A little-known sustainable lighting company says its technology is set to disrupt the commercial lighting space, and plans to increase staff numbers from 18 to 100 by end of year – though it’s keeping mum on what exactly will be offered.
Adelaide-based Green Frog Systems specialises in solar lighting and predictive energy storage systems, and last month was awarded $760,837 through the Accelerating Commercialisation section of the federal government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme for its “Smart City Public Solar Lighting Project”.
Through the program the federal government is matching dollar-for-dollar Green Frog Systems’ investment in modular, smart solar lighting systems for public spaces. The company says its solar products are longer lasting than conventional solutions, and can be offered to governments, councils and even remote mining operations at a competitive price, while cutting energy and greenhouse gas emissions, and providing reliable service with storage.
What’s more interesting, however, is a yet-to-be-released innovation – one the company says will disrupt the commercial lighting market.
Green Frog Systems calls the product, slated to be released in the fourth quarter of 2018, a “new generation product for smart cities”, which will provide “high volume, all night capability, zero maintenance and intelligent smart monitoring features”.
But according to marketing communications manager April Hobbs there’s no further information available. And it can’t be helped because patenting and registration is still underway. She says the technology is “groundbreaking and new to market”, promising details will emerge in the coming weeks or months. The only thing the company will say is that the technology focuses on “ultra reliability”.
Green Frog Systems, close to its seven-year anniversary, is in the meantime gearing up for ambitious and “imminent” expansion plans into the US and New Zealand on the back of the technology, while eyeing other markets.
Hobbs says it is also “recruiting heavily”. Current staff numbers have more than doubled in the last month alone.
“We are at 18 staff now and our goal is to be at 100-plus by the end of the year through a mixture of full time and partner agents,” Hobbs says.
An office in Texas will be opening in the next month.
Green Frog Systems founder and chief executive David Wilson says the company had not previously sought any media attention before being awarded the grant.
People will ask, “Who is this little company in Adelaide?”
“People will be scratching their heads and wondering, ‘Who is this little company in Adelaide?’” he says.
“We have deliberately stayed under the radar, quietly scaling our business for some time and upping the ante in terms of our innovation. People are going to be blown away by our tech, which is going to make a real difference as Australia integrates smart city technology.”
An engineer by trade, Wilson started his career developing military hardware and software systems for the likes of IBM before moving into the sustainability space, much like recently-profiled Brookfield Scientific Solutions’ James Murray-Parkes.
Wilson says he likes to blend innovation with environmental outcomes.
“I’m always looking for ways to add value to my customers and save energy, costs and the environment. I love to create cool tech that no one else has even thought of.”
The company has already been involved in implementing smart city-connected street lighting for Katherine in the Northern Territory, which was an Australian first. It also installed Australia’s longest continuous solar lighting pathway project at Lake Albert in Wagga Wagga.
Current clients include the councils of Salisbury, Mount Gambier and Playford, NSW Health, Renewal SA, and companies such as Lendlease, John Holland and Colliers International.