Apstra, Darktrace, Everactive, Guardicore, NetFoundry, and Odo Security win big at NetEvents Innovation Awards

Apstra, Darktrace, Everactive, Guardicore, NetFoundry, and Odo Security were some of the companies taking out top honours at the NetEvents Innovation Awards 2019 – Cloud/Datacenter, IoT & CyberSecurity

The awards – presented at the annual NetEvents Global IT Summit in San Jose – recognised 2019’s key innovative start-ups and significant established players operating in Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud/Datacenter and Cybersecurity with all funds raised from the award entry fees shared between three charities: Prostate Cancer Research, STEM and UNICEF.

According to NetEvents, this year’s installment saw the total charitable contributions raised to date come in at over U$137,000. Six company categories were awarded: three Hot Start-Up awards categories for innovative pre-IPO contestants in Cloud/Datacenter, IoT & Cybersecurity; and three Innovation Leader awards which covered the same categories, but for established organizations. “They were judged by an independent international panel of leading technology press and industry analysts.


Each of the category winners was invited on-stage to present their business propositions before an audience of technology leaders, press and analysts representing over 35+ countries around the world. The Silicon Valley judging panel of VC’s included: Hiro Rio Maeda, Managing Director, DNX Ventures; Peter Kuper, Managing Director, ClearSky; & Neil Weintraut, Partner, Motus Ventures.  The winners:

Hot Start-Up – Cloud/DatacenterNetFoundry with its ‘Connectivity as Code’ developer platform was chosen to receive the award.

Hot Start-Up – IoTEveractive, pioneers in wireless and battery-less IoT was the award winner.

Hot Start Up ­– CybersecurityOdo Security took the Award with its ‘zero trust access solution’

Start-Up award presentation- Hiro Rio Maeda, MD, DNX Ventures, Neil Weintraut, Partner, Motus Ventures, Galeal Zino, CEO, NetFoundry, Peter Kuper, MD, ClearSky

In addition, Odo Security won the overall vote from the VC’s as top choice of the three Hot Start-Up category winners for investment.  “Given the legacy VPN doesn’t suit the today’s working environment, we have seen too many security incidents due to the poor access management to the third party developers,'” said Lead Judge Hiro Rio Maeda, Managing Director, DNX Ventures.

“The recent Doordash breach was a good example of that. Odo Security provides a simple and secured but yet detail management to remote workers and 3rd party developers to access privileged assets in which we judges saw the fit with modern enterprise heterogeneous infrastructure needs.”


Erin Dunne, Director of Research Services, Vertical Systems Group presenting award to Ethan Tashman, Darktrace

The winner of the Innovation Leader – IoT Award –  was Darktrace. Based in Cambridge, UK and San Francisco Darktrace specializes in cyber defence. The company was established in 2013 and has over 40 offices worldwide

Brad Casemore, Research VP, Datacenter Networks, IDC presenting award to Mansour Karam, CEO & Founder, Apstra

The Innovation Leader – Cloud/Data centre Award – went to Apstra, a Menlo Park based intent-based data center automation specialist.

The Innovation Leader – Cybersecurity Award –  went to Guardicore, a Tel Aviv headquartered cloud security firm.


Richard van der Draay was in San Jose as a guest of NetEvents

Comms tech pulls down Australia’s digital competitiveness ranking

Australia’s communications technology profile has been flagged as a key contributing factor to the country’s slide in the latest international digital competitiveness rankings collated by Switzerland’s IMD World Competitiveness Center.

Australia slipped one place to 14 in the 2019 IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking, which assesses the digital competitiveness of 63 nations. Australia’s ranking in 2018 came in at 13, while in 2015, the country was ranked ninth overall.

Key weaknesses contributing to Australia’s ranking fall included business agility, technology skills and communications technology, according to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), which is the Australian partner of the IMD World Competitive Center.

The ranking system rates national performance in three areas: knowledge, technology and future readiness, with further sub-factors considered under each of these elements, including communications technology and internet bandwidth speed.

CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said that in the technology area, Australia’s communications technology subcategory ranking remained poor, at 54. Australia’s internet bandwidth speed subcategory ranking in the latest report, meanwhile, was 38.

Cilento suggested the results showed Australia had more work to do if it is to keep pace with other economies.

“The results highlight that we need a broader national community discussion around the importance of R&D, investment in technology, and tech skills and how the benefits of these flow back to the community,” she said.

By contrast, New Zealand’s communications technology subcategory ranking came in at 27, although the country’s overall digital competitiveness ranking was 18, one up from the previous year’s ranking, but four places lower than its ranking in 2017. In terms of internet bandwidth speed, New Zealand outstripped Australia, coming in at number 20.

According to Cilento, another area of concern for Australia is the development of tech skills.

“While the Australian community has an appetite for new technology with a high uptake of smartphones and tablets, ranking ninth and third respectively, we don’t rank well in terms of higher technical skills,” Cilento said. “Australia ranked 44 on digital/technological skills and employee training, and 53 on graduates in sciences.”

There were some bright spots for Australia too, according to Cilento, who highlighted factors such as flow of international students, country credit rating, tablet possession and e-government – all areas where Australia was ranked among the top five countries globally.

Globally, the top five ranking countries in the 2019 IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking were United States, in the number one spot, followed by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland. These remained unchanged from the previous year’s ranking.

NetEvents names Innovation Awards finalists for cloud /datacenter, IoT and cybersecurity

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San Jose, CA, USA. 24 September 2019:  Finalists have been announced for the prestigious NetEvents Innovation Awards 2019 – Cloud/Datacenter, IoT & CyberSecurity.

There are six categories: covering both start-up and established companies in three fields: Cloud/Datacenter, Internet of Things (IoT) and Cybersecurity. The awards will be presented at a prestigious gala dinner on Thursday 3rd October 2019 at the NetEvents Global IT Summit in California, USA. All award entry fees are being donated to three charities: Prostate Cancer Research, STEM and UNICEF. To date these awards have generated over $110,000 for charity.

For each of the Hot Start Up award categories, two finalists have been announced to go “head to head” as follows:

·       CyberSecurity: Avanan and Odo Security

·       Cloud/Datacentre: NetFoundry and Hammerspace

·       IoT: Everactive and SWIM.AI

These Hot Start-up finalists will give a short elevator-pitch presentation in true ‘Shark Tank’ style to a judging panel of tech industry Venture Capitalists, and in front of the Summit’s entire audience of international press and analysts, representing 35+ countries, plus tech and business industry leaders.

For each of the Innovation Leader award categories, three finalists have been announced as follows:

·       CyberSecurity: Cylus, Darktrace and Guardicore

·       Cloud/Datacentre: Apstra, Luminance Technologies and Mellanox

·       IoT: Darktrace, Marlabs Inc and SmartSens Technology

The three Innovation Leader categories will be judged by a panel of leading technology press and industry analysts from around the globe.

These awards spotlight outstanding innovation among today’s most critical technology challenges. The awards will be presented at a prestigious gala dinner on Thursday 3rd October 2019 during the NetEvents Global IT Summit which includes key Technology Press & Analysts representing more than 100 publications across 35+ countries worldwide – as well as tech industry leaders, VCs and technologists. This annual event provides an exceptionally effective opportunity for tech industry leaders and innovators to meet so many of the world’s key technology business press and analysts in a series of scheduled face-to-face sessions over two days – as well as a great way to be informed, to debate and discuss the latest hot topics and breaking tech news.


“Each year we provide this very special opportunity” says Mark Fox, NetEvents CEO. (Pictured above)  “Both for the top players in the industry as well as for ambitious, dynamic innovative start-ups – where else can one be seen and heard by so many key industry figures plus the world’s top IT press and analysts?

Add to that NetEvents’ worldwide media partners, and you end up with industry-wide recognition from a massive global audience of C-Level and senior executives, VCs and media gatekeepers”.

For details of the full NetEvents program of events visit: www.netevents.org

Networking startup delivers high-speed data services to remote Australian farmers

While city dwellers may take having ubiquitous mobile phone coverage for granted, for farmers on the land it’s often a very different situation. Having zero bars of signal strength means simple tasks like making a phone call or checking email are impossible.

Determined to overcome this challenge, Wagga-based entrepreneur Dan Winson has developed a wireless networking system which boasts city-like data speeds for users in remote locations.

Wilson said his aim is for the service to help farmers both in Australia and worldwide.

Dan Winson.jpg“We use traditional Wi-Fi technology to create a farm-wide wireless network,” he said. “A user can make and receive calls on their mobile phone and access the internet as they would when connected to a conventional mobile network.”

Winson’ noted that his company, Zetifi, has already completed 40 trials of the tech which features a gateway device to link to a nearby 3G or 4G mobile tower and repeaters extending access farm-wide through a Wi-Fi network.

The company also offers a repeater unit designed to be installed in a vehicle that delivers network coverage within a 200-metre range. “Wi-Fi is a stable technology that has been in use for more than 20 years,” added. Winson. “We have packaged together off-the-shelf and customised components to create a farm-wide network that can be easily deployed in remote locations.”

Winson and his team have focused their efforts on making the equipment as power efficient as possible with many of the network devices being solar powered, which means they can be deployed just about anywhere.

“You certainly don’t need to be an electrician or a data engineer to get a network up and running,” he said. “In many cases, farmers will be able to deploy their new network themselves and be operational very quickly. Because a Zetifi network can deliver 3G or 4G-like speeds across the entire coverage area, users can stream video and downloading large files in places they previously could not have even made a mobile phone call.”

Key benefits of the Zetifi offering include:

Dramatically improved mobile phone and internet coverage.

The ability to make use of Wi-Fi connected video cameras to improve security around the farm. 

The ability to ramp up productivity by making it possible to install precision guidance technology on tractors and other farm machinery. “

The Zetifi team is continuing to develop its technology and has applied for both Australian and international patents. It is also developing relationships with a range of channel partners to distribute equipment more widely. The company expects to undertake a retail launch of its offerings next year.

 Last year Zetifi, then known as Agrinet, became a member of the SparkLabs Cultiv8 agriculture technology accelerator. Cultiv8 works with entrepreneurs to foster new AgTech ideas and grow them into successful businesses.

The SparkLabs Cultiv8 program, which accepts a new cohort of businesses each year, offers a combination of mentoring support, legal advice and access to a network of agricultural research stations at which new technologies can be trialled.

“The support and advice we received from Cultiv8 has been invaluable,” Winson said. “The business mentors have valuable knowledge expertise in building a high-growth company from the start-up phase. They have really helped us to prioritise both our time and our funds.”                                                                                                                                           

Cisco, La Trobe University join in push to step up tech innovation, global collaboration

Cisco has struck a partnership with La Trobe University to drive technology innovation, and equip students with the industry-ready and digital skills required in the knowledge economy with a focus on IoT.

In addition the agreement, which will feature a new position of a Cisco Chair of the Internet of Things, will also showcase what is possible in research and learning through a range of education initiatives.

The partnership will also include a Co-Innovation Centre presence at the University, bringing together researchers and industry to facilitate collaboration and create opportunities to solve real world problems, through technology innovation.

Under the agreement, La Trobe University will be able to access Cisco’s best in class global programs such as its Networking Academy modules with IoT, cybersecurity and entrepreneurship, as well as its Digital Schools Network enabling local educators and students to digitally connect with their peers locally and globally.

The partnership builds on Cisco’s ongoing focus on innovation and research in Australia and expands the company’s Co-Innovation Centre footprint. There is currently an Innovation Central in Sydney, and in Perth.

xvgq6ixj2xt3hybl2jsa_400x400“By teaming with La Trobe University we’re supporting the development of industry ready skills that are required, today,” said Cisco ANZ VP Ken Boal.

“The Internet of Things presents new research and innovation opportunities and will transform industries right across the globe. The Chair of IoT combined with the world class co-innovation capability, further our collaborative approach to innovative teaching and learning and open up the door for world leading research.”


AIIA proposes Indo-Asia digital health centre


The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has called on its members and counterpart associations throughout Asia to consider contributing seed funding to establish a new centre to commercialise digital health and devices into Indo-Asia. 

Ron-GauciThe vision for the Centre is to foster global partnerships, remove barriers to market entry and facilitate faster deployment of digital health solutions to clinicians, patients and carers in the WA health system as well as the burgeoning Indo-Asia market,” said AIIA CEO Ron Gauci.

The proposed Indo-Asia Digital Health Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation (IDHC) which will be based in Western Australia, will seek to help researchers and innovators in that state navigate into a 4-5 billion population market.

The AIIA said the Sustainable Health Review released by the Minister for Health, Roger Cook, in April highlighted the need for investments in digital health care and the need to nurture a more vibrant innovation, research and translation culture in WA. 

The Indo-Asia DHC will be an incorporated not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, will hold charity status, be an attractive tax-deductible gift recipient and be ARC registered. It will collaborate with public and private health providers, universities, research organisations and medical technology companies to develop and commercialise digital health technologies. 

According to the AIIA, it will attract industry grants, funding and venture capital to fund Proofs of Concepts to solve critical health challenges for both the WA and Indo-Asia markets. “Investors are being sought for early incubator funding as well as late stage Series A and B investors to improve the success of innovators and have access to royalty free licences and equity returns on IP,” it added.

“We have members who are proven to be the most innovative in the world, yet face real headwinds in collaboration, and require specialist advice on innovation, product development and commercialisation. 

They will benefit greatly from access to venture capital to export internationally and create jobs locally in WA. They also need timely help from the Department of Health to validate pilots, proofs of concepts and facilitate innovation in this State. If we can’t convert investment into ideas and ideas into commercialisation, we cannot create jobs,” Gauci said. 

As a national industry body, we represent a $3.2 billion export industry made up of both the major multinationals as well as a significant base of small to medium sized enterprises of which Western Australian organisations are well represented,” he added. 

The Indo-Asia DHC will aim to:

  • Bring together leading WA medical researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to build on the output of the many early stage innovation hubs and incubators to promote investment and scale commercially ready innovations. 
  • Focus on the export of WA digital health innovations to create trade with Asia and WA job creation opportunities in a $400 billion market which is growing at 21% p.a. Venture capitalists contributed $2.4 billion in January 2019 alone in North America into this sector, yet in WA there is a lack of scale and networks into Asia. 
  • Collaborate with a consortium of leading organisations with health and international research capabilities such as CSIRO, University of Western Australia, University of Notre Dame, Murdoch University, Curtin University, St John of God Health Care, Telethon Kids Institute, a private health insurer and others. 
  • The Centre will link leading research capability around Proofs of Concepts to tackle the major digital health challenges in the region and offer returns to investors in validated solutions, as well as preferential placement in subsequent Series A and B investments. 
  • Work closely with public and private health providers, hospital-based Innovation Hubs, the WA Health Translation Network, independent medical technologists, researchers, innovators, institutions, government, philanthropists and venture capitalists to create a collaboration environment and commercialisation network. 
  • Focus on the biggest challenges and largest market demand around: 

Precision/personalised medicine, Bio sensing and wearables, Lifestyle and patient apps, Telemedicine, Predictive analytics & AI, Digital Health Clinics, Digital Health for Mental, Digital Health for Ageing/ Dementia; and Digital Pharmacy. 

In addition, the Centre will create academic pathways to develop digital health education and training in WA collaborating with universities and academic institutions to ensure that digital health research informs and aligns with training, workforce and patient care, in order to create a sustainable, evidence-based, high quality health system of the future. 

ACMA takes aim at 5G innovation with class licensing updates

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) hopes to support new innovative technologies and wireless data communications systems, including those underpinning 5G, with a range of fresh updates to the country’s class licensing arrangements.

The ACMA’s proposed variation to Australia’s Radiocommunications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence came into effect on 19 August, with the new licensing arrangements expected to support new technology applications and “bring Australia into line with international arrangements”.

Among the changes, which are contained in the Radiocommunications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence Variation 2019 (No. 1), are new arrangements for ‘all transmitters’ in the 57–64 GHz band aimed at supporting new interactive motion sensing technology that operates in this particular frequency range and can be used to enable touchless control of device functions or features.

Other changes include an expansion of frequency range for 60 GHz (57–66 GHz) data communication systems to now cover 57–71 GHz, for both indoor and outdoor usage, which the ACMA suggests will support wireless gigabit systems with applications such as backhaul for 5G and Wi-Fi.

The updates also saw the revision of arrangements for underground transmitters in certain bands, a move designed to support fixed and mobile services from 70–520 MHz to provide improved support for underground activities, such as mining.

Additionally, the new class licensing variation includes a revision of arrangements for radars in the 76–77 GHz frequency band in order to provide support for radar use in rail crossing and road safety applications.

There are also new arrangements for ground and wall penetration radar (30–12,400 MHz) to facilitate the usage of applications across a variety of industry sectors, such as agriculture, railways and underground pipe detection in the telecommunication industry.

Some of the new changes also work to align existing arrangements for ultra-wideband devices with United States and European arrangements for generic, indoor and outdoor devices operating in 3,100–3,400 MHz and 8,500–9,000 MHz ranges, along with aircraft applications (6,000–8,500 MHz), aimed at further supporting the use of such devices in Australia.

The ACMA first put the call out to industry for comment and feedback on its proposed updates to class licensing arrangements in December 2018. The updates were to be implemented by varying the Radiocommunications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence 2015 (LIPD Class Licence).

Now that the updates are in effect, the ACMA invites further suggestions from industry and individuals on devices and technologies for “possible future updates” to class licensing arrangements of the Low Interference Potential Devices Class Licence.