The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is committing up to $10 million to help scale up a new Internet of Things (IoT) network focused on cutting energy use.
Australian company Thinxtra is deploying the world-leading Sigfox Low Powered Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology. The technology is part of a global network connecting billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: "Australia is a vast country with a scattered population. A large amount of energy is expended in physically monitoring millions of pallets, waste containers, gas canisters, farm gates, livestock and more. By providing a low-cost solution for tracking and monitoring these assets, we can save a huge amount of emissions.
"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 CEFC's $10 million commitment, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, is part of Thinxtra's $20 million Series B capital raising. The Clean Energy Innovation Fund draws on the combined skills and experience of the CEFC and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support the growth of innovative clean energy technologies and businesses which are critical to Australia's clean energy transformation.
CEFC Investment Development Director Blair Pritchard said a whole range of devices already on the market - including GPS locators, temperature sensors and water meters - can be operated more efficiently through the LPWAN technology.
"The proliferation of devices that enable remote monitoring, tracking and operation is transforming the way we live," Mr Pritchard said. "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.
"Thinxtra's LPWAN technology requires far less power and provides much longer battery life for devices that only require the transmission of small amounts of data and intermittent internet connectivity.
"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."
Thinxtra CEO Loic Barancourt said the company is on track to have a network that covers 95 per cent of the Australian population by the end of the year.
"We will be the low power wide area network of choice for IoT and we're aiming for 17 million objects connected by the end of 2022," Mr Barancourt said.
"Thinxtra's IoT network provides the lowest device-to-cloud connectivity, at the lowest level of energy consumption and is complementary to Bluetooth, RFID, 2G, 3G, 4G and Wifi technologies.
"Our network has been designed with IoT in mind. It is open and an extension of the global Sigfox network, based on antennae and base station infrastructure that is independent of existing telco networks."
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
- Smart logistics solution providers with cold chain monitoring trackers to increase traceability of food and reduce wastage.
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by deploying the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network, as well as building a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services to enable the non-connected to connect, to increase productivity, accelerate decision making, improve quality of service and quality of life, and find more economical solutions to common problems. Sigfox is the world's leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox's unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability. For more information, visit https://www.thinxtra.com/