Cooling vest concept walks away with $100,000 at Enterprize 2009

19 Oct 2009
Against tough competition, GRW Industries won over the Enterprize judges and collected $100,000 to commercialise their revolutionary personal cooling vest for emergency workers and miners. UQ Business School's Enterprize competition awards $100,000 to the winning business plan and pitch and this year saw seven outstanding finalists vying for the prize at Pitch Day on Friday 16 October. The winning CoolMe™ technology developed by GRW Industries is a disposable vest that can be worn under protective clothing, achieving temperatures of three to five degrees Celsius through a chemical reaction inside the vest. "It's is a personal cooling vest designed to limit the effects of heat stress during physical activity in hot and humid environments, in particular for people wearing protective clothing like by fire fighters, " said Robert Ennis-Thomas, a member of the GRW Industries product development team from James Cook University. Fellow team member Glen Deakin said it was while working with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service on a wellness program in 2005 that the one of the officers highlighted the issue of heat stress. "He was curious if anything could be done to assist them. Following this I spoke with two James Cook University colleagues, technical officers Robert Ennis-Thomas and William Armstrong, and together we started work on the problem," Dr Deakin said. Four years of research and development paid off when the CoolMe vest won UQ Business School's Enterprize competition. Team member George Adamson said the prize money would allow the team to take the next steps in reaching the market so that the benefits of the CoolMe™ technology could be provided to users. UniQuest, the main research commercialisation company for UQ and for James Cook University will continue to help GRW Industries optimise the commercial potential of this exciting innovation. View GRW Industries video on YouTube: