NT News: Croc Pitch 2022 delivers cash boost for Northern Territory and Singaporean companies


Croc Pitch 2022 Winner

Two businesses took home a share each of $1 million after judges were unable to choose a clear winner at Croc Pitch 2022 in Darwin.

The annual innovation awards for start-ups was jointly won by Territory-based Kraken Coding and Singapore company Atomionics. Each has received $500,000 from Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund to put towards their projects.

First held in 2018, the winning pitch must be shown to have an economic benefit for the Northern Territory.

Croc Pitch 2022

Kraken Coding is a health-tech start-up founded by Darwin biotechnician and pharmacist John Shanks.

His innovative Clinical Branches is the world’s first drag-and-drop healthcare pathway development tool.

It was developed when Mr Shanks recognised a billion-dollar inefficiency in Australian hospitals relying on document-based procedures, leaflets and patient ward lists.

The success of the open-source antimicrobial stewardship pathways project led to the development of Clinical Branches.

He did an IT degree to give him the technical skills to develop the tougher software.t

“The open source pathways project removed a lot of stress for doctors because they were asked a bunch of questions about what they should do and it took away the pressure of having to remember what to ask,” John said.

“The market for this system is considerable. I felt for myself the burnout from having to make decisions on the fly in a fast-paced environment. These medical information systems are still based on a communication framework developed in the 1900s, we will change that.”

Croc Pitch 2022 Winner

The other half of the Croc Pitch prize went to Singapore start-up Atomionics, which builds quantum sensors for navigation and resource exploration.

The technology measures gravity, acceleration and rotation to build a comprehensive map of what lays underground.

It helps pinpoint underground structures like bunkers and tunnels, predict earthquakes, provide precise navigation and build a universal positioning system that can operate underground, underwater or in space.

Atomionics co-founder and chief executive Sahil Tapiawala said the $500,000 would be used to fund trials at mine sites across the Territory.

“We are very excited to bring the cold atom interferometry technology to the Northern Territory and ensure that the birthplace of the renewable energy revolution is in the Territory,” he said.

“Our technology will provide huge impacts for some of the biggest industries in the NT such as, mining, oil and gas and carbon sequestration.”

Supported by the Northern Territory Government, AusTrade, AusIndustry and Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, Croc Pitch is looking to spread its reach.

Darwin Innovation Hub chief operating officer Emma Nesbitt said the changes would begin in July.

“In partnership with the Developing Northern Australia Conference, Croc Pitch will expand across all of northern Australia, looking to snap up more exciting opportunities,” she said

Source: Camden Smith (NT News)