Queensland firms Go Global with leading innovations

Published Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 at 12:05 PM

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Queensland companies are helping put the first woman on the moon and taking a surgical world-first global thanks to Queensland Government funding to help export-ready companies break into new markets.

Gold Coast-based Opmantek has sold its software monitoring technology to NASA for use in its Artemis mission, while Brisbane-based Field Orthopaedics will commercialise the metacarpal nail which was recently used in a world-first operation in Brisbane.

Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said 44 companies will share in total funding of nearly $930,000 from the second round of Trade and Investment Queensland’s (TIQ) grant program, which supports Queensland exporters to finalise new export deals in their target markets.

“Opmantek and Field Orthopaedics are two highly innovative companies showcasing the best of Queensland on the world stage and it’s exciting to see them making these truly world-leading advances,” the Premier said.

“It’s especially pleasing to see companies from every sector and region represented in the latest round of funding and to know that Queensland companies are so ready to take up these opportunities to expand.

“This program is directly supporting export outcomes and helping our resilient exporters recover strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Opmantek – five-time Queensland Exporter of the Year and two-time Australian Exporter of the Year – has sold its IT system monitoring software to NASA for use in the Kennedy Space Centre after receiving funding from the Go Global Export Program.

CEO Danny Maher says Opmantek’s is the only monitoring software the US space agency is using for its Artemis program, which it hopes will see the next humans land on the moon in 2024, including the first woman.

The funding will help the company make modifications to the software for NASA’s purposes and train their engineers.

“We think of ourselves as modern-day explorers – we hope we’re breaking down barriers in some markets and making it easier for Australian companies to do business in those markets, just as those before us have broken down barriers and helped us.”

The 10-year-old company is now exporting its open-source software to 130,000 companies in 178 countries.

“We’re passionate about the Gold Coast innovation ecosystem and the wider Australian ecosystem and strong believers in the idea that everyone helps each other,” said Mr Maher.

“I’m sure most tech companies in the world would love to be involved with a space mission and this grant helped us take that step and make it commercially possible.”

Field Orthopaedics was founded in 2015 by orthopaedic surgeons frustrated by what they saw as shortcomings in surgical practice impacting patients’ care and outcomes and launched the Micro Screw, the world’s smallest cannulated compression screw, in 2017.

CEO Dr Chris Jeffrey said the company is now exporting to 30+ states in the US, as well as Europe, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.

"The metacarpal fracture is one of the most common hand injuries and it’s incredibly frustrating as a surgeon to have to tell someone that their finger will never be the same again,” said Dr Jeffrey.

“Our business is designing and creating innovative medical devices to address the under-serviced extremities market.

“We have global market conversations, but there are significant barriers to entry, such as identifying trusted distribution partners and navigating lengthy regulatory processes, plus the most recent challenges of growing a business in a pandemic.

“It’s really exciting to see the commitment that Trade and Investment Queensland and the government are putting into partnerships, alignment, and support for Queensland companies to continue to take these strides in the world, and to see that even as a small country, a long way away from the rest of the world, we can make a monumental impact.”

The Go Global Export Program is one of three programs delivered by TIQ to help Queensland exporters explore new markets – the others are New Market Program, for which applications are now open, and the E-commerce Grant Program which recently closed.

Businesses interested in applying for these programs can visit tiq.qld.gov.au

Companies receiving grants:

Greater Brisbane
Atrax TTL (defence)
Aremdeco (manufacturing)
Australian Innovative Systems (manufacturing)
Flavour Creations (manufacturing/retail)
Ceres Tag (disruptive technology)
Field Orthopaedics (health)
The Bearded Chap (consumer/beauty)
Clever Eli (education)
Grabba Technologies (biotech/advanced electrical systems)
OBE Beef (food and agriculture)
Seipel Group (health)
Sortera Global (mining)
Pinssar Australia (mining)
Australian Thermal Insulation Manufacturers (transport/storage)
Relialytics (mining)
Redflow (mining)
Kehoe’s Kitchen (food and agriculture)
Immersive Robotics Research (disruptive technology)
Imaging Solutions (medical devices and technology)
Native Beeings (food and agriculture)
Sofi Trading (food and agriculture)
Aim Lab Automation Technologies (medical devices and technologies)
The Australian Wild Camel Corporation (consumer/beauty care)

Sunshine Coast
H2H Energy (new energy)
Herbal Wellbeing Australia (food and agriculture)
Fable Foods (food and agriculture)
The Trustee for Dotts Trust (food and agriculture)

Gold Coast
Opmantek Software (space)
Knotwood (manufacturing)
Koala Karma Trust (food and agriculture)
Agunity (food and agriculture)
Burmon (manufacturing)
Crockd (manufacturing/retail)

Darling Downs
Penfold Grazing (food and agriculture)
Claytons Organic Beef (food and agriculture)

Wide Bay Burnett
Modsel (medical devices and technologies)
LGF Future (food and agriculture)

Central Queensland
MACA Enterprises (food and agriculture)

Mackay – Whitsundays
RTI (mining)
East West Lighting (mining)

Clean Oil Services (manufacturing)

Banana Feeds Australia (food and agriculture)
All Fish For Dogs (food and agriculture)
EffectiveOrganics (business/commercial professional services)


Media contact:
Zoe Russell (Premier’s office) – 0439 982 347
Greg Sweetnam (Trade and Investment Queensland) - 0447 972 744