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Deer milk and trash-based bins – the most innovative companies of 2019


Deer milk and trash-based bins – the most innovative companies of 2019


A networking platform for tradies, milk from deers and a garbage bin made from milk bottles – here’s Dr Amantha Imber with some of the best innovations coming out of Australian and Kiwi businesses in 2019.

Deer milk with your coffee?

Amantha Imber 150 BWNowadays, it’s not unusual to have a plethora of different ‘milk’ options when visiting a café. Thanks to Landcorp Farming, which came in sixth on the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Agriculture, Mining and Utilities companies list, deer milk may soon be an option. Deer were considered impossible to milk until Pāmu (Landcorp Farming’s brand name) entered a unique research and development partnership with a farming family, creating a new category of products involving innovations across the supply chain.

Deer milk has double the fat and protein of cow’s milk giving it a rich, creamy flavour profile. As a world-first ingredient, Pāmu has created new markets and partnerships to commercialise the products and trained chefs in top restaurants throughout NZ, Australia and Hong Kong on how to prepare desserts utilising deer milk. 

Wheelie Bins made from recycled milk bottles

Packaging manufacturer Pact Group found a way to manufacture wheelie bins made from 60% recycled milk bottles. The ‘Bottle bin’ is made using 4.8kg of recycled milk bottle plastic, or 250 milk bottles – the average number every Australian household consumes each year. Pact Group, who came in at number two on the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Manufacturing and Consumer Goods list, calculated that if every household in Australia (8.42 million) had their three wheelie bins manufactured from 60% recycled milk bottles, approximately 1212.8 tonnes of plastic packaging waste would be diverted from landfill.

Dine with Dignity

For the Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution’s top-ranking innovation Dine with Dignity, the customer was involved from the start. A hospitality manager at their retirement and nursing village observed residents choosing to eat in their rooms rather than in the dining room. Other residents were not always finishing meals or needing additional assistance to eat. Through these observations, Dine with Dignity was born.

Dine with Dignity, a clothes protector and crockery range with ‘invisible’ assistance pieces, enhances the dining experience for elderly people that have trouble eating with traditional utensils. Clever hidden lips, for example, assist with food pick up and non-tip saucers help with the avoidance of spills. These elements remove potential embarrassment from mishaps at the table and the need for staff to assist at meals. The impact has been so great that in one instance a gentleman resident cried when he saw his place setting was the same as everyone else.

Networking for tradies

Bathroom and plumbing supplies company the Reece Group, which came in third place on the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Property, Construction and Transport companies list, identified a need to help tradespeople connect with each other. From this need, ‘goodwork’ was born. goodwork is a networking platform for tradespeople that allows them to connect to other tradies, find jobs in particular areas and create a profile to showcase their work. Just like LinkedIn does for professionals, goodwork allows ambitious tradies to grow their businesses more easily and quickly than ever before. 

Safety Hub – Preventative insurance

Advertising agency CHE Proximity helped client NRMA redesign insurance to become a preventative tool, not a reactive one. CHE Proximity, which ranked third in the AFR BOSS Media and Marketing Most Innovative companies list, analysed claims data and found that the majority of insurance claims come from risks that are preventable. For example, small things like an $8 flexi hose, which is the inconspicuous pipe that connects your washing machine to the wall tap, becomes frail after seven years; when broken it can causw an average claims cost of $28,000.

From the top 20 preventable claims, CHE Proximity created tasks to prevent their occurrence. Using the NRMA risk and actuarial databases, the agency was then able to identify the customers most at risk. These customers were invited to use Safety Hub, an online service and call centre, which advised them of simple preventative measures and tasks to complete.

For every safety task completed, NRMA paid money straight into the customer’s bank account. The prototype of the idea invited 200,000 high-risk customers to join. They completed 4,763 tasks preventing millions in claim costs.

Dr Amantha Imber is the Founder of Inventium and the co-creator of the AFR Most Innovative Companies list

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