Irish Energy-As-A-Service company GridBeyond is expanding its footprint in Australia and meeting the ever-increasing need for grid balancing services across the National Electricity Market (NEM) with the opening of a new office in Sydney, NSW.
The company, which is headquartered in Dublin and has existing overseas offices in the UK (London), the US (Houston), Canada (Toronto) and Japan (Yokohama), launched operations in Australia just over a year ago and has been growing steadily supporting Australian businesses through its AI-powered demand response and virtual power plant (VPP) services and storage asset optimisation.
While these systems enable large energy consumers to access the most rewarding demand response programmes and generate an additional revenue stream by intelligently dispatching flexibility and adjusting electricity consumption for a short period, they also support grid operators to balance supply and demand of power. This will increase Australia’s energy resilience in the coming years as old carbon-intensive energy sources such as coal-fired power stations are decommissioned and more renewable energy sources and storage are integrated into the mix as the country transitions to a Net Zero economy.
Its new Australian headquarters in Sydney, which was officially opened by Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney T.D. during his recent trade visit to Australia, will be an interface for GridBeyond’s Australian customers. The company has plans to double its headcount in Australia by the end of the year to support the demand for its technology and services in this fast-growing market.
Speaking about the opening of their new office, GridBeyond Australia Sales Director Lisa Balk said:
“Closing out our first year here in Australia couldn’t be more fitting than with the opening of a new Head Office in Sydney. We have been fortunate to have built on our portfolio globally and enter the Australian market stronger than we could have predicted. With a steadily growing portfolio of clients, supported by a specialist team of people within GridBeyond here in Australia, we look forward to continued growth across the Energy industry through supporting large C&I businesses to monetise their assets and assist to offset rapidly growing energy bills. Meeting Minister Coveney and receiving his well wishes was a personal career highlight for me. GridBeyond would also like to thank the Enterprise Ireland team for their continued support throughout this year.”
Eoin Hughes, Enterprise Ireland A/NZ’s Energy Lead added: “Awareness of demand response programmes as an additional revenue generator, grid stabilizer and renewable energy facilitator is growing in the local market thanks to companies like GridBeyond, who are educating large energy consumers and providing the technology to access these programmes. It’s an exciting time for the company who is helping to lead the charge in this area here in Australia”.
To learn more about Gridbeyond’s technology platform for managing distributed and flexible energy resources, visit www.gridbeyond.com to book a 20-minute eligibility assessment.
Founded in Dublin, Ireland in 2016, RentalMatics is now a leading provider of fleet management solutions for the rental industry. As the company celebrates 7 years in business, we sat down with CEO Colm Brady to hear the RentalMatics story to date.
Congratulations on seven years in business. Why was RentalMatics first started?
A large car rental company in Ireland was looking for a solution to help solve spiraling insurance costs as well as looking to make the business more efficient. This visionary team had been looking for an off-the-shelf IoT solution to solve some of these problems, when they could not find it they created it themselves. This technology was then transferred out of the car rental company and into a specific technology company which is now known as RentalMatics.
How has the vision for the company changed over the last seven years, and why?
The vision has changed in terms of opportunity and scale. It is clear now that every car rental company in the world needs telematics. The problem is they just don’t know it yet. As time moves on, the connectivity of homes, businesses and every facet of our personal lives is becoming more and more connected … so will the fleets of car rental companies. Many rental companies use different car manufacturers. Car rental companies will need someone to be the aggregator of this connectivity, and to bring the data together and allow them to get the insights to make their business better. RentalMatics is positioned to do this for the industry.
How is RentalMatics helping the car rental industry to evolve?
Telematics is a technology that combines telecommunications and informatics to provide real-time data on vehicle performance, location, and driver behaviour. Telematics is increasingly being used in the car rental industry to improve the rental experience and reduce costs. Here are some ways in which telematics is disrupting the car rental industry:
- Increasing efficiency and reducing costs: Telematics can help rental companies to reduce costs by improving efficiency. For example, rental companies can use telematics to monitor fuel consumption, optimise routes and reduce idle time, leading to lower fuel costs and reduced emissions.
- Stolen Vehicle Recovery: Our devices have been utilised by Car Rental operators in Australia to live track vehicles in conjunction with the police force and we have success stories where this communication has been shared and vehicles retrieved. RentalMatics evolves security through such live tracking communication.
- Vehicle Impact Technology: Our detailed and graphical vehicle impact technology has brought accident reporting to a new level and further contributes to the new digitised way of working. Our customers report that it has been transformative in terms of their day-to-day operations and they ‘could not be without this’, now being able to view exactly what transpired prior to an impact and pinpointing the circumstances of every accident.
Why did you decide to expand globally?
Car Rental is truly a global service, so we believe we need to be there as well. It also helps that Europe and Australia / New Zealand have different seasonality. This allows us to change focus when each hemisphere moves into its busy season.
What are the most significant challenges and joys of running a global business?
Joys: Dealing with a multicultural world for our customers and teams is very exciting. The diversity this brings to your outlook and way of thinking makes the job very interesting. The opportunity to localise and deliver unique features that work for customers based on their business challenges is an opportunity for our teams to excel.
Challenges: In a global operation you have challenges around time zones, currency and language but in addition for us, the variance of IT and telecoms infrastructure. These are the challenges that drive our teams, develop our talent and enhance our structure. These are also some of the reasons why the teams come to work each day and embrace the diversity. Each challenge is an opportunity for us to be better than our competitors and exceed our customers’ expectations.
What are your plans for your business in Australia and New Zealand in 2024 and beyond?
We will continue to expand our customer footprint and address their pain points and business challenges. Customers in Australia and New Zealand have to date seen a huge jump in utilisation, having full visibility on their fleet and the operational benefits have brought vast efficiencies through our patented automated inventory management solution. Our vehicle impact technology has brought a shift in the level of awareness of and heightened visibility in terms of understanding and detecting damage. The ability to retrace the steps prior to an accident has brought more confidence and less sleepless nights to the owners of car rental businesses who choose to work with us.
How can an effective fleet management SaaS solution benefit the car rental industry?
Every business contains unknown unknowns. When you have limited optics on your main source of revenue (fleet), then you have limited understanding of how efficient your operation is. Competitors that do have full visibility on what was previously unknown, will push ahead in terms of customer service, lowering costs, happier staff, security and new revenue opportunities.
How has Rentalmatics adapted to the new hybrid world of work? Any advice you would give to leaders of dispersed teams?
When covid happened everyone had to do what they did to survive. We needed to adapt to new ways of working to continue to support our customers and look for new ones. Working from home was forced on us and now we must embrace it.
Using methodologies like SCRUM as well as all the IT platforms that come with a SAAS industry helps to create a structure which focuses you on what we need to be working on. Around that you need to establish clear policies and guidelines and set expectations as to the way you need to work and interact with each other. We have regular weekly in office days where we work on collaboration and the softer side of our business to foster good working relationships between the teams.
Subscription recruitment is creating a new era of hiring efficiency. Irish company Rent a Recruiter, who has broken new ground in Ireland and the UK, is now making waves in the Australian market, disrupting the traditional recruitment sector with its innovative subscription model for recruitment services.
The company recognises the challenges facing employers in today’s competitive job market, particularly when it comes to attracting and retaining top-tier talent, and their new subscription model offers businesses a comprehensive suite of recruitment services at a fixed monthly fee, very different to the traditional commission model.
Key features of Rent a Recruiter’s services include:
- Cost-effectiveness – clients can save up to 50% on recruitment costs, as they pay a flat monthly fee rather than per-hire fees or commissions.
- Flexibility – the subscription model allows businesses to scale their recruitment efforts according to their needs, whether they are expanding their workforce or hiring sporadically.
- Reduced risk – the short-term, project-based nature of the service means that businesses can quickly adjust their recruitment strategy as needed
- Time savings – subscribers can source the right candidates faster with a dedicated recruitment team, saving an average of 80 hours per month in the recruitment process
Justin Newton, Director of House Made Hospitality has had almost 150 placements through Rent a Recruiter in the last 9 months. “Jess and the Rent a Recruiter team have had a phenomenal impact on our businesses. Working quickly to source, screen and set up interviews with candidates, we were able to boost our team numbers for increasing trade and new business openings at a rapid rate and with quality talent. Rent a Recruiter took the time to get to know our business values, models and requirements, and integrated seamlessly with our operation to deliver excellent results”.
Rent a Recruiter’s subscription model for recruitment services is available to businesses of all sizes and industries, with local experience and clients across technology, fintech, hospitality and healthcare sectors in Australia in addition to international experience and clients across manufacturing, engineering, and ecommerce fields. Clients include: Nitro, EShopWorld, Intel, Hertz, Findex, Next DC and TFE Hotels.
During our very successful St Patrick’s Month of celebrations, we spoke to the CEO of Brooks Australia Pty Ltd, Cathy Brand, on building success in Australia.
Click the following link to hear her thoughts:
If you would like to find out more about Brooks Australia Pty Ltd you can visit their LinkedIn and Website.
The Irish racing and bloodstock industries are an integral component of both the Irish economy and Irish society. The industry is widely known for breeding some of the most exceptional thoroughbred horses in the world and has a worldwide reputation for equine excellence. The success of Irish trained horses and trainer Joseph O’Brien have contributed further to the strong reputation of the Irish equine capability in Australia. Now more than ever, there is a recognition of Ireland as a premier source of equine veterinary solutions and products.
A strong cluster of Irish companies has emerged, providing innovative, cutting-edge products and expertise to support elite performance in all aspects of the equine industry. These companies are winning plaudits internationally for their innovative products and solutions and have been critical to the success achieved by owners, trainers and breeders, both in Ireland and Worldwide.
Covering everything from stable equipment and veterinary products to nutrition and diagnostics, these companies are making an impact on the equine industry globally as well as on the ground in Australia.
Plusvital is a world-leading Irish Equine Science company that is at the forefront of developing cutting-edge genetic tests and scientifically based supplements for the equine sector with a presence in 30 countries.
The company has launched a nutrigenomic supplement for horses which offer tailored nutritional solutions based on a horse’s genetic make-up. This specifically tailored supplement increases and maintains the energy levels of horses during exercise. Studies and field trials has shown that the supplement allows for more efficient energy production, delayed fatigue and enhanced recovery following intense exercise.
Equilume, headquartered at the heart of the Irish Equine Industry in County Kildare, is a world leader in the research and development of light therapy solutions to assist the global horse industry in maximizing reproductive efficiency and performance.
Equilume has pioneered a performance lighting system designed to maximize health, performance and breeding efficiency in horses. Developed by Dr Barbara Murphy, Head of Equine Science at University College Dublin, the system harnesses all the benefits of natural daylight for the stabled horse and permits continued exposure to optimum lighting when travelling or at pasture.
Horses kept indoor in stables for large portions of the day leaves them lacking daylight and frequently disrupted by light at night. This regime negatively impacts the horse’s body clock and can result in impaired growth, reduced immune response, poor appetite and performance. The company produces both a wearable light mask as well as a stable light design for inside stables maximizes health, performance and breeding efficiency.
Nortev Ltd is a Veterinary Medical Device company based in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland. Nortev are world leaders in veterinary aerosol therapy, with their award winning and innovative Flexineb Equine nebulizer clinically proven at the highest academic level.
The Flexineb s simple to use, silent & completely portable equine inhalation device making it the ideal solution for those that are experiencing depleted performance from their animals. Nebulisation & inhalation therapy is the most effective way of treating your horses’ chronic issues such as COPD, RAO (heaves) & Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage. The Flexineb E2 is can also be used for more acute problems, like a recurrent cough, acute sinusitis equine flu in foals and adult horse
Founded with a small team in Dundalk in 1985, Horseware have grown to become the world’s most trusted producer of horse rugs. Horseware are constantly striving to produce the best and have grown into a leading manufacturer of clothing for horses and riders.
The company also has a range of healthcare related products such as knee raps and stable boots. The company also provides range of rider gear, clothing as well as yard and grooming equipment.
Established in 1974, Foran Equine has grown to become a market leader in the field of specialised equine nutrition and health care. The company provides a range of superior quality nutritional supplements specifically designed to optimize health and boost performance as well as essential health care products for performance horses.
Nutribio produce a range of livestock health and nutrition solutions that improve the health and wellness of ruminants resulting in performance improvements in dairy, beef and sheep farm enterprises.
Their range of equine mineral licks contain optimum levels of balanced premium minerals, vitamins and protected trace elements to support equine health.
Produced at their modern manufacturing facility close to the Curragh of Kildare, home of Irish Thoroughbred Racing, TRM are a world-renowned manufacturer of Nutritional Feed Supplements aimed at performance horses.
Easyfix produce a range of rubber matting solutions aimed at the agricultural and equine sectors. A high-quality hard-wearing rubber flooring reducing bedding costs and providing a comfortable walking and lying surface in the stable for your horses.
Easyfix produce inter-locking high-grip rubber tile, offering excellent foothold for horses offering a clean, low maintenance floor that ensures horses enjoy excellent confidence in their foothold while reducing pressure and stress on horse’s joints & tendons. The company also produce a range of tough wearing, maintenance free hurdle and steeplechase fences.
EquiTrace are leading App developers for the horse industry based at the Irish National Stud in Kildare. Their award-winning Apps are ideal for stud farms, trainers and competition grounds. EquiTrace can identify horses, trace horse movement, record medication and track disease. EquiTrace integrates with the US jockey club HFM software, leading veterinary management products. By meeting the needs of riders and farms EquiTrace can be used to build horse traceability solutions fit for purpose at a national level.
For further information:
Contact: Niall Casey
This month, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D. led a St Patrick’s Week mission to New Zealand. The mission aimed at deepening the strong and growing political, cultural and trade links between our two countries. The Minister was joined on the mission by Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Brendan Gleeson and APAC Director for Enterprise Ireland, Mary Kinnane and included meetings and events across three cities: Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington culminating in the official opening of the Embassy of Ireland in New Zealand, led by H.E. Ambassador Jane Connolly.
Ireland and New Zealand have long enjoyed strong business links with Irish companies such as FINEOS, Combilift and Skillsoft establishing a strong presence in the market. Agriculture in particular has been a key growth market in recent years. Ireland and New Zealand agriculture share many similarities. Pasture based dairy farming is at the core of both of industries. Similar soil, climate and farming practices has made this a welcoming market to many Enterprise Ireland backed agritech companies. Companies such as McHale, Abbey Machinery and Dairymaster have been successful in providing cutting edge Irish machinery to New Zealand farmers.
The mission led by Minister McConalogue was an opportunity to celebrate and deepen these links. The visiting delegation had meetings with Lincoln University and AgResearch to discuss areas of further collaboration to tackle shared challenges such as reducing methane emissions and ensuring sustainable agriculture systems. The Minister joined events organised by the Irish Business Network New Zealand across three cities to recognise the significant contribution by the Irish diaspora in building the successful trade relationship between our two countries.
In Christchurch, the delegation visited the Belfast site of Silver Fern Farms in Christchurch to see how the site is utilising Irish firm Emydex’s cutting edge software on their factory floor. Silver Fern Farms is the largest livestock processor in New Zealand. The new Emydex system configured for Silver Fern Farm’s handles everything from the booking and intake of the animals and follows the flow through the factory floor including the stun station, live weight, head inspections, carcass inspections, reinspection, and grading.
In Auckland, Enterprise Ireland hosted a roundtable discussion on the issues faced by the Irish and Kiwi agritech sectors. Hosted by KPMG and addressed by KPMG Global Head of Agribusiness Ian Proudfoot, the event brought together leaders inNew Zealand to discuss issues around tech adoption, sustainability, and strategies to build and scale in the sector. During the event we were joined remotely by the founders of three leading Irish agritechs to share their insights, Diarmaid Mac Colgáin from Concept Dairy, Eoghan Finneran from Farmeye and Daniel Izquierdo from Micron Agritech.
We were delighted to host the Enterprise Ireland Wellington Advisory Panel at the newly opened Irish Embassy in Wellington. Fergal McGovern Founder and CEO of VisibleThread and Jack Ellis from Intuition presented to the panel. The Panel members offered valuable advice on next steps in market.
On behalf of the Enterprise Ireland, we would like to offer our sincere thanks to the visiting delegation as well as everyone who contributed to the success of the mission. We look forward to deepening our close ties with New Zealand in the years ahead.
This month, we took the opportunity to celebrate both International Women’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day with our Sydney network. Enterprise Ireland, together with IDA Ireland and the Irish Consulate in NSW collaborated on the Women in Leadership Lunch. Twenty-five senior female business leaders from Irish and Australian business gathered to discuss progress in driving diversity in their respective industries.
The Irish Consulate in Sydney, led by Consul General Rosie Keane, has long helped to grow the women’s business network locally, hosting regular networking and knowledge events, and highlighting the contributions of Irish women to Australian society. On St. Brigid’s Day 2022, the Consulate launched its Visible Women Campaign, sharing stories, memories, and the inspiration of prominent Irish and Australian women.
IDA Ireland, led in Australia by Deirdre Buckley and Kathryn O’Shea, supports a number of initiatives to encourage women into leadership, particularly in areas related to STEM. The organisation supports Irish women in STEM from the grass roots up through several programmes to attract, retain, and promote gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan for Women in Business was launched by former CEO, Julie Sinnamon in 2020. Among the four key pillars, the plan aims to increase the number of female-led and founded Irish Businesses exporting and scaling in overseas markets.
More recently, Enterprise Ireland launched The Level Project. Overseen by EI’s Women in Business Manager, Sinead Lonergan, The Level Project is a toolkit aimed at helping Irish SMEs develop gender balanced leadership teams. The toolkit assists companies to assess their own current position across six key themes, and to put measures in place to help improve gender balance within their own senior teams.
Though we still have a way to go, signs of progress are there. In 2011, only 7pc of Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-ups were led by women, but this figure had risen to 37pc in 2022. Since 2013, 75% of the funds that Enterprise Ireland supports through the Seed &Venture Capital investment have a woman at partner/investment manager level.
Through initiatives like The Level Project in Ireland and Team Ireland initiatives in Australia and New Zealand, we can move the dial in increasing the number of women in senior leadership in businesses in Ireland and scaling globally.
To learn more about The Level Project and access the free Toolkit, you can visit: www.levelproject.ie
In the newest installment of our series focused on Irish businesses that have successfully entered the Canadian market, we’re excited to share ReaDI-Watch’s story. Dave Byrne, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder discusses the company’s plans for Canada and why he chose the country as part of ReaDI-Watch’s global expansion.
Q: Tell us about your organization and how you’re bringing it to Canada?
ReaDI-Watch is a data-driven platform for companies to embrace innovation and R&D to unlock their potential. Our products provide businesses with seamless management tools for Innovation, R&D, Technology Development, IP, Grant funding and R&D Tax Credits, all in one platform. We are expanding into Canada by working directly with innovative customers like MagrowTec, and Innovation / R&D partners who use our technology to deliver their services, like Inspired Corporate Advisory. Innovation and R&D are very prevalent in the Canadian market. Yet, many companies struggle with the support, ecosystem and return on investment for innovation and R&D. We’re looking to help change that through the deployment of our platform in this market, to make a step-change in the effectiveness and impact of the research & Innovation ecosystem.
Q: Why was Canada an ideal place for expansion for your business?
Canada has a rich ecosystem of innovation and R&D, with many Canadian-owned businesses engaging in technology development to grow, but often lacking streamlined tools & processes to maximize impact and efficiency. If you combine these characteristics with the similarity to Ireland/UK in terms of grant funding, scientific research, and experimental development, it becomes clear why Canada has been a target market for us since we incorporated the business!
Q: Since launching in the Canadian market – what have you found most surprising about doing business here versus other markets?
We have found that people are open to trying out the software here! People are happy to jump on a call and try and position the app within their business.
Q: What are your growth plans for Canada in the next 2-5 years? Is there anything in particular that you are excited about?
We’re really excited about the partnership opportunities to scale here in this North American market. We’re looking to set Toronto up as our North American Hub and hope to hire a team here as a springboard to our next growth phase.
Q: What advice would you impart on other businesses looking to come to Canada too?
The Irish network is excellent here. Get in touch with Lydia Rogers, Enterprise Ireland’s Country Manager & SVP, and the team before you come over, and they’ll connect you seamlessly!
As Australia’s economy aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 as part of the country’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan, its energy sector will need to continue to decarbonise. With the decommissioning of coal-fired power plants and the loss of that power from the electricity grid as well as increasing energy demand, the transition of Australia’s energy mix towards renewables such as wind and solar energy will need to accelerate.
Experienced renewable energy developers will drive this acceleration with small- and large-scale infrastructure projects, both onshore by utilising and repurposing Australia’s large available land mass, and offshore close to coastal areas of high energy demand.
Irish offshore renewable energy consultancy company Exceedence has developed a new software platform, exfin, to support project developers, consultancies and investors/funds to reduce time to commercialisation and increase profitability when embarking on renewable projects.
Exfin is a technical financial modelling solution which accompanies a renewable energy project from pre-feasibility to decommissioning, whether it be offshore wind, wave, tidal or floating solar. It enables users to view detailed metrics such as IRR, NPV, ROI, Capacity factor, and LCOE on a single dashboard to assist in preparing the best project for PPA, CFD, bid and auction success.
A key consideration in these projects is cost, whether it is to explore how commercially viable a project is, or how to accurately predict and optimise projects. Exfin enables users to build their renewable project accurately and uses hundreds of analytical levers to investigate every possible scenario and optimise the project. This enables companies to:
- Generate the project’s cashflow in seconds
- Support design and business decisions with robust, transparent KPI analysis
- Identify key cost drivers and create actionable insights
- Determine cost reduction pathways
- Maximise the use of your resource
- Compare unlimited versions of your projects
Early-stage technical financial modelling is a critical element for all due diligence activities. Exfin enables the user to quickly stress test if a project will be commercially viable or not. Multiple projects or iterations of a project can be analysed on a ‘what if’ basis and informed decisions can be made about the best project or version of a project to pursue.
Having a tool to do this early intervention at prospection phase makes sure that time is not lost developing poor projects and keeps the focus on those with the most potential.
The user can then continue to build out the best projects adding more and more granular data as they go making the projects more robust and ultimately reducing project risk. Having such risk profiles well documented in a standardised platform makes it easier to gain stakeholder support. For example, access to Exfin in data room environments is already proving hugely popular as a means of securing project investments. Exfin has been designed to support the full project lifecycle which ensures project management continuity throughout.
Exfin is currently being used by both technology and project developers within leading energy organisations. In the EU flagship Green Deal project, Exfin is the key decision tool developing multiuse offshore parks with partners such as EDPR, RWE Enel, Simply Blue Group and others.
For more information on exfin or for a demo of the tool, please contact:
Georgina Foley – Chief Commercial Officer, Exceedence
This month we sat down with the Founder & CEO of Dotser, Loughnan Hooper. With over 20 years’ experience, Dotser is an award-winning software integration, software development and website development company. Specialising in mobile-first cloud-based web applications for the agritech, tools, machinery and event sectors – for example SuperShow – the fastest growing agricultural shows event management platform in Australia (www.supershow.io)
Why did you decide to set up Dotser?
I have always been interested in IT and an entrepreneurial drive led me to run several small business initiatives from a young age. Being ahead of the curve on general IT and office applications allowed me to develop my skills and gain hands-on experience in database and system projects and this evolved to include hardware and software platform options on the market across many industry sectors.
There was enormous disruption happening in the tech space around 2000. I had significant experience in various IT and marketing roles with considerable knowledge of the web sector. With a growing entrepreneurial desire to work for myself, I decided that if I were to be master of my own destiny now would be the right time to seize the opportunity and set up my own company – Dotser was born.
Exposure to the agricultural sector from a young age, helping out on my grandparent’s farm during summers, and involvement in local community festivals as I developed the business, led me to be seconded to manage the World Sheep Dog trials in 2005 followed closely by involvement with the national livestock show, Tullamore Show and devising the early stages of an online show management system that was to become SuperShow.
At the same time Dotser was providing websites and eCommerce software for a number of Agri machinery dealers which supported their rapid growth and success. I quickly realised the impact online systems can have on the reach and scalability of business and set about taking all my learnings to develop our own cloud-based software platform from the ground up.
Today, our core software platforms: ‘Dotser Agri’, our machinery and parts management software, and ‘SuperShow’, our show management system, power the leading shows and agri suppliers in our key markets (Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK).
Dotser is now a team of 14 like-minded individuals all sharing the entrepreneurial ethos instilled in the company from day 1 (many of whom have come from an agri or event background or have experience with agricultural shows & events, member associations and the agribusiness sector). Our experience and knowledge in the agri sector set us apart from any other.
What are the greatest challenges for your clients when running shows and competitions?
Typically, the event director or show secretary knows the in-depth specifics of their event from managing sponsorship to competitors to trade exhibitors. Having a secure centralised system to allow real time information to be shared with the team is essential to gaining efficiencies and improving processes – freeing up key people by allowing technology to take on the heavy lifting of data entry and repetitive tasks, takes the pressure off at key times when managing a large event.
“For e.g. (as stated in a client testimonial) one of the most time-consuming activities for show organisers is numbering entries and preparing the catalogue for print, which can take several days for a number of volunteers. This system allows one person to complete this task in 15 minutes.”
Your expansion in Australia and New Zealand is going very well. What particular issues are you solving for clients? Where are the opportunities?
We are essentially providing a tried and trusted model for Agricultural Shows to streamline their processes and key functions of running a show – managing membership, sponsorship, competitors and trade on one platform integrated directly with a mobile responsive website streamlines these processes.
The Dotser and SuperShow team are not only very experienced in web development, but key members of the team have been directly involved on the ground managing festivals, events and agricultural shows. This hands-on experience gives us a greater understanding of the key issues and it is likely we have successfully resolved any similar issues that might come up, in the past.
Also, unlike many event management software packages, we provide a significant level of human support at critical points with a dedicated SuperShow support manager throughout the implementation stage.
Our experience in developing a centralised system with the Irish Shows Association which represents 133 agricultural shows across Ireland, highlights the scalability of our software platform which can be replicated on a regional or national level. Working with some of the leading shows across Australia and New Zealand gives us the confidence to replicate the same model in the future.
You recently visited New Zealand and Australia. What did you find out about this market, being on the ground?
Being on the ground at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch highlighted that agricultural shows are very similar across the world. The show may have certain idiosyncrasies but for the most part they have the same values and goals.
Similar culture and ‘get on with it’ attitude have allowed SuperShow to be easily adopted as a key administrative tool proving itself time and time again to deliver cost savings and improve the overall production of medium and large-scale events.
What are your plans for this market in 2023?
We now have 8 sizable agricultural shows and Fielday’s across Australia and the largest event of its kind in New Zealand. By sharing the SuperShow story and highlighting the real-life examples of how the platform is helping shows control key functions of the business, other shows are being offered a compelling solution to consider and invest in to run their events more professionally.
Has COVID changed shows and expos forever? Or are things getting back to normal?
I think it’s fair to say that none of us were prepared for a pandemic like COVID and it has been a wakeup call for us all. Being a software platform in the events industry, SuperShow was fundamentally designed to be dynamic and allow event managers to adapt quickly. It forced businesses and events to embrace technology for survival, with some temporarily adopting a virtual model. SuperShow proved to deliver the most comprehensive solution for shows allowing virtual competitions, trade exhibitions, with judging and results being presented on live streaming platforms or through Zoom on their event weekend. This allowed shows to at least keep a basic presence in the annual calendar.
With regards to the return of shows, almost all of our clients reported record breaking attendance and entry numbers this year, so it’s safe to say the shows were missed! It highlighted the public’s interest in local community events and hopefully visitors are suitably impressed to return again in future years.
What are the key benefits you have realised from EI support?
EI has supported us greatly in terms of business expansion consultancy, research and strategic planning reviews and advice.
Just over a year ago, Dotser availed of the Enterprise Ireland Strategic Marketing Review programme. With Dotser being an ideas centric company with a strong, entrepreneurial culture, the SMR was intrinsic to focussing us on our key solutions, markets and strategies. We have many innovative product ideas at Dotser and the opportunities for offshoot solutions tailored at niche sectors are great. The SMR process helped us to really focus on exactly what our prospects needed and wanted at every stage of working with us. This was undoubtedly the key to our sales success in 2022 and we look forward to further success in the years ahead as we implement our focused roadmap.
Additionally, we recently availed of the Market Discovery Fund, which allowed us explore market potential and develop relationships with our target market on the ground in New Zealand and Australia.
We continue to work closely with EI as we expand internationally.
You can learn more about Dotser by visiting www.dotser.com or following them on their social media channels on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram
As Australia continues to decarbonise its electricity grid and reduce its reliance on coal with a number of power stations being decommissioned over the next decade, it will need to replace this generation capacity with renewable energy sources to ensure the increasing energy demand is met. This will require the construction of a large amount of renewable energy infrastructure such as wind and solar farms, as well as transmission and storage infrastructure to connect this new power to the grid.
Over the past year or so, another alternative source of renewable energy has become a viable option in Australia: offshore wind. After a number of years of hard work on the part of Australian developers and industry leaders promoting the benefits of offshore wind and lobbying the federal government to legislate for wind farms to be built in Australian waters, the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill was passed at the end of 2021. In the year since, an industry has formed and momentum has accelerated with new Australian developers being formed, experienced international companies entering the market and over 40 projects being planned along Australia’s east, south and west coasts. Since the federal election last May, the government has supported this acceleration with a commitment to offshore energy generation, identifying 6 maritime areas to be investigated as potential areas to locate wind farms and declaring the area of Gippsland in Victoria as Australia’s first offshore wind zone, where developers can now apply for feasibility licenses. Generation targets and planning at state level in Victoria and more recently NSW has also supported the development of the industry.
While Australia is late to the party in terms of offshore wind relative to other countries (offshore wind farms have been operating in Europe since the 1990s), it is a very suitable environment for offshore wind farms with high quality wind resources and existing onshore transmission infrastructure, and it also now has the benefit of learning from international best practice and the expertise and experience of established international developers and supply chain.
Ireland is another developing market for offshore wind with huge potential, boasting some of the most powerful wind anywhere in the world and a large maritime area covering large parts of the Irish and Celtic Seas suitable for fixed-bottom turbine platforms and deeper waters in the Atlantic Ocean with huge floating wind potential. The Irish government has set a target of 7GW of the country’s energy generation to come from offshore wind by 2030, which includes the fast-tracking of 7 projects which were awarded Maritime Area Consents (MACs) at the end of 2022. These projects can now participate in the ORESS 1, Ireland’s first offshore wind auction, which will take place in the first half of 2023 and is expected to procure approximately 2.5GW of electricity generating capacity.
Another factor supporting the development of offshore wind farms off the coast of Ireland is a strong supply chain of Irish companies with capability across the project lifecycle and experience working with some of the world’s leading developers in nearby developed markets in the UK, the Nordics and mainland Europe, as well as developing markets in the US and Asia. Enterprise Ireland has been working with Irish innovators in the offshore wind sector for several years, supporting companies to invest in developing capabilities to ensure their solutions are meeting the demands of the industry, both domestically and globally.
Ireland’s offshore wind industry cluster, the Gael Offshore Network, is combining innovation and experience to help the global offshore wind industry to reach new levels of efficiency. At every wind farm life stage, Irish companies are developing smart approaches to reducing cost, enhancing safety and improving the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). The Gael Offshore Network brings together over 65 companies with expertise in key areas such as civil and marine engineering, geotechnical/geophysical capability, materials handling, environmental surveys and data collection, digital solutions and cybersecurity.
A number of exciting Irish companies from the cluster are ready to bring their technologies, expertise and experience to the emerging offshore wind industries in Australia and New Zealand and support the increasing number of projects that have been announced by local and international developers.
During the process of selecting an offshore site for wind farm development, it is important to assess the strength and characteristics of the wind resource to inform this decision and optimise array location and design. Brightwind have provided wind resource assessment services including array design, energy yield assessment and metocean data monitoring at large offshore wind sites such as Hornsea (UK), Hoizont (Germany) and Greater Changhua (Taiwan). Co. Cork-based Green Rebel’s Floating LiDAR systems can deliver metocean data measuring wind speed profiles, wave climate, current climate, water quality and met monitoring, including solutions with buoy and/or bottom mounted systems and even drifting platforms and drogues. The buoy platform has been designed in Ireland and purpose-built for deployment and endurance in the most challenging sea conditions and has achieved level 2 certification.
Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions have provided specialist design and consultancy services to leading international developers such as Corio Generation, SSE Renewables and Ocean Winds to assist them with their offshore development goals. Their services include strategic development advice, consenting and planning support, survey and site characterisation support, concept/detailed design and installation and engineering support. In Australia, GDG has already undertaken constraints analysis to identify a number of sites suitable for offshore wind development off the coast of Western Australia, as well as supporting the submission of applications to the Australian authorities to obtain consent to undertake site investigations.
The capex and opex involved in planning, constructing and operating an offshore wind farm at scale requires extensive technical and financial modelling from the outset to determine the viability of the project. Exceedence has created a sound, equitable and independent financial planning software tool which provides an easy like-for-like comparison across devices, projects and locations with the bottom line being financial viability. Indicators such as Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Net Present Value (NPV), Payback and Cash flows are provided to answer these questions.
Once developers in Australia have obtained feasibility licenses for the Gippsland zone and other future designated offshore wind zones, they will begin to survey the marine area and seabed to determine its suitability for turbine installation. An alternative to traditional ocean survey methods has been developed by XOCEAN, a Co. Louth-based manufacturer and operator of carbon-neutral Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs) to collect data from the ocean, ranging from mapping the seabed to inspecting subsea structures and monitoring the environment for offshore wind farm development. Having already completed over 70,000 survey hours to date leading offshore developers such as Ørsted, SSE Renewables, Equinor, Vattenfall, RWE and bp, they bring considerable international experience to the emerging Australian offshore wind industry. Currently manufacturing one new survey vessel per month, XOCEAN will have USVs in Australia in early 2023 ready to survey Australia’s oceans and seas and collect high quality data.
Continuous monitoring of the marine environment is important throughout the project lifecycle from the planning phase, during wind farm construction through to inspection of assets such as cables, monopiles and substations once they’re installed and operational. Cathx Ocean’s patented FDI® (Fast Digital Inspection) technology captures high resolution subsea optical imaging, measuring and inspecting offshore assets and environments. This increases visibility of subsea assets, reduces vessel times by up to 50%, minimises the need for people offshore and reduces the overall carbon footprint for subsea surveys. In Australia, prior to COVID Cathx FDI systems were used to perform inspections on over 80% of offshore pipelines in Australian waters.
Offshore wind farms in Australian waters will require the support of ports close to project zones, particularly in the turbine construction/assembly and operations and maintenance phases of the projects. Combilift’s range of straddle carriers and mobile gantry can handle and move turbine components, such as the 108-metre long Siemens Gamesa B108 wind turbine blade, around designated port areas in a safer and more efficient manner. Significant infrastructure upgrades will also be required at ports to facilitate the docking of crew transfer vessels (CTVs) being used for wind turbine installation, cable laying and operations and maintenance on the wind farms once they are operational. Inland and Coastal Marina Systems have been designing, manufacturing and installing water access solutions for over 20 years and in 2017 built their first offshore wind-specific O&M base for CTV mooring at Aberdeen Harbour for Swedish energy company Vattenfall. In the years since, they have been evolving their pontoon systems to facilitate different and larger vessels at more exposed ports and harbours in the UK and Europe.
Crews operating in the marine environment during the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms are exposed to greater risks due to working in some of the world’s most challenging and demanding environments. SafeTrx deliver accurate, reliable and robust “tracking and alerting” technology, deployed in 11 countries for maritime rescue and offshore employee protection. Use of this technology offshore is based on existing relationships with SAR organisations such lifeboats and coastguards in 11 countries, including Australia. SafeTrx Protect is used by North Sea Farmers and Oceans of Energy for worker monitoring and alerting in the North Sea, 15km offshore in the Netherlands, where alerts from workers’ wearable devices go directly to the Dutch coastguard and the system is fully tested and supported by Dutch lifeboat organisation KNRM.
For more information on the Gael Offshore Network or any of the companies mentioned in this article, please contact:
Eoin Hughes, Market Executive, Enterprise Ireland Australia/New Zealand
There was a great media response to the 16-company strong presence of Enterprise Ireland clients at Fieldays, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural event, held in Hamilton New Zealand recently.
Mainly situated in the Enterprise Ireland pavilion, in the Innovation Arena and on stands with their own distributors, the innovation and ingenuity of Irish agritech and agribusiness companies caught the attention of visitors and journalists like.
Mark Daniel of Rural News and Dairy News interviewed Mervyn Harvey from Herdwatch on the New Zealand launch of the company’s app Flockwatch and covered Abbey Machinery’s new research partnership agreement with Lero exploring the potential of autonomous tankers and feeders.
Diarmaid McColgan, Founder of Concept Dairy was interviewed by Farmers Weekly on the similar issues and risks between New Zealand and Ireland on their sustainability journeys as well as being covered in the New Zealand Herald as one of the Fieldays 22 Innovation Awards Early-Stage Finalists and interviewed by Fieldays Radio on their market entry.
Also hitting the airwaves on Fieldays Radio was Mervyn from Herdwatch and Loughnan Hooper from Dotser on their successful entry into the NZ market with the country’s largest agricultural show, The New Zealand Agricultural Show, using the company’s SuperShow event management platform for its show management.
Herdwatch was also featured in a number of national syndicated news articles across the country on their first Fieldays experience.