VCTF’s current portfolio includes:
The Food Revolution Group (ASX: FOD) is an Australian public company that operates state-of-the-art fruit and vegetable processing facilities in Victoria, manufacturing a range of high quality juices, fibres, infused fruits and waters. These are sold as own-branded products and as ingredients to other food producers, to meet the needs of high-growth Australian and international functional food, beverage and nutraceutical markets.
The investment in Lang Tech resulted in it undertaking reverse takeover of an ASX company in February 2016 and its subsequent relisting on the ASX as the Food Revolution Group. The transaction was designed to fund its expansion and establish it as a viable competitor in the Juice and Health foods sector.
Gane Energy Marketing is a clean fuel development and licensing company based in Melbourne. Gane has developed an industrial diesel fuel substitute which delivers environmental, economic and social advantages to customers and communities. Gane fuel has been patented in over 50 territories globally and the team behind this fuel has many years of experience in the manufacturing and supply of mainstream fuels, as well as proven success in the development of innovative new fuels.
Gane Fuel can be used in existing engines with limited changes to the engine and fuel supply system, and it provides a cost-effective and cleaner alternative to diesel in industrial applications.
This investment was to fund the initial prototypes of a novel semiconductor component that enables digital communication using existing power line infrastructure. While use of powerlines provides access to devices previously unable to be reached reliably by radio or wi-fi connections it was a new field with evolving international standards and industry acceptance. Semitech continues to evolve its product line and is delivering competitive solutions into the global smart meter market.
Synergen Met Pty Ltd is an Australian-owned and operated business formed seven years ago to develop the technology for a modular sodium cyanide process plant, the Synergen NaCN Plant.
The Synergen NaCN Plant is a world-first technology that has been invented, developed and tested from the ground up to meet the precise needs of the world's gold, silver and base metal mineral processing operations.
The Synergen NaCN Plant will cause a major shift in the approach to cyanide production and management in the mining industry. It is designed for a just-in-time production approach and this is the catalyst for a wide range of environmental and economic advantages.
The plant will eliminate a range of dangerous activities associated with the use of cyanide such as transportation, on-site handling, and maintaining large cyanide inventories.
VCTF's previous investments include:
Street or public lighting is a significant global and highly competitive market. The Active Reactor was an investment in an electronic controller that improves the energy efficiency of high intensity discharge lamps used in high wattage public lighting venues, as well as expanding lamp operational life by a targeted 50%. The Active Reactor was a separate component embedded in the luminaire. The project is in the early commercialisation phase. and continues to service a niche in the rapidly evolving lighting market.
This investment was in a micro wind project aimed at the Australian residential market, literally a backyard energy innovation. Altaus had conceived a vertical axis wind turbine suited to the urban environment. It was designed to harness urban wind regimes and was silent and relatively unobtrusive. The investment was to fund a demonstration project to determine whether such a micro wind device could secure a position in the market as a low cost distributed renewable energy solution. The investment did not progress beyond the demonstration phase. While VCTF’s investment did not generate a return it was an example of the Fund’s charter to invest in the gap between scientific discovery and commercial success ie to underwrite”fast to failure” initiatives.
This investment by VCTF was in the hygienic food processing sector. The product developed by Aqua Sciences was a non-invasive in-line technology targeted at extending the interval between cleaning and maintenance cycles by approximately 50%. The novel agitation and oscillation involved in the process breaks down scale build-up and retards further clogging of food processing machinery. The application of the technology has major production efficiency and energy efficiency benefits thereby lowering production costs. The investment in Aqua Sciences was aimed at advancing the business in the early stages of commercialisation as it sought acceptance of a new approach.
This investment focused on a start –up company delivering an integrated water measurement and delivery system. The Aquaspy technology measured soil moisture and through an array of sensors and the optimised use of water injection for agriculture/viticulture and turf management solutions. The company was at the very early commercialisation phase and failed to achieve the desired penetration levels in its target markets required for commercial success.
This investment was at the demonstration stage of the development of a single-step cryogenic process for removing carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide contaminants from raw natural gas and liquefying the methane. The benefits emanating from the investment project were potentially material as it could change the economic status of stranded gas fields. The project failed to meet its critical development objectives.
Energy storage was a key early focus for VCTF. Ecoult is a battery storage technology originally emanating out of CSIRO. The storage device is ideally suited to wind energy and transmission smoothing. Our investment in Ecoult funded small wind farm trials in Australia and enabled the Company to progress to the early stages of commercialisation ahead of its sale to a US battery manufacturing company.
Embertec is an Australian developed technology that cuts out the standby power consumption of household devices through sophisticated monitoring of their consumption. It requires no user intervention to perform such functionality. The technology can be embodied in power boards, power outlet switches, power supplies and can be ultimately integrated into electrical appliances. Apart from its energy efficiency benefits, ten per cent of residential energy consumption is standby power, Embertec also delivers other benefits such as surge protection, reduced fire risk and extended equipment life. The focus of our investment was to assist Embertec’s progression in the early stages of commercialisation.
This investment was based on the commercial opportunities associated a novel surface engineering processes using a mobile high powered laser surface modifying system. The Laser cladding increases the performance of metallic components and reduces wear in such componentry as turbine blades. The company was successful in targeting the power generation industry. This commercialisation success provided VCTF with the opportunity for an early profitable exit.
Vivid Technology Limited (formerly Greenearth Energy) is a diversified Australian-based renewable erergy company with interest in technology-focused solutions in the industrial energy efficiency and CO2-to-fuel conversion markets in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
The company is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with the stock code of VIV.
In October 2016 the sale of Ilum-a-lite to Greenearth Energy Resources, an ASX listed company, was completed. This transaction enabled Ilum-a-lite to be coupled with a larger business that is focused on the industrial energy efficiency lighting sector thereby offering complementary and synergistic capability.
This project was based on development and commercialisation of a mechanical energy harvesting device. The intent was to replace batteries in a number of high volume applications such as Tollway E-Tags where vehicle vibrations could be converted into stored electrical power. The device could be tuned to store and configure the energy storage for a specific application. The project necessitated further research and was seeking to advance the investee company further along the development stage towards demonstration.
An Australian zinc technology company that had developed a unique (patent-pending) process for extracting high purity Zinc Oxide from a range of Zinc-bearing feedstocks including Zinc Ore, galvaniser's ash, crude Zinc Oxide and electric arc furnace dust. Unlike other processes, the MetsolTM technology did not need to produce Zinc metal; instead it delivered high purity Zinc Oxide in a form ready for resale at significantly higher profit margins than any other process in the market.
The Metsol TM proces was fully proven at pilot scale. After an failed Initial Public Offering, Metsol's assets and IP were sold and the company liquidated.
The MIGfast investment was to take a novel welding tip from research through manufacturing development to industry acceptance. Ultimately successful in demonstrating superior speed and weld quality the business failed due to its target market (vehicle manufacture) collapsing and its value proposition becoming irrelevant to the targeted high volume users.
VCTF undertook investment in Oceanlinx with a number of partners with the aim of harnessing the vast energy resource available to Australia through ocean energy or wave power. The advantages of wave power is that it enables more accurate forecasting capability because it has lower variation than other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. This allows better integration into the power system. The ultimate focus of our investment in Oceanlinx was a 2.5MW demonstration project in Portland Victoria. Unfortunately, storm damage to the demonstrator before it could attain reasonable continuous running period resulted in the demise of the project. Wave power generation continues to be a difficult implementation challenge for the renewables sector.
VCTF’s investment in Renex led to the establishment of Australia’s first permanently located integrated waste treatment and resource recovery facility. The 70,000 tonnes per annum facility is located in Dandenong, Victoria. The licensed pyrolysis rotary kiln technology treats a wide range of contaminated soils that would otherwise have to be directed to increasingly scarce landfill disposal. The treatment process has the advantage of being able to open up contaminated sites for development that would otherwise remain undeveloped because of toxic soil. The facility is delivering a sustainable, environmentally sound solution to the treatment of such waste. VCTF is proud to have participated in the initial investment round that kick started this key piece of environmental infrastructure.
This early stage investment by VCTF was into a Vanadium Bromide Reduction/Oxidation flow battery venture coming out of the University of NSW. The market identified for this technology was remote area power supplies (RAPS), emerging standby power in the telecommunications industry and UPS backup. VCTF’s involvement in the project did not advance beyond the development phase due to technological implementation issues.