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SEA Electric delivers two trucks to Alsco

Electric vehicle company SEA Electric has delivered a pair of trucks to Alsco Australia (pictured.) The SEA 85e model trucks are destined for Sydney and Melbourne, with each fitted with a SEA-Drive 120a power-system with maximum power and torque of 125kW and 1,500Nm, with the 138kWh battery capable of an unladen range of up to 300 kilometres. “We applaud Alsco for supporting Australian manufacturing and taking the next step on their EV journey with SEA Electric,” said Daniel Castro, President – Asia Pacific, SEA Electric. While the trucks are new to Alsco in Australia, Alsco in New Zealand were early adopters of SEA Electric’s pioneering commercial vehicle technology, with multiple deployments including that country’s first inter-city pure-electric heavy vehicle.

Grants open for wine and cider producers

Applications are open for the fifth round of the Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grants program for wine and cider producers. The program provides funding of up to $100,000 to wineries and cellar door operators who grow and promote agri-tourism, largely in regional Australia. Assistant Secretary for Food Policy at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Paul Denny, said Australian wine producers continue to demonstrate the success of locally grown and manufactured products. “While it has been a tough few years for some parts of Australia’s wine industry, our winemakers and cellar door operators are highly resilient,” said Denny. “Providing support to our wine industry will continue to help the local economy and agriculture.” Submissions are open until September 30, with more information available here.

Super round sparks bright Queensland ideas

The Queensland government’s is launching an $8 million “Ignite Ideas super round”, with the $4 million 11th round of Ignite Ideas opening in September and offering up to $200,000 “to help take bright ideas to the next level”. Ignite Spark will support SME early-stage innovators with grants of up to $75,000 to fast-track prototypes into global markets. The Ignite+ program — offering business investment, sales and marketing advice to innovators supported by the Ignite Ideas program — is also being expanded with a $1.5 million boost. Round ten of Ignite Ideas was announced this week, awarding $1.42 million to 13 projects ranging from AI fundraising technology to a zero-emission bulk haulage solution for builders.

More investment in skilled workers needed: ACCI

A one-third decline in apprenticeship and trainee commencements highlights the ongoing skill shortage, according to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says. Figures released this week show apprentice and trainee commencements in the final quarter of 2022 were down 33.5 per cent on the previous year.  “This massive downturn can be linked to the end of the incredibly successful Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements program last June. The program has ended but the skills shortage has not,” said ACCI CEO Andrew McKellar. “There have not been commencement figures this low in a December quarter since 2019. This troubling decrease in apprenticeship commencements shows the need for subsidies at a sufficient rate is ongoing. A new subsidy scheme will strengthen the business case for employers to hire apprentices and give young Australians the opportunity to kickstart their careers and contribute to Australia’s skilled workforce.”

UOW scientist pushes boundaries of materials

The University of Wollongong (UOW) secured $2.88 million in funding through the prestigious 2023 Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships scheme. Among them Associate Professor Shiyang Tang from the University of Southampton who’ll be joining UOW’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS) has been awarded $826,390. Associate Professor Tang’s work with electro-triggered solidification of supercooled fusible alloys is set to push the boundaries of material science. Traditionally, stiffness in materials has been considered a static property, but this project aims to challenge that notion. Associate Professor Tang, said: “This project will turn a problem – that is supercooling, a state where liquids do not solidify even below their freezing points – into an opportunity to develop the world’s first composite material with programmable stiffness that can offer all desirable properties for robotics and wearables. Through collaboration with the Australian manufacturing industry, we hope to advance the nation’s global competitiveness in advanced manufacturing and healthcare technology.”

Lark Distilling quarterly sales of $4 million

Tasmanian distiller Lark Distilling has recorded Q4 net sales of $4 million as the company surpasses 2.38 million litres of whiskey under maturation. The company’s core Signature and Symphony product ranges performed strongly growing net sales by 49 percent and 42 percent respectively. Ignoring one-off sales lasty year, the company saw organic sales growth of 15 percent in FY23, supported by rising sales in exports and travel retail channels. At the end of the financial year Lark had a cash balance of $7.2 million.

Strategic Elements reports progress on electronic skin patch

Printable electronics developer Australian Advanced Materials, a company owned by investment house Strategic Elements, has reported progress on the development of its cells designed to provide power for sensors and skin patches. The company reported challenges in improving the Energy Ink skin patch material’s efficiency and durability were overcome. Electrical charge capacity increased from microamps to milliamp-hours and ampere-hours and from hours to days and to months. Work continues on nano-engineering a range of discoveries in fundamental moisture-to-energy mechanisms into electronic ink formulae.

Queenslanders to benefit from new energy efficient appliance rebate

Queenslanders will be able to save hundreds to help bring down electricity bills. Around 40,000 Queenslanders will be able to claim a new rebate when purchasing energy efficient appliances which is up to $1,000 for eligible households from next month. This comes on top of electricity bill rebates of $550 and $1,072 for senior and concession card holders. As part of the state government’s push to ease cost of living pressures, the new $22 million Smart Energy Savers programme offers rebates for a range of eligible energy efficient appliances. It’s estimated that making the switch from 2 to 4 star appliances could save individual Queensland households hundreds to thousands of dollars a year, and reduce Queensland’s CO2 emissions by thousands of tonnes each year. Low income households will be able to claim the most on appliances, however all Queenslanders will be eligible to access cost-of-living support on selected appliances.

Picture: supplied

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