Seeing Machines’ advanced technology is a winning ACT export

Genevieve Jacobs20 October 2019
Paul McGlone and Andrew Barr

Seeing Machines CEO Paul McGlone receives the Chief Minister’s export Award. Photos: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

An idea born in the ANU’s robotics labs two decades ago has grown into a world-leading Artifical Intelligence company that’s picked up this year’s major Chief Minister’s Export Award.

Seeing Machines creates enabled driver monitoring technology, measuring and tracking a driver’s eye and head position and movements. The data can feed into advanced driver assistance systems and assess whether the driver is drowsy or distracted, intervening to prevent an accident.

“Roughly 20 years ago, four very clever scientists and engineers got together at the ANU, seeking a way to help humans and machines to communicate,” CEO Paul McGlone told Region Media.

“The technology they developed is still under their stewardship, but now operates in 24 countries around the world.”

Mr McGlone said Seeing Machines had made an active choice to grow their business in Canberra, utilising the city’s strengths in technology development.

“We employ a large number of very specialist engineers here in Canberra, we import very specialist engineers into Canberra with their families and assist to integrate them into the community. That plays to the strength of diversity inside the company and of the strengths of Canberra,” he said

“We started here, we’ve developed here and our employees have deep roots here. The government is extremely supportive and there is an abundance of assistance and supportive people in Canberra to help us grow.”

Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Austrade CEO Dr Stephanie Fahey

Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Austrade CEO Dr Stephanie Fahey at the Export Awards.

Last year’s overall ACT Export Awards winner, Aspen Medical, went on to win the national awards and announced this year that they will be launching a mentoring program for Canberra-based businesses, in partnership with the Canberra Business Chamber.

According to the Canberra Business Chamber, in 2018, local businesses exported over $2.2 billion of products and services, a 10 per cent increase over the previous year.

Fifteen Canberra businesses were named in the awards, following a judging process that examined their export strategy, financial performance, scalability and business practices.

Canberra Business Chamber CEO Dr Michael Schaper said that Canberra was now punching well above its weight as an exporter in key capability sectors such as technology, cyber-security and e-commerce.

“The Export Awards are about celebrating the innovation, hard work and success of ACT businesses in reaching new global markets,” Dr Schaper said.

“These businesses are generating new job opportunities, career growth, income and additional skills to Canberra and the capital region. They’re helping to diversify our economy and turn our city into a truly entrepreneurial community.”

Among the other winners was Telsoft, a global data analytics and consulting firm that works with telecommunication companies from its Boorowa base and Sustineo, a technical and management services company that services government, donor, not-for-profit and private organisations across the Asia-Pacific region.

“Canberra’s future is tied to developing a successful exporting sector, backed up by our international air links and local support. These are the firms who are already building the foundations of our future prosperity, and they all deserve to be congratulated,” Dr Schaper said.

Each ACT category winners will go on to represent the ACT at the National Export Awards, with the winners to be announced on 3 December at Parliament House.

The 2019 winners were:

ACT Exporter of the Year: Seeing Machines
Agribusiness, food and beverages: The House of Alpaca
Creative industries: Thylacine Design & Project Management
E-commerce: Today’s Plan
Emerging exporter: Link Digital
Manufacturing and advanced materials: ECLIPS
Minerals, energy and related services: Ardexa
Professional services: Biometix
Regional exporter: Telsoft
Small business: Kinetic Performance Technology
Sustainability: Sustineo
Technology and innovation: Seeing Machines (Instaclustr, highly commended)
Exporting government solutions (ACT-only category): Sustineo
Exporting to Asia (ACT-only category): Telsoft

For more information about the winning companies, visit the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards 2019 site.

Original Article published by Genevieve Jacobs on The RiotACT.

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