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Curtin Accelerate business innovations unveiled

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An integrated solar photovoltaic and thermal panel that generates both electricity and heat, software to prevent cyber-attacks and a platform to quicken the home-buying process were amongst the innovative ideas unveiled at the culmination of the Curtin Accelerate program last night.

Teams, comprised of Curtin students, staff and alumni, had completed the free, ten-week program that gave them the support and guidance to commercialise their business ideas, which were unveiled at the demonstration event held at Curtin St Georges Terrace.

Curtin University Director of Commercialisation, Rohan McDougall said the Accelerate program provided vital early stage support for emerging businesses in the Curtin community.

“The program provides mentoring, seed funding and access to networks that can assist the growth of these businesses,” Mr McDougall said.

“It is part of a pipeline of programs to support Curtinnovation and entrepreneurship at Curtin University.”

The demonstration event required each of the five participating teams to do a five-minute pitch for their business, followed by a two-minute Q&A.

The Sunovate team have developed a novel integrated solar photovoltaic and thermal panel that generates both electricity and heat, offering many exciting domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

Sunovate is comprised of Curtin mechanical engineering graduate Glen Ryan and alumna Cesira Leigh, who has a Bachelor of Social Sciences, with Honours in Sustainable Development.

Mr Ryan said the system involves a photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) design that reduces the complexities of existing PVT systems while giving consumers greater flexibility in the way they use the generated heat.

“We’ve achieved a 300 per cent boost in energy output from a typical solar panel, in terms of electrical and thermal output,” Mr Ryan said.

“We have figured out a way to harness a lot more of the sun’s energy – Sunovate is so much more than just a solar panel.”

Mr Ryan said that in addition to pure energy, heating and cooling related needs, future applications for the technology include harvesting rain water, capturing atmospheric condensate, district heating, production of low grade steam or process drying and emergency relief applications.

Associate Professor Mihai Lazarescu from the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Science, and his team of Curtin staff created the PEIMA software to prevent cyber-attacks similar to the attack on the Australian Census website in 2017. They harnessed powerful statistical techniques to identify and filter malicious traffic while keeping the online service running.

Landguide, comprised of Curtin alumni, have devised a system that provides on demand, real-time land data for builders to help quicken the home-buying process. The platform reduces the time, effort and drama involved in finding the perfect place to build a home. Landguide has already emerged as one of the largest land listing portals in Western Australia.

Curtin Coordinator, Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, Dr Melissa Langdon established BOSSMAMA to make it easier for women to return to work after parental leave. The service aims to help employers to address gaps in their gender equity policies and practices.

Curtin alumni Anthea Rodoreda and Andrew Tilley’s sweet business idea was to develop a unique dessert product utilising WA second grade produce, which they did while studying in Curtin University’s Food Science and Technology undergraduate course.

To find out more about the Curtin Accelerate program, visit

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