Uni-backed SafeZone app set to go global

A company that the University of Wollongong has helped incubate is selling its smart security solution back to the university.

In February 2012, Critical Arc was accepted into UOW's StartPad, a facility that offers budding entrepreneurs a free, structured creative environment.

StartPad is part of the UOW-led project iAccelerate, which is just one of the innovative projects showcased in a new report UOW: Leading Locally, Competing Globally.

Critical Arc business partners Glenn Farrant and Jahmai Lay said the facility has provided the services and support they needed to get their business off the ground.

They now have another Australian university about to sign up for their security system, which transforms smartphones into personal sensors enabling security personnel to pinpoint the caller's exact location.

The revolutionary SafeZone app, now in use at UOW, is even set to go global with 20 universities in Britain showing strong interest in it.

"We are now also investigating opportunities for this technology in the mining industry, in regards to safety and instant response in open cut mines," Mr Farrant said.

"Plus there's many other opportunities for this style of open security system which we can look at, such as at defence establishments and major research and industrial parks, or at major transport hubs or airports."

Critical Arc has been able to employ three new staff members, and Mr Farrant expects staffing numbers to double in the next 12 months.

UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings said Critical Arc was one of a dozen innovative new businesses being supported by iAccelerate.

"Over the past 10 years we have built some very important research centres at the Innovation Campus which now collaborate with a range of industries," he said.

iAccelerate helps create technology-based small businesses using these assets.

In this way, he said, UOW was helping to "sow the seeds of a high-tech industry cluster" within the region.

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