Australia is, unfairly, not widely renowned for its technological and business innovation.

Part of it is a publicity problem – investors hear more in the news about Silicon Valley or major American centres of research like MIT or Johns Hopkins than they do about our own home-grown CSIRO or various universities.

That’s a real problem, because it means some potentially world-changing companies simply don’t get the publicity they need to roll out their products on a large scale.

In fact I’d be willing to bet that the average investor hasn’t heard of more than two of these companies despite their potential to revolutionise the way we live.

As a caveat I must point out that only a mere fraction of companies with great ideas ever turn into the next Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) or Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL).

There are no guarantees these companies will succeed, but without exposing them to the wider market to generate interest in their ideas, they are sure to fail.

Newzulu Limited (ASX: NWZ)

Newzulu Limited – formerly PIE networks – is a new company formed through a reverse takeover of PIE networks.

Partnered with major news media outlets in Canada, Australia, Germany and the UK, Newzulu is a crowd-sourced journalism vendor with the potential to completely change the face of global news reporting.

Citizen journalists upload photos from wherever they are in the world to the website and are able to get paid if their work is picked up by an associated press company.

This means that news can be virtually ‘as it happens’ – uploaded mere instants after a riot for example, or from events where traditional news media may not have journalists in place.

Factor in the always-on capabilities of smartphones and the possibilities for this company are almost endless.

Dyesol Ltd. (ASX: DYE)

Dyesol is an innovative, global solar company working on Dye Solar Cells (DSC) and Building-Integrated Photovoltaic Technology (BIPV).

What this means is that Dyesol’s solar cells can be overlaid on virtually any material – glass, brick, concrete, ceramic, and used to generate power thus saving the need for acres of conventional solar farms.

Picture skyscrapers covered with DSC material to generate their own power, and you start to grasp Dyesol’s vision for its product.

In a nutshell, Dyesol has almost completed development of its DSC tech which is cheaper, more durable and significantly more efficient than existing solar systems. Furthermore, an arrangement with the National Industrialization Company of Saudi Arabia sees the company fully funded and ready to begin commercialisation in 2015.

Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd (ASX: CWE)

Another innovative energy company, Carnegie Wave Energy uses its patented CETO wave-power unit to generate power offshore for onshore purposes.

Carnegie’s technology has been successfully tested numerous times and it is advancing development of its Wave Hub power-generating project in south-western England.

The CETO technology also has the ability to produce desalinated water with a pilot desalination plant being constructed in Western Australia at present.

With $15 million in cash, $18 million in government grants to draw on and a cash burn of around $4 million a year, Carnegie currently appears to be well funded for its future projects.

Silex Systems Ltd (ASX: SLX)

Silex’s main drawcard is its Laser Excitation technology for enriching uranium.

Cheaper and less energy intensive than existing enrichment methods, Silex was expected to revolutionise the nuclear power market by reducing costs and initial start-up hassles.

However the leaks at the Fukushima plant in Japan are still resonating through the global uranium markets, with both nuclear power and production of uranium not in favourable territory at the moment.

Putting aside the obvious comment that nuclear reactors shouldn’t be built near seismic faults, the fear of nuclear power is still visceral in the minds of governments and the public globally and indicates a negative short-term outlook for Silex’s technology.

I would steer clear of this one until the medium-term future becomes clearer.


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