22/10/2008 - 22:00

Arbortech win cuts through

22/10/2008 - 22:00

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A MALAGA-BASED power tool and equipment manufacturer has been named WA Inventor of the Year.

A MALAGA-BASED power tool and equipment manufacturer has been named WA Inventor of the Year.

Last week, Arbortech Pty Ltd chief executive Kevin Inkster received the award for the firm's revolutionary cutting tool, the Petrol Allsaw, which can cut through wood and some of the toughest brick and stone, but not softer materials like human flesh.

The product was also awarded the prize in the 'development' category, which came with a cheque for $39,000, bringing the total day's earnings for Mr Inkster and Abortech to $140,000.

"It's not a bad hit really, although it's only a drop in the bucket in some ways," Mr Inkster told WA Business News.

Mr Inkster will utilise the funding to expand the company's presence in the key US market by developing the Petrol Allsaw from a prototype, through the tooling stage and then onto the retail floors of the world's largest commercial market.

"To date, the development of the Allsaw has cost us well over $3 million," he said.

"It has been a very big project which has a huge potential return for Australia, and particularly for Western Australia."

Previous winners have also entered overseas markets since taking the gong as WA's most innovative and inventive.

Scanalyse Pty Ltd was the recipient of the award and $101,000 of funding in 2007 for developing MillMapper, a 3-D laser measurement tool to capture the internal conditions of large grinding mills on mine sites.

Since then, the Bentley-based company has doubled its monthly revenue, doubled its staff and doubled the number of organisations interested in trialling the technology.

After raising a further $1 million in capital, Scanalyse has started operating in Chile, and has commenced trials in Brazil and Africa.

Live Technologies managing director Roland Butcher was the winner of the inaugural WA Inventor of the Year Award in 2006 for his LiveLens technology.

LiveLens, a liquid crystal technology that corrects image loss caused by poor exposure on all types of cameras, has raised $600,000 in capital through the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board, for further prototyping over the next three months.

"We've also been awarded one of the last $250,000 Commercial Ready grants from the government," Mr Butcher said.

"We're getting very near to being able to set up demonstration prototypes ready for commercial discussions."

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