21 April 2017

Stormseal inventor and Managing Director, Matthew Lennox, has accelerated his idea for a product that provides huge relief for storm victims and their rescuers and insurers through government funding and securing intellectual property (IP) protection.

Using a unique polymer technology which heat-shrinks over damaged roofs quickly and securely, Stormseal provides up to one year of protection. Unlike traditional tarpaulins, Stormseal doesn’t require constant refitting and effectively keeps out the wind and rain. This allows more efficient use of SES volunteer resources, helps keep people safe and dry in their homes and reduces overall repair costs.

Considering IP protection in your commercialisation journey

Matthew came up with the idea for Stormseal after his experience assisting with severe storm damage repairs in 2007 when he saw insurance claims multiply due to failing tarpaulins. To develop his idea, IP protection was his first consideration.

‘I considered IP protection from the get-go.’ Matthew shares, ‘I conducted some preliminary patent searches and didn’t find anything like it so I established the company.’

Matthew expresses that IP protection is a must have. His advice to other businesses is that even if you can’t afford the costs to trust yourself and find the money.

‘Successful businesses are valued by the strength of their IP.’

After securing an Australian patent, Matthew knew that Stormseal would work anywhere in the world. With this in mind he knew he needed government assistance to take it global.

Accelerate your commercialisation with government grants

In 2016 Stormseal was a recipient of a $450 000 Accelerating Commercialisation grant. While Matthew admits the process in applying was intense, it provided a number of commercialisation opportunities.

‘It was months of work but resulted in a very valuable business strategy with clear commercialisation milestones. We refer to it as the Bible.’

The funding assisted Stormseal to achieve part of their milestones including securing their IP, the establishment of a national training system for the application of Stormseal, completion of a trial, development of quality assurance systems, establishment of a national logistics operation and the development of an online learning and trainee web portal.

Receiving government support also opened up the doors to the domestic and international markets, ‘I call it credibility by association.’

He adds ‘It assisted with the little things that make a business operate. The ability to employ staff, procure materials and equipment and establish effective communications’

Through the support of significant federal funding, Stormseal can roll out nationally to protect Australians and reduce the disruption and damage caused by storms and disasters.

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