The future of mining and energy resources innovation was on show as 17 of Australia's most promising equipment, technology and service suppliers graduated from the Resources Innovators, Scale-ups and Entrepreneurs (RISE) Accelerator Program.
At dual graduation ceremonies in Perth and Brisbane on Friday 7 June 2019, the companies presented to investors, industry experts and potential customers showcasing their technologies and business models in front of a live audience.
The events marked the successful culmination of the 12-week intensive RISE initiative, an industry collaboration between METS Ignited and NERA Industry Growth Centres, with funding and support from Queensland and Western Australian Governments and delivery partner KPMG.
RISE was developed to accelerate the commercialisation of new products and services into Australia's priority mining and energy resources sectors and take these opportunities global. The program was designed for scale-ups with proven solutions to spearhead their innovation into industry and equip these companies with the skills, capabilities and support to develop their innovation, win more work and grow their businesses.
RISE ran from March-May 2019, providing participants with deep-dive workshops, mentoring and support from industry leaders, entrepreneurs and subject matter experts.
In the final week of the accelerator each participating company was afforded an opportunity to pitch to an elite panel of representatives from Chevron, South32, Woodside, Thiess, Anglo American, Powered Aus and Origin Energy. As part of the graduation ceremony, a number of the 2019 alumni were awarded special recognition for their excellent pitching performance:
NERA Chief Executive Miranda Taylor said RISE is about accelerating and supporting the best of Australian industry and assisting priority industry sectors find innovative solutions, strengthen engagement with the local scale-up ecosystem and equip innovative scale-ups with the skills to become global supply chain businesses.
"As the Industry Growth Centre for Australia's energy resources sector, we recognise that innovation is key to sustainable productivity growth and that small and medium companies often have great ideas but find it difficult to scale. The RISE accelerator provides a platform for raising awareness of scale-ups in the domestic marketplace and set up capabilities to then access global supply chains," Ms Taylor said.
METS Ignited Acting CEO Ian Dover said the RISE program was built on the winning formula of the 2017 Igniting METS accelerator pilot — an initiative of METS Ignited and the Queensland Government — adding an expanded sector focus and national footprint through collaboration with NERA and the Western Australian Government.
"The acceleration of commercial opportunities for equipment, technology and services companies into new domestic and international markets comes primarily through collaboration. This year's accelerator program has expanded the support network and training available to companies who are scaling up and looking for investment. METS Ignited is inviting other states and territories to provide a similar acceleration pathway for their METS and energy resources companies," Dr Dover said.
Ashley Brown, KPMG Australia's Program Director for RISE, said: "Over the past 12 weeks, we've been privileged to work with some of the most exciting scale-ups in Australia. The eight companies from Queensland and nine companies from Western Australia that are graduating have ambitions to transform the resources industries, with unique technology and novel approaches. While five companies have taken home the graduation awards, every single one of the scale-ups graduating today is a winner. I look forward to following their successes as they embark upon the next phase in their journey to becoming global businesses."