Clean technologies competition funds start-ups

The department of industry and innovation is staging a ‘clean technologies’ competition, giving the opportunity for Australian innovators to have their low-carbon technologies manufactured.

The 2012 Australian Clean Technologies Competition is now open for nominations, according to the parliamentary secretary for industry and innovation, Mark Dreyfus.

“As part of Australia's transition to a low carbon high‐efficiency economy, the Government wants to shine a light on Australian innovators taking advantage of business opportunities to reduce energy and resource consumption,” Dreyfus said.

“This year's Australian Clean Technologies Competition is a unique opportunity for Australian clean technology firms to develop their capabilities and gain market exposure for their innovations.”

The Competition will allow entrants to get together with business mentors, access training and show their capabilities to potential customers and investors.

Companies who become finalists in the Competition will be provided access to the Cleantech Business Accelerator Program, which is a government initiative designed to provide mentoring, business modelling and delivery techniques to businesses.

Last year, 70 companies entered the Competition, with technologies for pollution, green buildings, renewable energies and the smart grid.

The 2011 Competition winner, SMAC Technologies, designed an innovative air‐conditioning technology that reduces energy consumption.

Entry criteria

All entries must be a start-up that has received less than $1,000,000 in external private financing at the time of competition entry. Grant funding and any money from entrants, their friends and family are excluded from this $1,000,000 limit but in total, funding received by the business must be less than $5,000,000.

Any Australian resident with a cleantech idea is eligible to compete in the Australian Cleantech Competition. However, a legal entity (public or pty ltd company or similar) must be created prior to being able to shortlisted as a Semi-Finalist and such legal entity must have an ownership structure typical of an independent start-up.

Business ideas must fit into one of the cleantech categories below:

Air Water & Waste: Ways to cut pollution

Example technologies:

  • Storm-water and flood control, rainwater harvesting
  • Smart irrigation
  • Water filtration and disinfection
  • Advanced filters and filtration (air or water)
  • Carbon and GHG monitoring and control
  • Carbon capture sequestration, storage
  • Waste cleanup and remediation

Energy Efficiency: More efficient methods and devices

Example technologies:

  • Industrial process improvements
  • Natural gas monitoring and control (industrial or residential)
  • LED lighting
  • Advanced lighting controls
  • HVAC solutions
  • Utility scale natural gas controls

Renewable Energy: Replacements for fossil fuels

Example technologies:

  • Solar for energy production
  • Thin film solar manufacture
  • Concentrating solar PV
  • Biobased fuels
  • Hydropower
  • Advanced fluid flow designs
  • Wind power technologies

Green Building: New kinds of buildings or materials

Example technologies:

  • Insulation materials
  • Cement alternatives
  • Indoor air filtration systems
  • Disaster relief and modular housing
  • Low VOC carpeting and flooring
  • Water saving toilets, showers, plumbing
  • Recycled materials for use in building material

Smart Power, Green Grid, Energy Storage: Better ways of carrying electricity or storing it

Example technologies:

  • Real-time power monitoring
  • Network architecture for power management
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Battery form factor improvements
  • Advanced fuel cell membranes
  • Power storage
  • Transmission efficiency

Transportation: Greener cars, buses, trucks or planes

Example technologies:

  • Fleet and route management systems
  • Logistics management
  • Carpooling solutions
  • All electric vehicles
  • Flex fuel engines and applications
  • Drivetrain conversion kits
  • Monitoring and control of driver behaviour

For a full outline of eligibility and rules, click here.

For further information on how you can participate in the Australian Clean Technologies Competition, click here.