Turning challenges into opportunities
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, SaniteX Global were producing a range of hand sanitisers and PPE, and effectively increased production to supply large quantities to federal, state and local government across Australia.
SaniteX Global saw the opportunity to supply Australian-made products to countries more affected by the pandemic, primarily the US and Europe. They quickly saw difficulties governments and large organisations were having with the sourcing and supply of trusted materials.
To help solve this issue, David A. Collard, SaniteX Global’s Founder & CEO, formulated an idea to develop a software solution that would enable organisations to procure health and safety products, and other vital equipment from proven sources and supply chains, while also intelligently assessing dynamic regulatory requirements (reg-tech), environmental and other purchasing preference needs, building layouts and consumption data to optimise a predictive procurement solution.
Linking to research expertise
SaniteX Global recognised that while their organisation had a comparative advantage in certain fields, developing such a system in time to capture the market required expertise in machine learning, image recognition and neural network capabilities on a scale they did not have.
When discussing their vision with Mike Sewell, a Growth Facilitator from the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme, Mike recognised the value of SaniteX Global to participate in the program’s Innovation Connections service and introduced them to CSIRO SME Connect Innovation Facilitator Joseph Dodd. After talking through their vision, their existing capabilities and their technical needs, Joseph immediately introduced SaniteX Global to Deakin’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) to discuss collaboration feasibility. David A. Collard noted:
‘The hand over between Mike (Entrepreneurs’ Programme Growth Facilitator) and Joseph (Entrepreneurs’ Programme Innovation Facilitator) was seamless. Not only have both stayed in contact throughout the past year but Joseph recognised the pressure our team was under and went above and beyond to assist in progressing the relationship with Deakin.'
Working with Professor Rajesh Vasa and his team at Deakin, a project was quickly put together to develop a new powerful software system (re-open.com) with smart analysis capabilities. An Innovation Connections Researcher Placement grant supported the Deakin machine learning and software development experts to work on the
SaniteX Global have now launched its re-open.com platform, initially into the State of New York, assisting buildings, schools, arenas, and businesses to re-open safely while operating efficiently under COVID-safe regulations.
The experience of re-open.com and the development of its international operations inspired SaniteX Global to formalise the end-to-end service “Scale Facilitation”, removing the numerous barriers for entry to international markets for aspiring Australian innovators through its regulatory, finance, and global business networks.
This has led to SaniteX Global developing and scaling further success stories, including both Australian technology and physical products such as:
Virtual Monitoring System: an accessible and evidence-based solution to identify, predict and remotely monitor people with COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, originally developed by the Alfred Health in collaboration with Deakin University.
New York State Supply Contract: in August 2021, SaniteX Global found out it won the contract award to supply health and safety-related commodities to the entire State of New York for a standing 5-year term, a remarkable achievement, and a contract which SaniteX Global pursued, in part to provide opportunities to other Australian companies who are now sub-contracting them.
This supply contract, with the help of Deakin’s on-going support, now integrates with re-open.com, helping ensure product recommendations are then matched with a trusted and compliant supply chain.
Investing back into Australia
The pandemic has been incredibly tough on many individuals and sectors, a fact not lost on the team at SaniteX Global.
SaniteX Global and Deakin’s A2I2 Institute have developed a long-term partnership, with SaniteX Global contributing $1 million to continue the collaboration on re-open.com to help expand the platform as a channel for the next wave of innovation, taking the most exciting Australian technologies global.
Commitment to local jobs: SaniteX Global has also recently built on these links by opening its new Australian innovation office in the Federal Mills innovation precinct in Geelong.
As a sign of the positive impact during such a difficult period SaniteX Global has made on both Australia and New York, their new innovation office opening was attended by both Australian and New York Government representatives, who were united in the message to Australian companies to innovate, think uniquely and think international.
Innovation Connections is truly an amazing program. Without it, we would never have known the capabilities we needed were right on our doorstep.
— David A. Collard, Founder & CEO, SaniteX Global