NERA powers energy innovators to combat COVID-19


Monday, 11 May, 2020


NERA powers energy innovators to combat COVID-19

National energy Resources Australia (NERA) has awarded funding in a national campaign to assist energy innovators to pivot and adapt their technologies to help businesses and communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

An interactive videogame that teaches children about the importance of hygiene, revolutionary 3D copper coating with bacteria-resistant properties, and a sophisticated geospatial alert system to prevent future viral outbreaks from spreading are among 10 new projects that will fast-track technology solutions to manage and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

The 10 projects will share in $227,500 worth of NERA funding as part of a national campaign to assist energy innovators pivot at speed and adapt businesses and technologies usually designed for the energy resources sector into innovative ways that can help households and businesses recover from the pandemic and limit future outbreaks.

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said innovation and adaptability have long been hallmarks of Australia’s innovation culture, and this latest support initiative will assist more energy sector supply companies leverage their world-class skills in data analysis, remote infrastructure management and communications into practical ways that support Australian communities while helping those businesses retain their workforces and potentially export their new solutions internationally.

“NERA’s mission has, and continues to be ‘creating connections for growth’. Now more than ever this commitment to championing our sector to collaborate and come together remains vitally important,” she said. “In the midst of widespread business disruptions and uncertainty, we’re working to help our sector do what it does best and innovate at speed to help support the wider community as we navigate these challenging times.”

The successful projects were chosen after a national EOI campaign was announced in March 2020 by NERA, the country’s Industry Growth Centre for energy resources. With funding support already fast-tracked to each company, these 10 Australian innovators are already rapidly deploying their technologies across the country.

The 10 COVID-19 energy innovation projects that have received support are:

  • Airscope (WA) — Bringing digital twins to the home: Airscope is enhancing the network capabilities of its digital twin web-based application to perform in low/no internet environments so that workers can digitally access remote sites and collaborate on projects from home.
  • Biarri (Qld, Vic, WA) — Digitising emerging risks associated with COVID-19: Biarri has repurposed its Workbench 5 data analytics platform to enable tailored data visualisation insights that allow companies to visualise workforce risks and potential impacts of COVID-19 on their business and then plan accordingly.
  • Chironix (WA) — Turning video conferencing into a hands-free learning tool: Chironix has dramatically improved communication across remote teams by directly integrating audiovisual hardware (eg, Google Glass) with video conferencing platforms to allow users to engage with colleagues and experts while continuing to interact hands-free with their environment.
  • iSOL8 (WA) — Community health and safety geospatial app: iSOL8 has upgraded its area departure alert system to assist in the quarantine of high-risk COVID-19 individuals, enabling a rapid and targeted response by authorities and easing the strain on policing and border control resources.
  • J.E.S.I. Management Solutions (Qld) — Employee check-in for remote workers: J.E.S.I. is extending its journey management software to include a ‘Working from Home’ module that enables organisations to manage remote workforce locations and ensure employees are safe no matter where they are.
  • MyPass Australia (NSW) — Digital passports to protect critical workers from COVID-19: MyPass is expanding the functionality of its award-winning digital work passport to include critical COVID-19 e-learning training, self-declarations, test results and immunisation records to protect critical workers and offer real-time visibility for companies.
  • O2 Metocean (WA) — WaveWatcher Buoy manufactured locally: O2 Metocean is adapting to significant international supply chain disruptions by locally developing and manufacturing the first Australian-made waves measurement buoy (WaveWatcher), supporting and enhancing the capabilities of Australia’s manufacturing in the oceanographic industry.
  • Sentient Computing (WA and Qld) — Online hygiene videogame: Sentient has utilised its industry-leading skills in VR training, 3D visualisation, process control and automation to create Social Distance Dash — a free browser-based videogame that teaches children the importance of hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • SPEE3D (Vic and NT) — Copper coatings to flatten the curve: SPEE3D has modified its world-leading 3D printing technology to deliver a fast and affordable way to 3D print antimicrobial copper onto metal surfaces that ‘contact kills’ 96% of the virus that causes COVID-19 in just two hours.
  • Universal Site Monitoring (NT) — Biometric early warning app: Universal Site Monitoring is customising its industrial ‘Personal Safety Monitoring System’ to remotely real-time monitor Australia’s emergency response crews, frontline responders and quarantined individuals or groups to help minimise the spread of COVID-19.
     

Image: ©stock.adobe.com/au/peshkova

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