Roads and Maritime Services rewards industry innovators to improve regional roads

25 September 2018

Roads and Maritime Services will spend $500,000 trialling five new innovative maintenance solutions that won a competition to bring safer and more efficient maintenance solutions to NSW roads.

Five winners have been announced for the Innovation Network: innovating regional road maintenance following an interactive, fast-paced ‘pitch day’ in Sydney and will be trialled as part of the agency’s regional road maintenance program. The initiative also set the benchmark in public-private collaboration for the years to come.

Roads and Maritime Executive Director, Regional and Freight Roy Wakelin-King said he was impressed by the response to the inaugural event.

“We were hoping for a positive response and were quite literally overwhelmed by the sheer number of submissions from small sole traders all the way through to the tier one construction companies – with everyone putting their best ideas forward,” Mr Wakelin-King said.

Roads and Maritime considered more than 80 submissions which came from individuals, subject matter experts and construction and infrastructure advisory firms across the nation in the core areas of line marking, vegetation clearance, inspections, surveying.

The top 10 were chosen and invited to pitch their innovations to a panel of industry experts, and from those, the top five were selected.

The winners

  • Black Moth Vision Systems will trial their 360 degree vision system for heavy machinery to record road defects and road maintenance issues;
  • Lendlease will trial their ‘Push-In’ technology to improve traffic signal reliability and safety;
  • Concrete Pavement Recycling, a joint venture of NA Group and RPQ Group, will trial their concrete pavement fracturing technology;
  • GHD will trial an Australian-first in-vehicle pavement evaluation application;
  • Fulton Hogan will trial their Laser Texture Meter system which provides road profile measurements.

Mr Wakelin-King said he was grateful for the opportunity to partner with industry to bring some of these innovations to life.

“The winners were those who answered all of the criteria and were able to able to demonstrate that their innovation had the best value,” he said.

Clearly areas around potential efficiencies and safety were a big factor, as was the ability to implement these straight away.”

“The quantity and quality of submissions received demonstrates the industry’s appetite to be a part of the solution for our regional road customers.

“Our Innovation Network initiative was a take-out from a series of regional industry forums which Roads and Maritime ran last year. Our regional delivery partners expressed a strong desire to work smarter and more efficiently with us to deliver projects in regional NSW.”

Mr Wakelin-King said submissions were assessed by a panel which included a number of key independents.

“I’d like to thank Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at UNSW and Carlos Rial CEO of the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association for their guidance and expertise on the panel.”

What the winners had to say

Black Moth CEO Scott Gemmell: “I think it’s a great opportunity to work with Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime Services to see how our technology can be used across their network – we’re really excited about this and looking forward to seeing where it goes.”

Fulton Hogan Quality and Environment Manager NSW Katie McElhone:  “The fact that Roads and Maritime is taking this on board shows they’re flexible, they’re looking to the future and they’re happy to change the way we’ve always done things.”

GHD Market Leader Transport and Regional Market Development Leader Colin Dominish:

“This process has been Roads and Maritime opening the door and being inviting for ideas to come from industry and that’s so powerful.”

Concrete Pavement Recycling Business Manager Marty LaNauze:

“It was absolutely worth getting involved. Get in and do it, have a go. No idea is a bad idea.”

Lendlease Supervising Technician Bruce Daniel: On panellist Veena Sahajwalla: “I tell you what really got me going… I recognised the lady off The Inventors, and I was star struck.’

For more background information on the Innovation Network, or any of the winners head to our Rewarding industry innovators to improve regional roads page.

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