On my second week as General Manager of CORE Innovation Hub, I was fortunate enough to attend the Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition & Conference at the Perth Convention Centre. First impressions were excellent, the Perth Convention Centre was packed with impressive displays and the crowds were engaged with a variety of displays and representatives. Most pleasing for me personally was the opportunity to see our CORE members and partners doing what they are passionate about.
We got a sneak peek of what tomorrow looks like in the Oil & Gas industry in the NERAInnovation Station, and in my somewhat biased opinion, the CORE representatives stole the show. It was great to see our mission statement - “where the resources & energy sector powers the human enterprises of tomorrow” – so clearly demonstrated. I got to meet Jill from the CSC and Miranda from NERA, one of our fantastic foundation partners, who introduced me to some of the exciting projects on the horizon and their outlook on the industry.
The project that excites me the most in their formidable pipeline is the LNG Living Lab, a collaboration between NERA, UWA and select industry partners. The LNG Living Lab will provide innovators with a dedicated facility to test new technology in real time and prove their solutions on a live plant environment for rapid commercial uptake in the industry – removing the traditional barriers to entry.
The first booth we came across in the NERA Innovation Station was the Chironixstand manned by knowledgeable employees Renae, Scott and Jake. We were expertly guided through the company overview and their three pillars of business offerings (Cloud Data Engineering, Robotics and Wearables), I couldn’t help but ask about the pairs of glasses on their countertop. This prompted a discussion around the GoogleX partnership that Chironix has forged to power their exciting work across both the Glasses and Cloud platforms. Amongst a host of other projects was their trial with Murdoch University to bring petabytes (one petabyte is one thousand million, million bytes) of Genomics data into their cloud platform was an amazing story. Once successful, this will change the way big data is integrated into daily operations and used for decision making by the research group forever.
Right behind them was Mukesh from AiSpanner, I met him initially when I first became part of the CORE community over 12 months ago and could immediately see his passion for his product. He is a fantastic advocate for the sector and is always quick to join in any of our community events (or sneak a snack from a networking platter) before disappearing to continue working on his application. AiSpanner is designed to reimagine Turnaround, Shutdown, Maintenance and Safety Planning in the industry. The next-gen, easy-to-use, interactive, multidimensional application is different from the existing offerings due to the integration of advanced visualization, analytics, spatial and augmented intelligence help the user make informed decisions through both predictive and cause/effect mitigation.
As we arrived at the Engineers Australiabooth, we were greeted by Michael the Member Engagement Manager and Kym, the WA Relationship Manager. Engineers Australia is working hard to bridge the gap between students and future employers, with Kym organising tour exhibitions to introduce students to key contacts and industry leaders. Kym has already had requests for a step up to full day tours next year, highlighting the eagerness of the next generation of innovators joining the sector.
Next on the agenda was Nexxiswho had an extremely impressive display. Their stand was packed with guests and media trying to get interviews, photos and videos with their live displays. We managed to steal Abigail Hynes the vibrant Marketing Coordinator to explain “Magneto” to us, Nexxis’ newest and most talked about robot. Produced in collaboration with CSIRO and Data 61, Magneto gets its name from the magnetic feet on each of the four legs. This gen 2.0, biologically inspired robot crawls up and down metal at the push of an Xbox controller’s joystick and was designed primarily to remove workers from harm’s way during confined space visual inspections. Watching Magneto move, and hearing Abi talk about some of the design features, I had to try and stop my mind from thinking of all the other ways this could be utilised across other industry sectors, not just Oil and Gas.
Also, on the stand was SixDe, a Nexxis company that specialises in customisable solutions and rapid prototyping. This WA based, international company works hand in hand with Nexxis to build their robots right here in Australia – ensuring quality and agility is at the forefront in their offerings. Both Nexxis and SixDe are always looking for collaboration opportunities with investors or industry partners, I'd highly recommend getting in touch.
As we walked around the main floor, we were drawn over to the Australian Subsea Pavilion where we met CORE Co-working member Ray Farrier talking with industry peers.
The show was a great success for the Subsea Innovation Cluster Australia (SICA), with excellent engagement from their numerous members, partners and sponsors that attend this year’s AOG. The main theme from the speakers and presentations held in the adjacent Subsea Forum was the alignment of industry and technology, that bodes well for the continued growth in the innovation and start-up market. As example the team at Blue Ocean Monitoringreaffirmed this theme as members of the Subsea Innovation Cluster. Their positive outlook and continued growth in both the UK and here in Perth, has resulted in a flurry of job board activity as they staff up to meet the demands of the market and enter new sectors. Their existing long-range unmanned survey solutions has now received a smaller, lightweight stablemate in the IVER-3. The IVER-3 directly challenges current practices, using vessel-based, ROV or even larger AUV survey techniques, delivering highly accurate survey data with significant reductions in project cost, risk time and logistics.
AOG2019 was a great experience and introduction to the CORE community, I look forward to attending again next year to see the next generation of thinking as well as engage with even more of our members. I am always available for a chat over coffee to discuss what we can solve for tomorrow, today.