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Australian government investing AU$10 million to help scale up new IoT network focused on cutting energy use

The Australian Government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), is committing up to AU$10 million to help Australian companies monitor and manage their operations through a new Internet of Things (IoT) network which will be focused on cutting energy use.

The CEFC is a statutory authority established by the Australian Government under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012. Its aim is to catalyse increased investments in the clean energy sector.

The CEFC investment is being made through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund which is operated by the CEFC in conjunction with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to drive innovation in clean energy technologies. It is part of AU$20 million Series B capital raising of Australian company, Thinxtra.

The CEFC commitment will help Australian company Thinxtra scale up its Sigfox Low Powered Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology, as part of a global network connecting countless devices to the Internet, while using as little energy as possible. LPWAN technology is cheaper, produces less emissions and provides longer battery life for devices which only need to transmit small amounts of data and require intermittent Internet connectivity.

The technology provides businesses with a low-cost solution to track and monitor equipment such as large volumes of pallets, waste containers, gas canisters, farm gates and livestock.

Thinxtra is aiming to connect 17 million objects by 2022 and is on track to provide a network that covers 95 per cent of Australia’s population by the end of year.

More than 150 local businesses have already partnered with Thinxtra to leverage its network technology to create operational efficiencies in a wide range of industries, such as smart water meter service companies that enable large water users to detect leaks; smart farming service providers with waterproof data communicators that integrate with software and sensors to provide daily data on soil, weather and other environmental monitoring; and smart logistics solution providers with cold chain monitoring trackers to increase traceability of food and reduce wastage.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said, “Our finance for Thinxtra will help build essential support technology which is set to play a key role in transitioning the Australian economy to net zero emissions by the second half of the century. We're talking about the potential to operate smarter cities, more energy efficient and liveable buildings, better monitoring of environmental assets, better health monitoring and more sustainable agricultural practices.”

“The proliferation of devices that enable remote monitoring, tracking and operation is transforming the way we live. However, connecting them to existing internet services can be a bit like using a four-lane highway when a footpath would suffice, or hiring a whole bus to send one person to the shops…This low-cost technology will make it economically viable to connect a vast number of lower-value assets to a network over great distances. We see it as an important addition to the rapidly developing IoT ecosystem," commented CEFC Investment Development Director, Blair Pritchard.

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