UniSA research spins out multi-million dollar SA telecommunications company

Alex Grant and David HaleyA new company which will revolutionise machine-to-machine (M2M) communications across a range of industries, capitalising on University of South Australia telecommunications research, has been launched by shareholders, including UniSA.

Commercialising new technologies developed by UniSA’s Institute for Telecommunications Research, the new company, Myriota Pty Ltd, will use low earth orbit satellites to provide two-way data connectivity for remote sensors and devices. Industry analysts have estimated that global M2M revenue will grow to $1.2 trillion by 2022.

Dr Alex Grant, Chief Executive Officer of Myriota, says these services have a range of applications which can benefit ecosystem management, monitoring of climates, defence, national security, maritime, mining, agriculture and more.

“Many industries with remote operations such as agriculture and mining have a need to obtain data from equipment or sensors in remote areas that are not economically served by existing communications networks,” Dr Grant says.

“Access to even small amounts of data has the potential to greatly improve efficiency of operations and reduce overall costs. Our understanding and management of the environment is also critically dependent on obtaining data from remote areas. Providing global reach for the Internet of Things, Myriota will provide a cost-effective, global service addressing these problems.”

The lead investor and commercial partner for Myriota is Canadian company, exactEarth Ltd, who are providing significant funding to commercialise the new technology.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd describes the formation of Myriota Pty Ltd as one of the most significant industry and university collaborations to take place in Australia.

“Growing a new company, whatever the economic climate, is not an easy task, but UniSA and exactEarth have the foresight to realise the exciting opportunities Myriota presents,” Prof Lloyd says.

“The huge capital investment in Myriota demonstrates the significant value and faith industry places on the research capabilities of our institution, and our ability to translate that research to commercial, practical advantage to the wider world.

“The creation of Myriota means the creation of new jobs in Australia, and South Australia in particular, and the creation of new affordable ways for businesses to connect, using advanced communications, in ways that will ultimately benefit wider society.”

Dr David Haley, Chief Technology Officer of Myriota says that the company will leverage the Foundation UniSA Intellectual Property and exactEarth’s fleet of low earth orbit satellites, to bring to market a new category of globally available high-volume, real-time wide area network communications services at previously unobtainable price-points.

“It is technology which builds on UniSA’s telecommunications research which was supported by the Australian Space Research Program” Dr Haley says.

 Dr Stephen Rodda, Chief Executive Officer of UniSA’s commercialisation arm, UniSA Ventures, says Myriota will make a significant contribution to telecommunications services globally and also make an economic impact locally, potentially spurring the growth of businesses in a number of industries.

 “Using M2M communications, high-volume applications in asset tracking, inventory management, environmental sensing, and livestock tracking can now be undertaken without prohibitive expense,” Dr Rodda says.

 “Markets that may have not been commercially viable in the past now have the potential to emerge and grow quickly providing many avenues for the research from UniSA to deliver demonstrable impact commercially and to society.

 “Myriota represents the alignment of goals and strong commitment of the investors that are dedicated to making this venture a success.”

 Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Tanya Monro explained the value of UniSA research connected to the formation of Myriota.

 “Research at UniSA is inspired by challenges and opportunities, partnered with end-users and communities, and underpinned by excellence,” Professor Monro says.

 “The partnership with Myriota personifies the impact of our research and has facilitated an effective pathway for the translation of knowledge into societal and commercial outcomes.

 “This is an area of research that UniSA has engaged in considerably over a significant period with core expertise developed that now, through Myriota, can connect with and capitalise on market challenges and opportunities.”

 “This partnership further highlights and consolidates UniSA’s strength to convert research into new technologies with commercial benefit and appeal.”

Media contact: Will Venn office (08) 8302 0096 email will.venn@unisa.edu.au

Michele Nardelli office (08) 8302 0966 mobile 0418 823 673 email michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

Myriota contact

Alex Grant (CEO Myriota Pty Ltd) tel: 0417 887 914 email alex.grant@myriota.com

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