French multinational acquires UQ startup established to monitor power networks

26 Apr 2022

A Brisbane startup company founded on University of Queensland technology to monitor the health of electricity network transformers has been acquired by French multinational Schneider Electric in a multi-million-dollar deal.

Aurtra develops remote industrial sensors to monitor ageing transformers, using patented technology designed at UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering by Professor Tapan SahaDr Hui MaDr Chandima Ekanayake and Dr Dan Martin. 

Aurtra CEO Terry Woodcroft (right) and UQ's Professor Tapan Saha (left).

Aurtra CEO Terry Woodcroft (right) and UQ's Professor Tapan Saha (left).

Professor Saha, who has been working for more than 25 years on transformer monitoring tools said he was thrilled by the news of the Aurtra acquisition.

“As an innovator of some of the original ideas that were licensed to Aurtra, I feel honoured to lead the team involved with the infant stages of the research that forms the pillars of the company,” he said.

The sensor technology was licensed to Aurtra in 2017 by UQ commercialisation company, UniQuest.

In 2019, Aurtra raised investment capital from UniSeed, startup investors the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Angels and a team of high-net-worth investors.

Dr Moss said Aurtra was one of many IT-based startups founded on licensed IP developed by UQ researchers and commercialised by UniQuest.

UQ associated startups such as Movus Fit Machine (ilab), which provides real-time machine health monitoring, or state estimation software such as GridQube (UniQuest), and machine-intelligent testing software like Turbine Machine Genes (ilab), are already emerging players in this space.

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