating it into their business processes to improve performance. They are able to measure customer satisfaction through the volume of repeat business, low churn rate, consistently high customer satisfaction scores on surveys, letters of recommendation and documented success stories. Unique services offered by IMAGINiT include access to over 100 technical specialists, often in niche and specialised needs of clients. For example, this may include aircraft, vehicles, weapons or electrical component animation and movies using the Autodesk software.
The Support of Education Award was given to Advantage SA in recognition of their school based speaking program that inspires school students to embark on electronics and or IT career paths. Advantage SA’s Speakers in Schools program is heavily involved in supporting educators to encourage students to pursue careers in electronics and or ICT fields. Advantage SA work extremely hard to deliver outstanding presentations to all requesting schools no matter how far or how small they may be. The program has grown from 10 speakers delivering 20 presentations in 2005 to over 370 speakers delivering 440 presentations in the past year.
The Electronics Graduate of the Year Award was awarded to Kyle Dix from REDARC Electronics. Kyle graduated from Flinders University in 2010 with a Bachelor degree in Engineering (Computer and Electronic). Initially Kyle was employed as REDARC’s first Manufacturing Electronic Engineer in 2010 and has since been promoted to the position of Surface Mount Technology Supervisor in September 2011. Kyle’s first major project at REDARC was to design and implement a complete PCB (printed circuit board) cleaning system. He coordinated the installation, commissioning and training of the new PCB washing machine, ensuring all processes including the disposal of waste water complied with environmental safety criteria.
The Environmental Sustainability Award was awarded to ZEN Energy Systems for their Monarto Zoo Solar Tracking Farm and Community Program for local councils in Victoria in South Australia. The Monarto Zoo Dual Axis Solar Tracking Farm was launched by Premier Mike Rann in November 2010 and will produce an average of 250 kilowatts of electricity a day – enough to power five homes. The Community Program for local councils has achieved 3,000 installations starting in Victoria and then at 34 South Australian councils. The Community Program has included training for local electricians and plumbers to install ZEN systems, and an education programs in schools.
The President’s Award for Best Media Story went to Martina Simos, News in Education Manager, The Advertiser newspaper for her story on 20th September 2010 titled “Students Seek Help With Choices.” TIA President Alan Thomas chose this article as being representative of the best media story about the technology industry for the year. He recognised the effort and background work involved in researching the article and its impact on industry. The article featured survey findings from participants who had attended TIA’s annual career night. This was the first time the TIA had conducted a post career night survey and the results were echoed by a national survey conducted by the Acceleration Group. Both surveys pinpointed the fact that secondary students are finding it difficult to decipher the increasing amount of career information available. Having a one stop shop career event focusing solely on technology stud pathways helped those who attended tremendously. Gaining mainstream media coverage of the outcome of this survey has helped the Association address key issues associated with a skills shortage in the technology sector. The President chose the story based on the criteria of writing excellence, accuracy, storytelling, newsworthiness, impact and creativity
The Export Excellence Award was awarded to Coiltek Manufacturing for export activity associated with their handheld metal detector accessories for consumer applications worldwide. New dealers have been taken on in Russia, Eastern Europe and South America contributing towards a significant increase in export revenue. During the 2010 – 2011 financial year, 36% of revenue was attributed to exports, representing an increase of 400% in recent years.
TIA CEO, Mike Williams said that the standard of award nominations was outstanding across all categories this year with a total of 24 award applications received. “Individuals and companies who applied for awards, demonstrate that the technology industry is burgeoning with talented individuals and companies that have the market savvy to succeed in national and tough overseas markets,” said Dr Williams.
“A vibrant South Australian technology industry is vital to increase high value of exports. In turn the industry will then contribute significantly to the economic growth of this State,” added Dr Williams.
“By recognising and celebrating company achievements in innovation and commercialisation the Association aims to inspire and encourage others,” finished Dr Williams.
Award Sponsors: Legend Corporation, Minelab, Codan, Zero Waste, Customs Agency Services, Uni SA, Enterprise Connect, BAE Systems, Entech Electronics, REDARC Electronics & Madderns.
Technology Industry Association
The Technology Industry Association (TIA) is the peak body for the technology industry in South Australia and the official voice for the technology industry. The industry has an estimated 2010 turnover of $9 billion and is forecast to reach $10 billion in 2011. TIA is a non-profit, member based organisation that delivers tailored networking events, business advice and lobbying opportunities.
Facilitating the technology industry to thrive both domestically and internationally is of prime concern to TIA. The activities of this industry have a flow on impact to the economic prosperity of South Australia in terms of employment, future growth and social well being. In this sense TIA serves not only the technology industry but also the wider community who benefit from having a home grown flourishing high tech industry.
Jayne Osborne TIA Marketing Manager