Minister spruiks defence exports but is that enough?

Comment by Peter Roberts. The new defence industry minister, Steven Ciobo is touring South East Asia this week spruiking Australian defence exports, something it is generally hard to fault. He is supporting the 20 companies exhibiting at Indo Defence Expo and Forum 2018 in Indonesia, and having meetings in Singapore to strengthen bilateral defence industry…

Government funds fail to save jobs at Port Pirie smelter.

An financial commitment of $290 million by the SA Government has ensured the survival of one of the world’s largest metals smelters at Port Pirie, but failed to stem job losses. The funding, part of a $660 million upgrade of the giant Nystar lead and silver smelter, was not linked to any job retention guarantees,…

Victorian government commits to directly funding skills.

It what looks like a move timed to coincide with the state election, the Victorian government is to spend $234,700 to boost the skills of a major regional manufacturer. The local member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, announced the funding for the Barker Trailers Regional Workforce Development project through the Government’s Regional Skills Fund. Barker Trailers…

Drone company raises $3.5 million to commercialise technology.

Drone technology company Emescent has raised $3.5 million in venture capital to commercialise Hovermap, which utilises autonomous drones to map underground mines. The company, a spin-out from CSIRO, raised the capital from Main Sequence Ventures and Bechtel mining executive, Andy Greig. Hovermap consists of a LiDAR mapping payload equipped with autonomous technology that automates the…

Innovation fades from view – and why we should be worried.

Analysis by Peter Roberts. Remember Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation nation? It was flavour of the month but interest evaporated when the word failed to resonate with voters and the then Prime Minister turned to more pressing issues. The rise and fall of innovation under this government is just another chapter in the marginalisation of what arguably…

Osmoflo’s cup runneth over.

Adelaide desalination and water treatment manufacturer, Osmoflo is groaning at the seams at its Burton factory as it completes a number of major water purification projects. The company, which uses sophisticated membranes to desalinate and purify water, appears to have been benefiting from an upturn in mining investment across Australia. “Projects we are currently working…