Justin Bain, former Army Signals Officer and now CEO and part owner of 3ME Technology, was recruited to accelerate the commercialisation of the company’s battery vehicle systems for the mining industry.
Bain secured over $3m in funding from both the Mining Industry and Federal Government grant programs to power ahead technology deliveries at a time where the mining industry comes under increasing pressures to decarbonise and clean up its operations.
As a result of the funding, 3ME Technology has signed contracts with multiple mining vehicle OEMs, suppliers and mining companies and presented at the inaugural international Electric Mine conference in Toronto in 2019.
Bain says: "The industry and Federal Government support enabled the company to remain technology focused, grow a high-performance team and to establish a strategic position in support of an important mission to electrify mining operations.”
Under Bain’s leadership, the company revised its focus and rebranded to 3ME Technology. 3ME stands for mining, military and marine, the company’s key target markets and the E is for electro mobility (e-mobility), a general term for the development of electric-powered drivetrains designed to shift vehicle design away from the use of fossil fuels and carbon gas emissions.
3ME Technology is seasoned in the Defence Industry with its Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Steven Howell, previously a Hardware Engineer for Thales Underwater Systems, and who worked within Microsoft Quantum’s Nanoscience facility prior to joining 3ME Technology.
Howell said: “We are first and foremost a tech company (battery systems, software & power electronics) engaging collaboratively with vehicle or platform manufacturers and end-users to electrify their offerings to improve performance, safety and sustainability, whilst bringing new features and functionality to mobile platforms.”
With the rebranding and employment of additional veterans, 3ME Technology was established as an Australian Veteran Owned Business (AVOB). AVOB is a non-profit third-party certifier which promotes the recognition of Australian Defence Force veteran owned and operated businesses. The company also relocated to Newcastle to establish its production facility, improve its proximity to key partners and support expanding its technical workforce. Its current team of 21 (predominately electrical and software engineers) is set to grow to over 50 by the end of 2021.
Some of 3ME Technology’s high profile projects include the beta phase production of Bendigo manufacturer Safescape’s Bortana EV for the mining industry; 3ME Technology conducted the system integration inclusive of designing and assembling custom batteries to meet mine site safety and compliance. 3ME Technology is also supporting AMSL Aero with battery systems for their prototype electric cargo drone (electric vertical take-off and landing – eVTOL) under AMSL’s Defence Innovation Hub contract.
The team started to actively pursue the defence market in July this year very quickly winning its first public contract with C4 EDGE, a defence industry cooperative of subject matter experts working on a communications program scoping the demonstration of a sovereign land battlegroup and below communications environment for the Australian Army.
Steven Lawn, another Army veteran and 3ME Technology’s Chief Business Development Officer said “the rugged, modular and energy-dense system developed for the underground mining industry has enabled the concept of an interoperable energy unit for the battlefield to be conceived. We look forward to demonstrating this technology under the C4 EDGE program”
Grant Sanderson, CEO for EOS Defence Systems, the company taking the lead in the program said: “3ME Technology were an obvious choice for the program due to their strong mix of both military operational experience and power solutions expertise, with a focus on safety and state-of-the-art technology.”
Ultimately, by the end of 2021 the program will have delivered a proof of concept demonstration that shows the capability of Australian industry to further develop a protected, integrated and supportable sovereign system: one that delivers agile and resilient C2 functionality to meet the flexible, scalable and interoperability needs of a battlegroup operating independently or with partners.