Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
University of Queensland (UQ)-based start-up company Bilexys Pty Ltd has been announced as a finalist in the US$200,000 Imagine H20 2011 Prize for Water Start-ups.

Bilexys was formed by UniQuest to commercialise an innovative technology developed at the Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) within the University.

Bilexys approaches wastewater treatment as an opportunity to biologically convert the organics within wastewater into high-value chemical products, including sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide. Chemicals produced by the Bilexys method are potentially less expensive and have a lower CO2i footprint relative to traditional chemical manufacturing techniques, providing a significant economic and environmental driver for the commercialisation and industrial adoption of the technology.

This is the third year that the San Francisco-based non-profit organisation Imagine H2O has offered the Prize to encourage entrepreneurs to develop business opportunities from water challenges.

The Imagine H20 Prize includes cash and in-kind services, including participation in Imagine H2O’s Accelerator Program, which aims to commercialise innovative ideas by connecting partners, customers and investors.

As a finalist, Bilexys will receive technical and financial mentorship from Imagine H2O prior to making a final presentation to the judging panel this month.

Bilexys is one of only two Australian and non-US-based finalists in the Pre-revenue Track (total equity and convertible equity investment to date under US$1.5 million). The winners from a short-list of nine finalists will be announced at a showcase event on March 20.

Bilexys Business Development Manager, Paul Barrett, said the announcement in late December of Bilexys’ achievement to this level in the competition has helped to focus the company’s attention on potential industry partners based overseas.

“We entered the Imagine H2O Prize because of the exposure it offered as much as for the prospect of winning prize money to further develop the technology for the market,” Dr Barrett said.

“The 21 judges assessing Bilexys include cleantech experts and venture capitalists, so to have this panel looking closely at our business plan is a very encouraging step towards building our profile in the US, which makes up the largest share of the global water utilities and wastewater treatment market.”

This latest achievement for Bilexys reflects UQ’s strengths in sustainability research leading to economic and environmental returns for a major industrial concern worldwide, said UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson.

“The Bilexys commercialisation story is a good example of how Australian university research can collaborate with industry and deliver returns on public funding to develop viable applications for scientific discoveries,” Mr Henderson said.

UniQuest helped the AWMC develop a strong intellectual property protection and business strategy, which led to its winning the UQ Business School’s $100,000 Enterprize business planning competition. The Bilexys technology is currently under licence from UQ, with several subsequent patent applications strengthening the intellectual property value for prospective investors and industry partners seeking a competitive advantage.

Bilexys is also operating a pilot plant at a major Australian pulp and paper company, producing sodium hydroxide from their wastewater.

About Bilexys Pty Ltd

Bilexys Pty Ltd is a UniQuest start-up developing wastewater treatment equipment invented at The University of Queensland-based Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC). Bilexys provides a revolutionary approach — the conversion of wastewater to caustic soda and/or hydrogen peroxide for re-use on site. The technology uses naturally occurring bacteria to harvest the energy stored in the organic material and applies this energy to the creation of valuable products. The Bilexys technology has been taken successfully from the one litre laboratory scale to a fully operational 1000 litre pilot plant.


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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: +61 409 767 199


Advanced Water Management Centre



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