USA opportunities flowing to Australian business

Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world and with this climate, the Australian water industry has developed many innovative water products, services and solutions. There is now growing opportunity to spread this innovation to international markets, including the USA.

This $US21.5 billion utilities and industrial water and wastewater market is growing and represents a major opportunity for Australian water suppliers.

Following a successful mission to the USA in 2011 to introduce Australian suppliers to the USA market, ICN received Australian Government funding, through the Suppliers Access to Major Projects (SAMP) program. The funding was to establish a USA representative, to identify market opportunities for Australian water companies and provide them with on-the-ground support.

Through SAMP funding, the USA representative, Ken Rubin from Rubin Mallows, spoke at a number of Australian workshops on the opportunities in the USA and assistance available to Australian companies. A trade mission was also organised in later 2012 (by waterAUSTRALIA), allowing Australian SME’s to attend the major water event WEFTEC (Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference) in New Orleans.

The Department of Industry; waterAUSTRALIA; the Water Supplier Advocate, Bob Herbert and ICN’s National Sector Manager – Water, Hamish Gordon, supported Australian SMEs at the event.

Since the mission a number of companies have engaged the services of Rubin Mallows to help them enter the USA market. This includes Observant, which has had great success.

Observant is an Australian-owned company that designs, manufactures and distributes products and services for agricultural, urban and environmental water monitoring and management applications. Their remote monitoring solution, designed and built in Australia, was specifically developed to improve water use efficiency in agriculture and to provide a tool for accurately gathering and interpreting information about remote water infrastructure for livestock and crops from a distance.

It was through the Department of Industry's Water Industry Capability Teams and the work done by waterAUSTRALIA, that Observant became aware of the growing USA market. ‘We could see significant opportunity for us in the USA’, said Matthew Pryor, CEO, Observant.

‘The SAMP program, and the support from Les Targ and his team at waterAUSTRALIA has been invaluable’.

Through the SAMP program, companies were able to apply for a market entry strategy, to be developed by Ken Rubin that would give them the ‘knowhow’ on entering the USA market. Observant applied, and subsequently, were awarded the opportunity.

This opportunity identified key partners and current distribution channels for Observant. ‘We are now working with a well-established irrigation company and will be launching a co-branded product with them in the USA in November’, said Matthew. ‘We have now incorporated our business and have two employees in the USA’.

This market-entry strategy has been the cornerstone for Observant to develop and sell their own products in the USA and to set up their own distribution channels. ‘We hope to have our own distribution channel by the end of the year, and we are currently in conversations with four USA distributors. It has been a very exciting year for us’, said Matthew.

Nubian Water Systems is another Australian company that is finding success in the USA through the SAMP program.

Nubian Water Systems is an Australian owned company that develops and distributes sustainable water solutions for domestic, commercial and industrial markets in the urban environment. Nubian has pioneered advancements in technology that ensures the highest quality of recycled or purified water that are efficient, easy and flexible to install and maintain.

Through their involvement in the Water Industry Capability Teams, Nubian engaged with Rubin Mallows to help the company enter the USA market. Rubin Mallows helped them to scope potential resellers, undertake market analysis, conduct interviews with shortlisted companies and arranged one-to-one meetings with the potential resellers.

‘Ken Rubin created a program specifically designed to meet Nubian’s objectives’, said Barry Porter, CEO, Nubian Water Systems. ‘He and his team have been very supportive through the process and I don’t think we would have found our potential partners without his help’.

The Australian water sector has much to offer to international markets, and the success of Nubian Water Systems and Observant are just the start of many success stories to come.

Australia is seen as having very strong water management principles in dealing with water storage and reuse under harsh climatic conditions. Building on this perception will put Australia in a very strong position in the USA market.

As part of the ongoing support for the program, ICN has over 29 projects listed under the USA SAMP program, with more than 80 companies registering their interest to date. A targeted mission is being planned in early 2014 for companies that have registered their interest and are looking to access these opportunities.

All opportunities for the USA SAMP program are available on the ICN Water Directory.

ICN is Australia and New Zealand’s innovative industry matchmaker. If you’re a major project developer, ICN can put you in contact with the best suppliers. If you’re a supplier we will connect you with the best projects for your business.