Friday, October 23rd, 2009 - UniQuest Pty Limited
A cooling vest for helping fire fighters combat heat stress has helped James Cook University (JCU) start-up GRW Industries win this year’s $100,000 Enterprize, a national business plan competition run by The University of Queensland’s Business School.

The winning CoolMe™ technology developed at JCU forms the basis of a disposable vest that can be worn under protective clothing to help emergency workers, miners and other professionals working in extreme heat conditions.

UniQuest has been working with the Cairns-based inventors to optimise the innovation’s commercial potential since launching a commercialisation collaboration with JCU last year. The Enterprize money will help fund further business development for taking the technology to market.

GRW has already been working with another UniQuest partner, the University of Technology, Sydney, to undertake the industrial design of the vest.

Open to entrepreneurs and start-ups across Australia, the UQ Business School’s Enterprize competition awards the $100,000 prize solely for the purpose of commercialising the winning idea.

UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said the Enterprize competition offered an important incentive for inventors of early stage new technologies to practise the discipline of writing a realistic business plan.

“We congratulate the GRW team on their Enterprize success. Like other UniQuest projects entering this competition they have worked very hard to ensure all commercial possibilities are explored for getting the idea out of the university and into the right environment where it can benefit consumers,” Mr Henderson said.

“The opportunity to pitch their ideas to actual representatives from the investment and entrepreneurial sectors and receive constructive feedback is extremely valuable, even for the project teams who don’t win the major prize. The media exposure is also very beneficial in helping prospective commercial partners learn more about university-based innovation.”

The CoolMe vest can be seen on YouTube

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UniQuest Pty Limited

Established by The University of Queensland in 1984, UniQuest is widely recognised as one of Australia’s largest and most successful university commercialisation groups, benchmarking in the top tier of technology transfer worldwide. From an intellectual property portfolio of 1,500+ patents it has created over 60 companies, and since 2000 UniQuest and its start-ups have raised more than $400 million to take university technologies to market. Annual sales of products using UQ technology and licensed by UniQuest are running at $3 billion. UniQuest now commercialises innovations developed at The University of Queensland and its commercialisation partner institutions: the University of Wollongong, University of Technology Sydney, James Cook University, University of Tasmania, Mater Medical Research Institute, and Queensland Health. UniQuest also provides access to an expansive and exclusive network of independent academics to tailor a consulting or project R&D solution to meet the diverse needs of industry and government, facilitating some 500 consulting, expert opinion, testing, and contract research services each year.

UniQuest is also a leading Australasian provider of international development assistance recognised for excellence in technical leadership, management and research. Working with agencies such as AusAID, NZAID, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, UniQuest has developed and implemented more than 400 projects in 46 countries throughout the Pacific, South-East Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Africa.

Leanne Wyvill
P: +61 7 3365 4037
M: +61 0 409767199


A new JCU-UniQuest technology for helping fire fighters combat heat stress has won $100,000 to develop the innovation further.


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