Dashworks member businesses have proven that COVID is no barrier to innovation, creating world-leading products and technology to support the community and businesses during lockdown.
Operating in Charlestown and Warners Bay, Dashworks is home to more than 130 inventors, innovators, professionals, contractors, and business owners across more than 70 businesses.
Among these innovative companies are Ampcontrol, Creative Pipeline and Atmosphere Global.
As a partner in The Melt at Dashworks Makespace, Ampcontrol have been heavily involved with the industrial prototyping lab and innovation accelerator for product developers offered at The Melt.
In an incredible show of ingenuity and innovation, Ampcontrol engineers created an emergency ventilator prototype to support the Australian COIVID-19 response in just 18 days.
Ampcontrol is one of only two groups to be selected by the NSW Government to proceed to pre-production for further testing.
Key components of the ventilator prototype were designed and produced at the Melt site.
Ampcontrol CEO, Rod Henderson, said infrastructure and hubs that enable innovation are vital for the region to survive and bounce back.
“Via The Melt we have been able to rapidly swing our world-leading expertise and production facilities into manufacturing critical emergency medical equipment right here in the Hunter,” Rod said.
“If we go to full production of the ventilators, we could see a whole new industry here in Lake Macquarie and the Hunter supporting the local economy and jobs.”
The next phase of the project will see the production of 10 pilot ventilators with the objective of rapidly manufacturing 600 ventilators for use across NSW.
Dashworks also plays host to Creative Pipeline, another forward-thinking company, developing virtual reality experiences for national and multinational industrial and science-based organisations.
Tim Black, Creative Pipeline’s Founder and Managing Director, says the company has been busier than ever during lockdown.
“VR technology allows employees to train in a safe, virtual world to build skills for risk management and hazard detection,” Tim said.
“There has been a huge growth in the demand for this type of immersive training, particularly within industries like underground mining to better manage risks in dangerous environments.
Tim said that COVID has created an even greater need for the technology.
“Before the health crisis employees were required to attend group, face-to-face VR training sessions.”
“As COVID-19 emerged, we pumped resources into research and development and created a whole new product offering allowing the training to be delivered remotely and across multiple locations. Importantly, this allows organisations to adhere to social distancing measures and reduce health risks for their employees.”
Tim added that having access to Dashworks, where his team could meet safely, was critical to project delivery.
“We did work-from-home for some weeks when COVID-19 initially hit. But when restrictions started to ease, we moved back to Dash as soon as we could,” he said.
“The intense, collaborative nature of what we do is much easier when we’re working in a central place. We work on highly complex technology and concepts, so collaboration and rapid development is so important to delivering quality programs.
“Accessing a flexible workspace has allowed us to keep costs down whilst providing the flexibility we need to rapidly scale up our team to meet market demand.”
Atmosphere Global has been a member of Dashworks since 2017. The company produces and distributes plant-based cleaning products to Australian and international customers.
Atmosphere’s Founder and Director, Shane Ormsby, said the company had developed a coronavirus safe product prior to the epidemic, but demand has surged since the outbreak.
“We could see there was a need for an environmentally formulated but heavy-duty cleaning products that are effective against viruses and bacteria,” Shane said.
“Given the environmentally friendly components, we’ve expanded our distribution during the outbreak to support schools, hospitals, waste management and agricultural operations.”
Shane said that working in a shared office with a strong community has powerful benefits.
“We’ve had access to a much wider network of professionals and industry experts. These relationships across digital marketing, accounting and manufacturing have been so critical especially over the past few months.”
“Working together and co-creating has allowed us to support our coworking colleagues who’ve experienced a downturn whilst successfully expand our production and reach into new markets.”
To support businesses to recover and thrive Dashworks is offering one free month of rent for organisations or individuals that sign up for six months and two months free for twelve month memberships.
IMAGE | Dashworks Charlestown space