Monday, November 1st, 2010

On Friday, 29th 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 Maptek Pty Ltd. 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.

Maptek were awarded the Gold Cup based on the culmination of 10 years of hardware development resulting in the release of world class of mining technology called the Maptek I-Site 8800 Laser Scanner. The original idea was to create a Time of Flight range finding system that incorporated panoramic imaging, survey made telescope, leveling sensor and an inbuilt battery.

 Maptek has over 30 years history with its 3D mining software and deals with over 800 sites in 50 countries around the world. I-Site laser scanning products compliment their existing mining software suite over the entire life of the mines operation and rehabilitation.

As a matter of interest it was Adelaide based international engineering firm and TIA member Maptek that proved to be the crucial link in the recent rescue operation of the 33 miners trapped in Chile's San Jose mine. Just six days after the mine collapsed, Maptek's Chilean team - working nearby on large copper mines - were called in to create the three dimensional model of the complex underground workings of the mine site.

The model helped pin point the drill sites for the rescue shaft that finally helped bring the men up to safety after 69 days underground. Maptek Chairman Bob Johnson, who lives in Adelaide, received the call for help on August 11. "We lined up the spot to drill, and got it in one," Mr Johnson said. "We needed three holes to start the shaft, and it only took one attempt at each."

Software development company e-channel Online Pty Ltd were awarded the Excellence in Innovation Award for their DynamicCreative™ online advertising search tool. One of the core features of Dynamic Creative™ is its ability to generate and create online ads and keywords based on consumer internet search intent. These keywords and ads are mapped directly to the most relevant website landing page within an advertiser's website. This ad generation feature is ideal for online retailers, the travel industry and classified websites faced with the challenge of advertising websites with large and variable product and service listings.

The software feature plugs into a website’s database and can create, pause, edit or delete keywords and ads based on fluctuations in a website’s inventory. Dynamic Creative™ has been integrated with the Google ad parameters since its release by Google last year. e-channel Search has since adapted Dynamic Creative™ so that ad parameters can be updated in Yahoo. This means that real time ads can be produced with dynamic parameters such as price points. For example, if a consumer types in “Flights from Sydney to New York”, their intention is clearly to fly from Sydney to New York. The software will produce an ad that responds with the price of the flight and if applicable the number of seats or the offer end date – e.g. “Fly From Sydney to NY, from $1200, Offer Ends, July 30”. The searcher is then directed to a page in an advertiser's website that contains the offer that was advertised in the ad. This process can be applied to every single product category, subcategory and item on a website, allowing search advertisers to perform very sophisticated mass marketing campaigns in search engines.

The Medical Device Partnering Program was awarded the Service to the Electronics & ICT Industry Award in recognition of its service to the medical device industry. Through this program, medical device companies and inventors have gained access to relevant experts via a single point of contact. These experts are sourced from across the State, and include engineers, scientists, clinicians and other medical staff. A team of these experts is then available to collaborate on medical device projects whereby carefully crafted project plans are agreed by all thus ensuring that false expectations are avoided. Satisfaction in the management and operational aspects of this program have been carried out through the 16 partner organisations. This has resulted in strengthening the program in a number of areas but in particular placing a stronger emphasis on commercialisation.

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 450 speakers delivering 400 presentations per year.

The Electronics Graduate of the Year Award was awarded to two recipients Levi George and Michael Galeano. Mr George started work at the People’s Republic of Animation through the South Australian Film Cooperation’s digital attachment program. The program places recent graduates from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School within businesses as interns to familiarize them with industry. Mr George’s most significant achievement has been to create 3D animation for the Adelaide Film Festival. The animation had to be about foreign films in some way. With only three weeks to develop ten seconds of animation Mr George created and animated a character using the 3D modelling programs; Maya and Z-Brush – something he had never done before.

Mr Galeano joined the Satellite Communications division at BAE Systems in late 2008 as part of his second graduate rotation in the graduate program. He formed a part of a small team whose aim was to produce a technology demonstrator for a military satellite. Mr Galeano’s most significant achievement has been his successful engineering project management taking the lead role in acting as the prime point of contact between the contractor and the customer, managing coordinating staff, preparing labour and material estimates and budget/schedule tracking for the project manager.

The Environmental Sustainability Award was awarded to SAGE Group Holdings for their product innovation for clients which are aimed at streamlining production and reducing waste. An example of this includes work SAGE did for The Advertiser newspaper to enable them to enter the Greenhouse Challenge in 2,000 and have since reduced GHG considerably. SAGE have also ensured their internal project delivery business systems are aligned and integrated with their Helath and Safety, Environmental and Quality business systems on a common sharepoint platform. During August 2010, SAGE received the internationally recognised certification of their business systems across their entire Group for ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) via DQS Germany.

The President’s Award for Best Media Story went to Martina Simos, News in Education Manager, The Advertiser newspaper for her story on August 24th 2010 titled “It’s all a bit too hard – Why students turn their back on maths, science” that appeared on page 13 of The Advertiser. TIA President Peter Charlesworth 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 centred around a survey that the TIA had carried out via 131 teachers to gather their opinions on issues they face in teaching science, technology, engineering and maths otherwise known as STEM subjects. The survey found that the lack of qualified STEM teachers contributes to students not connecting that maths and science proficiency can lead to potential technology related careers. 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 has been awarded to Minelab Electronics for export activity associated with their handheld metal detectors for consumer applications worldwide. A new high growth market in Africa contributed towards a significant increase in revenue for FY09/10. A large Indian Countermine contract for 2,500 detectors was another highlight for the year. Minelab manufactures ten main consumer products that are exported to more than 50 countries and has over 200 dealerships worldwide. Around 80 per cent of total revenue was derived from exports for the FY09.10, representing a 10 per cent increase in export revenue over the previous year. The largest export growth area was in Sudan.

TIA CEO, Steve Adcock said that the standard of award applicants was outstanding across all categories this year with a total of 30 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 Mr Adcock.

“It was uncanny in some respects that the Gold Cup winner also enjoyed international fame as a result of their software being instrumental in rescuing the miners trapped in Chile. Interestingly our award judges made their decision prior to the Chile situation,” stated Mr Adcock.

Mr Adcock went on to say that the Technology Industry Association took advantage of the industry gathering at the awards dinner last night to make three exciting industry announcements:

1. Launch of a Five Year Strategic Plan for the Technology Industry
2. Launch of a new full colour glossy 32 page magazine featuring industry stories, updates and award winners (Tech State) and
3. Announcement of the Association’s improved website with features that will provide communication options similar to Face Book where members can chat to each other, upload photos and promote their company globally,

A vibrant South Australian technology industry is vital to achieve economic growth, increase exports and create employment growth and in turn contribute significantly to the economic growth of this State.

“The Technology Industry Association Five Year Strategic Plan encapsulates the Association’s commitment to create a collaborative environment in which technology companies and organisations can grow and prosper,” explained Mr Adcock.

Five focus areas have been identified in this plan that will enable the South Australian technology industry to achieve strong and sustained growth;
1. IP Development, Protection and Commercialisation
2. Skilled workforce Development
3. Export Development
4. Business Sustainability and Green Initiatives
5. Investment / Venture Capital Availability

“This Strategic Plan represents a blueprint that will enable the technology industry to achieve its optimum potential over the next five years,” finished Mr Adcock.

Sponsors of the event were: Codan, Minelab, Legend, Innovate SA, Redarc, Uni SA, Custom Agency Services, BAE Systems, Braemac, Madderns, Entech, and Enterprise Connect

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Technology Industry Association

The Technology Industry Association (TIA) is the peak body in South Australia representing the $7.5 billion electronics, digital technology, telecommunications and ICT industry. TIA is a non-profit, member based organisation that delivers tailored networking events,special interest groups, business advice and lobbying opportunities.

Jayne Osborne TIA Marketing Manager
P: 08 8272 5222
M: 0417 725 995


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