Aussie smart materials startup joins global incubator Plug and Play

By on 22 May, 2018

Imagine IM’s graphene-based geofabric product. Image supplied by Imagine IM.

Geelong-based graphene and ‘smart fabric’ firm Imagine Intelligent Materials (Imagine IM) will join the upcoming Startup Autobahn event in Stuttgart, Germany, this June.

Imagine IM currently produces a graphene-based smart material — one of a new generation of construction materials that will enable innate sensing, anticipating IoT integration into transport infrastructure. Their product has an initial deployment in tailing dams, enabling early detection and repair of leaks — but the potential applications of this technology are innummerable.

The firm has an operational ‘smart road’ prototype at their Geelong facility, that can sense traffic movement and could forseeably interact with autonomous vehicles and IoT-enabled traffic management systems.

Startup Autobahn is run by the major global startup incubator Plug and Play, and aims to bring together significant local engineering talent and Silicon Valley expertise with young tech companies.

“Our inclusion in this program should be seen as a complete endorsement of Australia’s innovation in the world of graphene,” said Chris Gilbey, Imagine IM CEO.

“We are in this position because of the brilliant scientific research taking place in Australia and our insights into how to commercialise graphene at scale.”

The company has been tasked with developing a new sensing interior textile product for Daimler as part of their inclusion in the event — an area Gilbey sees as an area of future growth.

“The long-term competition for Mercedes isn’t General Motors or BMW – it’s Google,” he said.

“That is not just my view, but the view of the senior management of Daimler. The move to driverless cars is causing the pace of new technologies to accelerate, and innovations in textiles in automotive will soon migrate into other areas such as clothing. Imagine IM intends to be at the forefront of smart surface innovation across a number of market verticals.

Chris Gilbey OAM, Executive Chairman and CEO of Imagine IM; Craig Laundy, Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation; and Jens Goennemann, Managing Director, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre. Image supplied by Imagine IM.

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