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Briefcase: Business Snippets from around South Australia

In this week’s briefcase, 200 new homes to be built at Kadina, a second UNIQLO store will open at Westfield Marion and the state government invests $6 million in AI.

May 13, 2024, updated May 13, 2024
Raviteja Duggineni of ResearchSat, Jill Dewey of ESpy Ocean, Ann Angel of AUCBG, Adrian Smith of AUCBG, Tony Scoleri AICRAFT, Edward Robinson of Robinson Aerospace Systems. Photo: supplied

Raviteja Duggineni of ResearchSat, Jill Dewey of ESpy Ocean, Ann Angel of AUCBG, Adrian Smith of AUCBG, Tony Scoleri AICRAFT, Edward Robinson of Robinson Aerospace Systems. Photo: supplied

UniSA’s space start-up support program

A business growth program by the University of South Australia has helped six South Australian space businesses lift off.

AICRAFT, ESpy Ocean, HEX20, Orbital Blue, ResearchSat and Robinson Aerospace Systems have all taken part in the inaugural six-month Growth Ramp space pathway under the program.

The program, delivered by UniSA’s Australian Centre for Business Growth (AUCBG) in collaboration with the Innovation and Collaboration Centre, is supported by the South Australian Space Industry Centre, which receives state government funding as part of the Venture Catalyst Space Program.

AUCGB Director and Playford chair of business growth Ryan Williams said the pathway was designed as an “innovative program where space firms can learn the skills and knowledge they need to grow and scale their companies”.

“They will share their business growth journeys with fellow space companies, creating a powerful peer learning experience and a lifelong network,” he said.

Defence and space industries minister Stephen Mullighan said it was a “huge opportunity for SA start-up companies in the space industry”.

AICRAFT specialises in purpose-built electronics and advanced semiconductor technology to enable ultra-compact, high-speed, low power AI solutions for high-performance computing at the edge.

ESpy Ocean provides tools for anti-poaching and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and transport vessels.

HEX20 provides turnkey satellite mission solutions designed and delivered according to the client’s needs.

Orbital Blue build solutions for safe navigation in space orbits by developing next-generation collision avoidance capabilities.

ResearchSat has the vision to revolutionise life sciences and biomedical research by harnessing the unique potential of microgravity environments for advancing human health beyond the boundaries of Earth.

Robinson Aerospace Systems was founded to ignite passion in secondary school students and educate them about space technology, inspiring them to pursue careers in Australia’s space and STEM industries.

– Isabella Kelly 

Govt backs AI with $6m investment

The Adelaide-based Australian Institute of Machine Learning (AIML) will receive a further $6 million in state government funding to expand the organisation’s core work and make it more globally competitive.

The internationally recognised Institute based at Lot Fourteen in the CBD will use the funds to support its research and engineering teams to develop AI-enabled products and services for South Australian SMEs and government clients.

It will also use the cash to establish four international exchange PhD scholarships and 16 scholarships for honours and masters degree students, as well as to recruit top AI research talent into SA.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said his government was “determined to lift our economic complexity, and the standard of living for South Australians”.

“According to PwC, global GDP is poised to increase by up to 14 per cent by 2030 due to the rapid development and adoption of AI, representing $15.7 trillion in economic growth. South Australians can harness this enormous opportunity,” he said.

“We’re home to nationally recognised AI companies and well known for punching above our weight in AI, contributing more than 20 per cent of the nation’s AI research in 2021 despite making up only seven per cent of Australia’s population.

“Strengthening our industrial AI capability will be key to enhancing efficiency, productivity and automation, and will help South Australia to become a world-leading digital economy.”

AIML director Simon Lucey said South Australia was one of the “top global places for AI activity”.

“Since the AIML was established six years ago, we’ve worked with more than 35 businesses and numerous government entities to use AI to create new products and improve productivity,” he said.

“Our extended program will not only continue that important work for South Australia, we’re now expanding it with new domestic student scholarships and international exchange opportunities with some of the world’s top AI academic and industry players.”

David Simmons

Magnetite Mines is planning on mining magnetite at its Razorback project located just 240 kilometres northeast of Adelaide. Photo: Magnetite Mines.

Magnetite Mines appoints financial advisor

Azure Capital has been appointed as financial advisor for Magnetite Mines’ Razorback Iron Ore Project.

The corporate advisory firm will support the mining company with funding and partnering options related to the development of its South Australia-based iron mine.

Azure is an independently operated affiliate of the global financial group Natixis, which is part of the leading French financial organisation Groupe BPCE.

Magnetite Mines said Azure would work directly with the company’s board and management to implement solutions for the “rapid development of Razorback, prioritising optimum value for shareholders”.

“We are delighted to appoint Azure as Financial Advisors to the company,” Magnetite Mines CEO Tim Dobson said.

“Whilst boutique, professional and nimble in nature, Azure brings the backing of international financial giant Natixis to the table and will play an important role in supporting Magnetite Mines’ decision-making as we finalise negotiations and secure partnering, project financing, and offtake agreements to support the rapid development of our Razorback Iron Ore Project.”

David Simmons

William Buck Adelaide 2024 CFO Summit, at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday, 15 May from 8:30am-5pm.

Securing South Australia’s Water Future, a CEDA portfolio update with Deputy Premier Susan Close at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Thursday, 30 May from 12-2pm.

Economic opportunities for Adelaide highlighted in new report

A KPMG report found that Adelaide was undergoing a “significant transformation” towards high-tech sectors, with a focus on renewable energy and defence projects.

The KPMG Enterprising Cities: how they are shaping future growth report found employment growth in Adelaide was outpacing the rest of Australia, and that over the next five years 91,000 jobs are set to be introduced.

The report identified Adelaide as an ‘Enterprising City’ alongside Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with local amenities and affordable housing two of the city’s strengths.

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KPMG chairman Justin Jamieson said Adelaide had undergone an economic transformation over the past decade, moving from a traditional manufacturing base towards a more knowledge-intensive economy.

“Adelaide’s manufacturing industry has historically been a cornerstone of its economy. However, it is now undergoing a significant transformation,” he said.

“The Manufacturing industry (52,600 workers) is pivoting towards high-tech sectors, with a focus on renewable energy and defence projects. Professional services has also seen a notable expansion, with the industry now employing 65,000 people in Adelaide, indicative of a broader trend in the local economy’s diversification.”

David Simmons

Eckermann Group launches new tech for real estate industry

The Eckermann Group launched Greatforms on May 1, its new compliance technology for South Australia’s real estate industry.

The platform aims to make property management systems in South Australia more efficient as they receive about 50,000 annual transactions.

Jarrod Eckermann, CEO of Eckermann Group and general manager of Greatforms, stated the program will increase consumer and agent certainty.

“It stands out for its ability to minimise risk exposure for agents, enhance operational ease and speed when they are working with vendors and purchasers, and it delivers a sophisticated and polished experience to all parties to real estate transactions,” he said.

“We wanted to do things differently and in a way that would result in a product that made sense to and solved any existing issues for agencies, sales agents and their clients.”

Greatforms will be up on offer for interstate property management in the coming months.

– Xenia Hackett

A second UNIQLO store will open at Marion later this week. Photo: EPA/KIM HEE-CHUL

A traditional opening ceremony for Adelaide’s second UNIQLO store

A Traditional Japanese ribbon cutting and taiko drumming ceremony will open Adelaide’s second UNIQLO store in Westfield Marion next Thursday, May 16.

The new store promises fresh autumn and winter apparel as well as a wide new range of products for kids and babies.

The grand opening will offer gift bags for the first 500 customers who spend $100 or more and offer face painting over the weekend from 10am to 3pm.

– Xenia Hackett

AML3D secures US Defence contract for alloy qualification and testing

Industrial 3D printing technology company AML3D has received a $1.54 million purchase order from the US Department of Defence.

The order builds the capacity of a copper nickel alloy qualification program. It follows a successful 2023 alloy characterisation and testing contract supporting the US Navy’s submarine qualification program.

The deal is “further evidence of AML3D developing a long-term, strategic partnership with key stakeholders within the US Navy’s submarine program,” AML3D Managing Director Sean Ebert said.

An initial US$0.2 million will be used to purchase supplies of copper nickel wire feedstock.

A successful testing program will demonstrate AML3D’s capabilities to produce US Defence-certified parts.

– Louise Jackson

More than 200 new homes to be built at Kadina

The state government has rezoned 28 hectares of land on the Yorke Peninsula for at least 227 low-density allotments.

The land is on the northeastern fringe of Kadina at Daddow Court and Abbot Drive and will extend the residential streets in the area.

Blocks of 450m2 are proposed for the rezoned land – larger than a nearby development of 350m2 blocks.

“This rezoning extends the surrounding residential streets, transforming a small area of farming land,” Housing and Urban Development Minister Nick Champion said.

Champion said the government is “streamlining the planning process” to “get more supply into the market as soon as possible.”

The developer is now able to begin the next stage of site planning.

– Louise Jackson

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