Awarded Projects DTF Round One

The first round of the Discovery Translation Fund awarded funds to 39 diverse and exciting projects since its launch in 2011. The first DTF closed for applications in May 2014. The following projects, all of which are based in the ACT region, and cover a wide range of industry sectors and target markets. They are funded with the support of The Australian National University and the ACT Government.

Projects Awarded during 2011

DTF001 Nexus eWater Pty Ltd
Early stage commercialization of a domestic scale water and energy conservation product
Project Summary Nexus is developing a new generation of water and energy conservation technologies that will, for the first time, enable the mass-market adoption of grey water products in the mainstream housing market. The company is seeking the support of the DTF to undertake initial commercialization activities, including demonstration trials and performance testing of pre-production prototypes.
DTF002 ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment,
Research School of Biology, A/Professor Michael Djordjevic
New Modulators of Plant Root Architecture and Environmental Sensing
Project Summary ANU researchers propose to undertake a PoC study to demonstrate how Root Architecture Regulators (RARs), which are the genes that encode for peptide regulators, modulate root architecture and nitrogen uptake capacity as a foundation for developing new generation sustainable crops. Funding will demonstrate and quantify the effects of RARs such that a large contract research agreement can be pursued with a major agricultural-biotech company.
DTF005 InterfereX Communications Pty Ltd
Site Design For Indoor Wireless Enterprise Deployments
Project Summary Intereferex aims to provide a solution for wireless operators to enable visualisation and understanding of indoor small-cell (femtocell) deployments; which are seen by areas of the wireless industry to be a solution to the increasing demands on wireless cellular networks. The proposed project would enable technical de-risking through enhancements to the existing enterprise modeling software; as well as market de-risking by working with end-users to better understand their problems and refine a business model.
DTF006 ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Research School of Biology, A/Professor Carolyn Behm
Development and evaluation of an in vitro nematode permeability assay to discover new classes of anti-nematode drugs
Project Summary Parasitic nematode worm infections have a major impact on productivity in livestock industries; and increasingly high levels of resistance to anti-nematode drugs attract veterinary pharmaceutical companies to technologies that will extend the life span of their existing drugs. The ANU has recently validated an enzyme as a novel drug target for killing nematodes, the inhibition of which causes the normally impermeable skin of nematodes to become permeable to anti-nematode drugs. The proposed project will provide a technology for animal health companies to screen drug compounds for deleterious and permeable effects on nematode worms adding value to their drug development regimes.
DTF007 Sage Health Systems Pty Ltd
Project Summary SmartWard is a system that automates record keeping on hospital wards and provides decision-support to clinicians. It comprises intelligent software run on robust, sterilisable and economic hardware. This project will independently validate the usability of SmartWard, confirm the required functionality and set performance benchmarks for a subsequent hospital trial to demonstrate the savings in staff time and improvements in patient care. A major hospital network has already agreed to collaborate on this trial, based on a pilot demonstration of the concept.
DTF008 ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Research School of Chemistry, Professor Yun Liu
Optimisation and miniaturisation of high dietetic materials towards practical application
Project Summary A novel, high‐dielectric material has been developed by researchers in the ANU Research School of Chemistry. The characteristics of the material (chiefly its high dielectric constant, or ability to ‘absorb’ electric charges) lend it considerable potential to be developed as the basis material for a supercapacitor, a device capable of storing and releasing electrical energy. This project aims to optimise the properties of the invented dielectric material as well as to investigate any limitations associated with its miniaturisation; thus identifying its potential for practical use in high energy density storage solid‐state supercapacitors.

Projects Awarded during 2012

DTF009 Beta Therapeutics Pty Ltd
Development of novel diabetes therapeutics
Project Summary Beta Therapeutics was founded to drive the commercial development of pharmaceuticals that modulate a novel diabetes disease process discovered at ANU. Preclinical studies have defined a significant therapeutic opportunity for drugs that uniquely spare the insulin-producing pancreatic islets cells.  Treatment has been shown to modulate diabetes severity, enhance islet viability and prevent the onset of diabetes in a standard model of type 1 diabetes. The DTF project will position Beta Therapeutics for significant private investment by establishing: (1) candidate drugs for in-depth development, (2) key efficacy data with drug development candidates in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and (3) direct market feedback.
DTF013 ANU College of Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Dr Shannon Notley
Production of Graphene
Project Summary Graphene is a relatively new material with unique electronic, thermal and mechanical properties. Since its discovery in 2004, the potential uses and demand for graphene have been growing at a fast pace. However, the main barrier to widespread uptake is an absence of a method for mass production of graphene at an acceptable cost. Dr Shannon Notley from the ANU has invented a novel method for the production of graphene that represents an improvement in terms of efficiency, yield and quality. The proposed project will allow further optimisation and validation to enhance its commercial potential and to deliver a commercial outcome.
DTF014 ANU College of Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Dr Gerard Borg
BushLAN – Distributed Wireless Broadband
Project Summary BushLAN is a new approach to providing Internet services to remote customers without the need for a ‘last mile’ optic fibre connection. Most relevantly, it may be used to extend the range of the proposed National Broadband Network (NBN) to those customers in remote areas outlying towns that form nodes of the optic fibre network. Funding is sought to build and assemble a demonstrator system using the technology. The demonstrator will be used to attract potential licensees and demonstrate the scope and advantages of the BushLAN system.
DTF015 ANU College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Dr Mike Dennis
A Variable Geometry Ejector for Solar Air Conditioning
Project Summary Solar air conditioning is a solution to the problem of rising high energy demands for cooling homes, however effective systems have high capital costs, making residential use not commercially viable. The ANU has created an ejector design that is able to vary its effective geometry such that its performance is maintained across a wide range of environmental conditions, creating the potential for a solar air conditioning system with competitive capital costs and year-round operational effectiveness. The project aims to establish proof of concept of the variable geometry ejector (VGE) through a modelling phase and an experimental phase.
DTF020 ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Professor Ma-Li Wong
Evaluating a novel pharmacological treatment for obesity and metabolic syndrome
Project Summary Prof Ma Li Wong and her team at ANU have identified a novel target for treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Existing drugs have been identified which modulate the target in humans and have good safety characteristics, however it is now important to strengthen the IP position and generate commercially relevant data through a proof of concept study aimed at demonstrating the effects of administering a modulator of the target, including effects on weight gain and/or promotion of weight loss.
DTF021 Omega Medical Design Pty Ltd
Technology Preparation for Clinical Trial FemeFlex Continence Aid
Project Summary Omega Medical Design is developing a proprietary perineometer for use by women suffering from certain types of urinary incontinence under the direction of a qualified medical practitioner. The key features of the device are the regulating, recording and reporting of exercises, encouraging higher user compliance, and thusly ensuring a better chance of recovery. The proposed project will facilitate the technology finalisation and detailed testing in preparation for a comparative study clinical trial to be conducted at a university in Canberra.
DTF023 University of Canberra, A/Professor Ashraf Ghanem
Unique Australian bacterial thermo-stable biocatalysts
Project Summary Biocatalysts are natural enzymes used in the pharmaceutical industry to separate chiral compounds, a type of compound which has left and right handed forms (enantiomers) each of which can have very different effects on the human body. Enantiomers possess   different physical, chemical and biological properties in a chiral (asymmetric) environment. Hence chirality (handedness) constitutes an important issue in drug development. This DTF Project will allow the project   team to isolate, characterise and purify a thermo-stable lipase enzyme for use as a biocatalyst in industrial applications.
DTF024 Ezygene Pty Ltd
Hyperpriming: a new DNA technology tool
Project Summary Ezygene has created   a technology that combines enables DNA analysis quickly and cost effectively   to identify salmonella isolates.
DTF025 MicroEnergyLabs Pty Ltd
Smarter Energy Utilisation          
Project Summary MicroEnergyLabs uses intelligent technology to provide  near real time electricity consumption information to customers and useful tips on how to optimise energy use, through web and mobile devices.
DTF032 ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment,
Research School of Biology, Associate Professor Shin-Ho Chung

Development of a therapeutic agent for autoimmune diseases and validation of a new drug platform
Project Summary The project focuses on the development of a polypeptide toxin extracted from the scorpion venom, known as OSK1, has been modified to drastically enhance its potency and specificity in blocking one class of voltage‐gated potassium channel, Kv1.3, which is a pharmacological target for autoimmune disease.

Projects Awarded during 2013

DTF041 ecoSpectral Pty Ltd
Proving and tuning key system capabilities
Project Summary ecoSpectral has created an internet enabled smart sensing wireless control mode that is directly connected to solid state lighting (LED lighting) and it is connected   to internet services. Through commercial testing in a bank the team will test, tune and polish the system for a staged commercial release. The project will deliver an integrated commercial grade system.
DTF042 ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment,
Research School of Biology, Associate Professor Michael Djordjevic 

New Modulators of Plant Root Architecture and Nodulation in Crop Pastures
Project Summary A new technology platform, Root Architecture Regulator (RAR) – which is associated with the development and performance of root architecture within plants.  Our new technology has the potential to significantly contribute to the second Green Revolution by developing plants with optimised root systems for greater water and nutrient use efficiency.
DTF045 UNSW ADFA, Associate Professor Charles Harb
Real-time Cavity Ringdown Spectrometer (rtCRDS) Proof of Concept (POC)
Project Summary Cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) is a highly sensitive   optical spectroscopic technique that enables measurement of absolute optical extinction by samples that scatter and absorb light. It has been widely used   to study gaseous samples which absorb light at specific wavelengths, and in turn to determine molecular concentration down to the parts per trillion level. The real-time CRDS (rtCRDS) solution developed by Harb et al brings  together improvements in cavity design along with powerful digital signal   processing (DSP) to create a novel apparatus that demonstrates superior   measurement speed, flexibility and sensitivity.
DTF046 Qhopper Pty Ltd
Project Summary Qhopper is a venture with the vision to change the way the world queues, one queue at a time. We believe that by changing the way fans order and queue for their food at stadium events, we can maximise throughput and profits for vendors and eliminate queues for their customers.
DTF047 ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Research School of Chemistry, Lee Welling and Emil Mittag Electronic Laboratory Notebook System
Project Summary Electronic Laboratory Notebook that will be
modular in design, and able to be integrated with current software programs already operating within an institution or company. One novel aspect of the ELN is that it will enforce risk assessments thereby facilitating OH&S compliance.
DTF062 Pty Ltd Commercial Proof of Concept
Project Summary is a mobile application connecting people who need help to those (initially companies) with the expertise to provide it. allows users to ask video questions and receive instructional or descriptive video content in reply for a plethora of ‘Help me I’m stuck’, ‘What are my options’, and ‘What should I do next’ scenarios common across the DIY, how-to, maintenance and servicing, and professional services domains.

Projects Awarded during 2014

DTF061 MyHealthTest Pty Ltd Efficacy of Analytical Methodologies and Protocols for Pathology tests using Dried Blood Spot Samples
Project Summary MyHealthTest is an online business which will offer pathology tests direct to the consumer via partnerships with pathology organizations in Australia and overseas.
DTF064 University of Canberra, Associate Professor Sudha Rao
Therapeutic development targeting breast cancer recurrence
Project Summary Cancer stem cells play a pivotal role in breast cancer metastasis, relapse and resistance to disease. These cells are not responsive to conventional therapy. This project aims to generate data that provides proof of concept that targeting key enzyme systems will lead to the reduction/abolition of cancer recurrence.
DTF066 ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Research School of Chemistry, Professor Yun Liu
Optimization of high dielectric constant materials for single layered ceramic capacitors-alternative to current high capacitance MLCCs’s
Project Summary Building on DTF project (1) this DTF project will develop materials needed for further optimization of chemistry design. The project team have invented a high dielectric material that exhibits a giant dielectric constant with better temperature stability and significantly less dielectric loss by comparison with existing giant dielectric constant material.
DTF070 Red Back Spider Publishing Pty Ltd
Arithmetika adaption as a web application
Project Summary Adaptation and development of the Windows based Arithmetika mathematics education service onto a cloud-based platform as a web application. Test and beta release of a minimum viable market product for teachers, students and parents.
 DTF071 ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, Dr Steve Lee Microscope for Smart Phones
 Project Summary An optical microscope that attaches to smart phones, built using a mold-less fabrication technology that produces high-magnification transparent rubber lenses.
 DTF082 Changebud Pty Ltd Supported Resilience Building
 Project Summary Changebud helps organizations to cost-effectively reduce psychological injuries. Our resilience training system comprises e-learning modules along with a habit-shaping Smartphone App that personalizes learning and reinforces the development of helpful habits.
 DTF084 ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, Professor Daniel Shaddock Liquid Instruments
 Project Summary This project will develop a pre-commercial prototype of a test and measurement system based on re-configurable hardware.
 DTF085  ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Research School of Biology, Dr David Tscharke A New Viral Platform
 Project Summary  Development of a new viral platform which significantly reduces development costs.
 DTF086 danaXa Pty Ltd eyeKey – an app that enables people to control their mobile using their eyes
 Project Summary Development of an app that enables the use of eyes to control their phone
 DTF074 ANU Centre for Mental Health Research, Professor Kathy Griffiths Mental Health Guru
Project Summary An online mental health induction program for the workplace, which will be trialed for effectiveness in promoting help-seeking and increasing mental health knowledge
 DTF078 ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, Dr Antonio Tricoli Transferable highly performing nanocoatings for large scale production of self-cleaning and super hydrophilic/phobic surfaces
 Project Summary A consistent, scalable and effective approach to nano-coating different materials for to ISO standards for use in large scale manufacturing

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