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New Inventors -

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(generated from captions) with fibreglass. and a reason to coat your house

On our panel tonight are, firstly, joint winner of the Eureka Prize engineering professor and recent of waste plastic in steel-making - for her research into the utilisation well done, Veena Sahajwalla - Chris Russell, agricultural scientist, and interior designer, Alison Page. Congratulations - well done. Welcome, all. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING Why didn't you two win a prize? Exactly. Well, I tried. I won a meat tray. look forward all day Wine drinkers the world over

as it leaves the bottle to that satisfying pop of the cork and opens up the liquid joy within. somehow it's not as good, Without the 'pop', the screw-top wine bottle which explains why enthusiastically embraced. hasn't always been bottles will probably be spoilt. But if you use corks, about 1 in 10 a plastic cap that pops like a cork. Here's the solution - ELEVATOR MUSIC for bottled wine I've designed a new closure and pops like a cork. that seals like a screw-cap POP! from getting into the wine, The Zork prevents too much oxygen protecting it from spoiling. The Zork doesn't need a corkscrew. It can be recycled. It's as simple as, peel it... POP! ..pop it... ..pour it... ..stop it. The Zork pops when you open it, of opening a bottle of wine. retaining the celebration with Zork means Buying a bottle of wine about it being corked you don't need to worry to what's really important - and lets you get down drinking the wine. Cheers. John Brooks. Please welcome, from Adelaide, Thanks, James. G'day, John. (Audience cheers wildly) Now, can I open it? Can I open it? Go ahead, please. round your fingers like this. It's simply...you wrap it And then... Yes. but you get a bit of a pop. It's sort of like opening champagne, And then you just pour it. You still get the pop. that's doing all this. You're the co-founder of the company first. Do you wanna taste it? Sorry, I should have done yours where it popped into his brain. Conor McKenna - he had the moment How did that happen? He had the inspiration one night some medicine with a syringe when he gave his sick daughter and he dropped the syringe that happened to be sitting there, into the top of an empty bottle we could have a plastic wine cork and it struck him that maybe unlike the screw-cap, that still kept the pop, a lot of people think is missing. which, sort of, once said to me, You know, as someone with a screw-cap opening a bottle of wine

without candles. is like getting a birthday cake

It's just missing that... Right, right, right. embracing screw-tops to an extent, And while the Australian market is

overseas, they're just saying no. They're just saying no. the problems with cork, They still have to go to screw-caps. but they are reluctant

You just pop it in like that. Now, this is resealable, of course. we've cut one open here, And if we just... the cross-section of it. and you can see that really keeps the air out And I guess the thing is on top there, the foil? That's correct. It also passes through plastic. Oxygen passes through cork. We weld the foil in there passing through into the wine, to stop oxygen

which can spoil your wine. OK. why we didn't give you a glass, Veena, there's a good reason we want your heads on the job. or any of you, really - What do you think? into your design into this plunger It's great the way you've built key, unique aspect in your design, that, of course, is obviously the for that pop sound. because that's obviously responsible comes into contact with wine However, that plunger actually over a period of time, and I'm just curious whether, the quality of wine itself. it could affect, in fact, forms of plastic that you can get, Yes - polythene's one of the purest with the Wine Research Institute and we've done a lot of testing affect the flavours of the wine. to ensure that the plastic doesn't the infrastructure, OK, now, if you look at, actually, that already exist, the capping machines be modified how easily could they, in fact, so that Zork could, in fact, into these existing systems? be accommodated a whole new piece of equipment, Unlike screw-caps, which need we've developed a system an existing screw-capping machine. to very simply modify So, for between $5,000 and $10,000, in a very short period of time you can be up and running bottling at industry speeds. Yes, John. Chris? whether you think the pop, I'm interested to know from the end user point of view, between the Zork and a screw-cap. is actually the biggest different I think we're different to screw-cap amount of oxygen inside the plunger in the way that we have a small mature and is very consistent. which does go in, helps your wine Screw-caps are sometimes accused of to wine. giving reductive characteristics It just hasn't... Meaning? It's almost TOO good a seal. to age or develop over time. It hasn't given the wine some time

To mature. To mature. John, I mean, you'd have to say that in the so-called science of wine there's as much mystique as anything else, you know -

nose thing and the look and the... the whole cork and the under the That's right. back into a plastic cork, How are you gonna re-introduce that particularly? for the overseas market,

You could have a whiff of that. Well, we've tried to keep... Yeah, tremendous. (Sniffs) We've kept some of...you know, as we can, you know. as much of the celebration in there taking the capsule off. Peeling the tab off is like get the sound and the action, Popping the cork out, you still something for sommeliers to do. Alison? particularly the plunger, Is there any part of this, that could be re-used? You can recycle the material once it's discarded. Oh, I see.

But the fact that you can re-use it... We find a lot of people put them in their kitchen drawers. I've found them in olive oil, in salad dressing, um... Nose plugs? They fit a lot of, you know, standard-size bottles. Earplugs, maybe? OK. LAUGHTER I don't know, if you want to dream about wine. Summing up - Veena? Oh, look, I think - I mean, you've obviously come up with something really creative. It satisfies the customer on one hand and, obviously, from a wine industry point of view as well. It's a great product, so, well done. Chris?

If what you say is right, then I think it'll be a great success and it needs more success than screw-tops have, particularly overseas. Alison? So, the fact that you've brought the ritual back into it, does that mean that they're gonna charge us Zorkage at restaurants? (All laugh) Anyway, please thank John Brooks. Thank you, John. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING And now, let's have a toilet break. WOMAN: The toilet - so much more than a waste disposal unit. It's a refuge and think tank without parallel, but not without its dark side, for in order to enjoy this sanctuary,

we must contend with the antisocial habits of others... DRAMATIC MUSIC ..and other associated problems. But with Australian ingenuity, help is on its way. JAUNTY ELEVATOR MUSIC The Wife Saver attaches to the existing toilet seat, raising and lowering it with a simple press of the foot, turning the most stalwart old-school male into a considerate metrosexual. The fan-powered Odour Extractor vents smells directly from the toilet bowl to the outside world, saving even the offender's nose. And the Spray Stay aerosol can holder attaches via suction cups to your cistern, keeping your air freshener close and secure. Australian ingenuity - making the littlest room the freshest room. LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE The New Inventors isn't all about toilets - it's also about people, specifically people who've invented something, preferably something that's never been invented before, obviously. If you think you may be one of those people, then please get in touch. To get an application form, go to our website. When farmers sow crops, they need to get the seeds into the ground. But sometimes, everything left over from the previous crop will form a hard layer on top of the ground which makes sowing difficult. Sometimes they remove this stubble, as it's called, by hand. Sometimes they burn it. But what we really need is a way to cut through the stubble

and sow the new seeds underneath. UP-BEAT MUSIC After harvesting your crop, the residue left on the soil surface is called stubble. For soil to stay healthy, it's important to keep stubble. Now, we can reduce erosion and sow crops too. The StubbleStar enables farmers to sow seeds directly through the stubble. It has 2 stars with 20 teeth that penetrate the stubble and help aerate the soil,

giving the seeds a better chance to grow. With conventional ploughing, the soil is first turned over or the weeds and stubble are burnt off.

With our invention, you don't need to do this. It stops weeds germinating, reducing the need for herbicides. Our invention addresses the age-old problems of minimising soil erosion and managing weeds. And ensuring a bumper crop. Please welcome, from Wagga Wagga, David Gregor and Deirdre Lemerle. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING Evening, James. G'day. G'day, Deirdre. Hi. Thank you for coming in. Now, what was the problem that this has solved? It's got two advantages over traditional tines. It won't clog up and it's really easy to pull. So, the shape is of a star, and that's sort of like a whole heap of knives, in a way, stabbing into the ground, I guess. It also loosens some soil below the seeds so that the young seedlings can grow really well. OK, well, I'm gonna replicate a tractor on my small hobby farm. Now, you'd have how many of them dragging behind the tractor? You'd probably have about 50 on a 1,000-hectare farm. Right, and they'd probably be going a bit faster than this, wouldn't they? Believe it or not, it's twice as easy to pull as a tine machine.

OK, and a tine machine is just one of the ones that sort of digs, just sort of a hook... Exactly. ..that flows through. And then if we look at what we've got there, there's sort of...

Well, there's a trench. The four things that it does - it cuts with the star, fertiliser drops down there at the same time, the seeds go in there and then this wheel sort of flattens it out. Exactly - the wheel just makes sure that the seed's in good contact with moist soil so that it can grow really quickly and easily. Normally, when farmers have stubble like this, they have to go to really wide rows to get through the stubble, but with the StubbleStar you can go close, and that means that the crop can grow up really quickly and smother weeds, so that with the StubbleStar you can use less herbicide,

and that's a really good thing. And also less...you don't have to burn the stubble, so you don't get pollution in the environment. Why is it that the rows can be closer? Because this can handle all kinds of straw levels without clogging up. Right. With - as you can imagine, a tine can act like a rake, so before you've gone very far, you'll have a huge problem of a bundle of stubble. OK, well, you're country folk, so you might as well come cross-country. Mind my seeds, though. There's a good crop there. We're expecting rain inside the studio any month. LAUGHTER Have a seat. Chris? Tell me what range of soil types you've actually tested this on. I think you come from the Wagga area? Yeah, we've tested it on red earth round Wagga and we've just recently come back

from a big expedition to Western Australia, where we were in sand plain soils round Meckering and Merredin, and we've virtually tested it in the major grain belt soil types in Australia. What about the...? Are you aiming for, sort of, the bulk sort of wheat, broadacre dryland wheat market as your main market, or...?

Absolutely. So, they like big, wide machines. How wide can you go and how many horsepower do you need, do you think? Well, we can easily go to 20 metres wide and we think that we can save about the horsepower of a tine machine, so probably around the 250-horsepower tractor would be able to pull a big unit of these. Alison? Have you got any idea about what the cost benefits...? 'Cause you've got more rows of plant, any idea about the cost benefits to a farmer? We're thinking that the average 1,000-hectare type wheat farmer would save about $25,000 per year in less fuel, lower tractor cost and also reduced herbicide cost. And these cost $1,200 each? Yes, we think about that. There are difficult-to-measure environmental benefits, like having less burning. Burning causes asthma and it's not good for the environment, and having less pesticides in the environment, because you're using a non-chemical form of control. Veena? What's the likelihood that the blades, in fact, might start to wear off very quickly or they might get damaged?

OK, because the relative speed between the blade and the soil is low, because it's a rolling action, we think that the blades will last at least a full year without being replaced. And then it's only a matter of a $60 star rather than a whole unit.

So, Chris, summing up? I think it's a tremendously clever idea and I think it'll make a big difference over using a conventional knife-type disc, so, really well done with that. Alison? It's like the difference, isn't it, between cutting a loaf of bread with a regular knife and having a serrated knife to cut the bread. So, this is like the serrated knife for the farmer. Serrated pizza cutter. (All laugh) And, Veena? Look, in addition to all of these benefits, you also pointed out some of the environmental advantages of a system like that, so, that's fantastic. You are stars. (Laughs) Please thank David Gregor and Deirdre Lemerle. Thanks very much, David. Thank you, Deirdre. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING Thank you very much. Most houses are made of brick and, to some, brick looks just fine. Others prefer the outside of their house to have a cement look and thus they get a whole heap of people to clamber over their house and throw mud at each other for a couple of weeks in hope that some of it will stick to the walls. That's called rendering. Here's a new way of rendering your house without anyone having to throw anything. FUNKY MUSIC

Cement render is a smart way to finish off your home. So I invented something that will give you the benefit of cement rendering in a fraction of the time. My invention is a fibreglass panel that can be moulded to look like any cement render finish you like. The panel can be used to cover any existing brick wall... ..or fix directly onto a timber framework. The joins are covered using a fibreglass-like filler, giving the walls a seamless finish.

Panels are UV and water-resistant to help you protect your home from the elements. And it comes in any colour you like, so you'll never need to paint. My invention lets you forget about time-consuming maintenance so you can get on to the good life. Please welcome, from Melbourne, Juan Aguirre. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING Juan. Hi, Juan. How you doing? Good. Thank you for coming in. No problem. Now, this is our custom-made brick wall, and, essentially, if you just looked up to here,

you'd probably think it had been rendered. Ah, that is the point. That is indeed. That is the point. The point. You've got a couple of sheets here that you've sort of half-joined, and you glue these to the wall? Into the wall. We use double tape which, actually, we place it into the brick wall. We let that dry properly. Yeah. Then we come back and we rip it off from the front and we just place the panels on top. But it's secure? It's not gonna...? Oh, definitely. Very strong. Is it gonna save a lot of time and a lot of money? Well, if you say an average home, it could cost about between $15,000, $20,000, a normal render. To render, yep. Yep. My...with my material, would probably cost between $9,000, $10,000, and half the time to install it as well. OK. Come across and sit down. Because my understanding is that the main advantage of render is simply the look. It's not anything else apart from the look, is that right? That is correct. It gives you a higher value on your property as well. OK. Alison, what do you think? Hi, Juan. How are you? Yeah, look, people are almost scarily addicted to that Tuscan look, aren't they? But is this going to be prefabricated, or is this something, like, in standard sheet sizes, or is it...? That is correct. You...actually, the customer will choose what type of style/texture they will like, and also will choose the colours as well.

Yep. So, yeah. And can you use it on a steel-frame building, or aluminium? Correct. You can? You can, you can do, yeah. Veena? Look, once it's been installed

and if, say, a person wants to work on it, you know, say you just want to drill a hole through this panel, this is obviously gonna produce particles, fine particles, during the process of drilling. And these fine particles, they would be carcinogenic just given the material that you're using for manufacturing. I mean, I would assume that a person would have to take some fairly careful precautions.

That is correct. But that is also on my material and other different materials like cement sheets, you know. You're still drilling, you're still getting dust.

My material is exactly the same. I would also recommend you use safety gear. Right, but you're saying it's just like conventional render. It is. It is conventional. Also, in the manufacturing process, are there any toxic materials that you're using? No, we use what we call backing bagging materials, which is actually - you're only placing materials. It sucks...it traps all the fumes so there's no fumes exposed, so it's much cleaner to work and very fast. OK. Chris? Yes, Juan, are you gonna mainly target the domestic market or the commercial market - like, the walls outside, you know, in public areas, or mainly in domestic? I want to attack all of them. Everyone!

Everybody! Everybody. Everything! I sort of tried to think of everybody. Tents! (Laughs) Thinking about the domestic market, what about the cutting in of it round windows and, you know, pipes going through walls? How do you do all that?

Well, that's what it is when a builder should come to me and, say,

give me the plans. I read the working drawings, I do exactly what I need to do and then I do my cuts. Everything's gotta be measured before... On site? On site. Well, now, Juan, in a cement render situation, if you get some damage or something, you just touch it over. The water can't get behind the render.

Is there any possibility here that if someone runs into this in a public area, that it could actually de-laminate off the wall, because, you know, through that hole it'll get in behind? It is repairable. It is very repairable. The material, you can... If a car went to smash the brick wall, you know, it's very repairable, yeah. And you can fix the car too, probably, with your render. (Laughs) Probably. Fix their leg - fibreglass...

Summing up, Alison? Well, you know, prefabricated construction, you know, it began with the modernist movement, and it's just getting more and more popular because architecture's so driven by time and cost. That is the point. Yes. So, I can see it being a really valuable cladding product, but if you'd had a few different ranges of finishes

that went beyond the render look, I think you'd be really onto something.

Veena? Look, and the fact that, I mean, it's also a very flexible product, you know, cheap, and that really adds a huge value to what you're offering compared to conventional products out there. And, Chris? Yes, you'll be hoping it'll render cement obsolete. LAUGHTER I can't believe I just said that. Thanks for coming in. Please thank Juan Aguirre. Thanks very much, mate. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING In a moment we'll find out which invention our judges will pick as tonight's winner, but first, have a look at this. NOSTALGIC MUSIC Tonight's winner will be in the running to be named our Inventor of the Year. Will it be the cork made of plastic, the Zork, the ground-slicing StubbleStar or the render made of fibreglass, JK Render? We've got a number of criteria we'll discuss. Veena, what about originality? Which of these three do you think is the most original? Certainly the StubbleStar, for me, stands out, because in a sense it is original because it's able to build in the functionality, the design elements. I must say, as far as the StubbleStar is concerned, the implications of being able to get more into the stubble seeding, you know, is really important. I actually think they're all kind of design issues, in a way. They're new designs on old ideas. So, in some ways it's easier for me to judge these inventions just based on that idea of design in that... But, I mean, there have been plastic corks around before, like the traditional cork but made of plastic. But you had to have a corkscrew, which is nearly impossible to get into them, I might add. That's the thing that people in Australia love about screw-caps. I went camping last week without a corkscrew, and I was so pleased when I realised it was a screw-cap. You all mentioned design. Which one is the best design? Yeah, well, that's interesting. I mean, JK Render, a sheet of fibreglass placed up against a wall. Some might say that's not a particularly new idea, but the design aspect of that is probably what they're looking for. But, I mean, with the Zork as well, it's such a simple, elegant design.

Which one do we need the most, Alison? I think the StubbleStar. that's an easier question. Yeah, I think that's definitely what we need the most. But I think you do the "must have, should have, could have" idea, the "must have", to me, is the StubbleStar, the "should have" is probably the Zork and the "could have" is probably the JK Render. So, adding all that up and coming out from your mental computers with a winner, Veena? Yeah, I'd have to go with the StubbleStar, James. Chris? Yes, I like the Zork. I think the Zork's got a lot of interesting features, but I'm also going to go, on the basis of need, I'm gonna go with the StubbleStar. I think it really does a great job in a market that's really growing. And, Alison? Well, for me, the Zork and the StubbleStar, they pretty much rated equally on all the criteria for me, so I'm gonna throw in a vote Alright. A bid for the Zork. Well done. But the winner is David Gregor and Deirdre Lemerle and their StubbleStar. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING Well done. Well done, David. Thank you. Well done, Deirdre. Thank you. I'll just break this in half. (Laughs) You can share this. They're in the running to be named our Inventors of the Year. What invention would you have voted for? Have a think and then vote for the New Inventors People's Choice award. Thank you, panel. Well done. No problem. APPLAUSE AND CHEERING And a big round of applause for all the inventors. WILD APPLAUSE AND CHEERING Thank you, Juan. Thank you, mate. Before we go tonight, two quotes from a mystery woman. Who said this? "I don't want to make money. I just want to be wonderful." And also, "A career is a wonderful thing, "but you can't snuggle up to it on a cold night." The answer? Marilyn Monroe. More than just a blonde. Goodnight. THEME MUSIC, APPLAUSE We know that last week the panel picked Steve Gates from Perth and the Beach Trekker. What did you pick as the People's Choice? There was the Beach Trekker, the Cooee Ecotrax and the Water Diverter. Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd