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Boost Your Business 2019 R4

Round 4 Boost Your Business Vouchers Now Open!

Boost Your Business (BYB) is a Victorian program supporting businesses to become more productive, employ more people, improve export and profitability. Round 4 is now open.

The BYB initiative targets small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) who are on a growth trajectory and want to implement a project that meet’s the program’s criteria. ‘Vouchers’ or blocks of funding are provided that can be put towards a number of specialised services, including product development.

Cobalt is a Registered Service Provider for the BYB program under the Advanced Manufacturing Voucher Stream. Under this program, eligible projects receive matched funding to cover development activities up to a maximum of $50,000.

This means that if your business is eligible to receive a Voucher from the Victorian Government, you can put that funding towards accessing Cobalt’s 20+ years of industry expertise in product development. Using the funding Cobalt can help commercialise your product with:

  • Product design and engineering
  • Small volume production
  • Product testing, validation, prototyping and verification
  • Conduct research and development activities

In a previous round, Cobalt worked with BMPRO to design their new line of recreational vehicle (RV) power management systems and battery chargers. Securing this incentive provided a considerable boost to the project, allowing BMPRO to fast-track development and capitalise on the opportunity to expand  into the US market. Read more about the project here.

To showcase this project and BYB, Cobalt’s animation team have created an informational video below.

Applications for Round 4 of BYB close Sunday 22 December 2019. 

Naturally, as with any government program, terms, conditions and criteria apply, which you can read more about on their website here. In summary; if you’re a small business looking for product design excellence, Cobalt can help (along with a boost courtesy of the Victorian Government).

Interested? Then be quick! The fourth round of the voucher offers ends on Sunday the 22nd of Dec 2019. Get started with LaunchPad, or give us a call on (03) 9320 2230 so we can help give you the boost you need.


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Team Spotlight: MMF

Team Spotlight: Mark Matthews-Frederick / Senior Project Leader

Our amazing staff are more comfortable getting excited by new design challenges, than beating their own drum. So in this series, we turn the spotlight on our team to give you an insight how they each tick.

Our very first spotlight is on Mark Matthews-Frederick, one of our Senior Project Leaders in the Design Team. Since 2015, Mark has progressed his career at Cobalt from Industrial Designer to Senior Project Leader, acting also as the Design Team Resource Manager.

During his time at Cobalt Mark has lead, project managed and designed for some of our largest automotive projects to date, including the third generation Victoria Police ADT “Booze Bus”, BIS Industries Mining dump truck and Mobile Info Hub Van for the West Gate Tunnel Project. Mark has also been a contributing designer for multiple other projects across medical devices, consumer and sustainability products. But what else is there to Mark?

What was your experience before Cobalt?

I started out designing trains and trams for Bombardier Transportation (which was great experience) before going to Germany and working in the automotive industry for a couple of years. The highlight was being part of the interior design team for Bugatti and working on some really amazing cars. I’ve also designed a bunch of bike parts for Australian BMX companies Colony BMX and Division Brand. Cobalt has been a great next step in further developing my knowledge and design skills in a broad range of industries, user groups, materials and manufacturing techniques.

What’s the niftiest thing you’ve learnt at Cobalt recently?

I am constantly learning new tricks for Photoshop sketching/rendering from our gun designers Graeme Marshall and Andrew Fanning. Recently it has been some techniques with masks and smart objects.

Other general interests outside of work?

Bikes (all types of cycling but BMX is still my real passion); cricket and plenty of other sports; and music is an important part of my life as well (DJ-ing and production of sample-based house/disco type stuff, as well as collecting vinyl and discovering gems from all styles from the 70s and 80s).

Coolest home-brew product or project?

Nothing too original or ‘cool’ I guess, but I’ve built a few steel frame BMX bike ramps (tallest one was about 6 foot tall) that have stood the test of time pretty well. And speaking of BMX, I should also mention the many bikes; as well as acres of bike tracks and dirt jumps I have built (with only a shovel!) over the years.

So you just completed a half marathon?

My partner Megan is a good runner; she’s done a couple of half-marathons in the past and was keen for the rather tough run up kunanyi (Mt Wellington) out of Hobart. I am by no means a runner, but always up for a physical challenge so I agreed… I did survive though, and it was good fun. Megan and I ran together for the first 15km or so, but after that I couldn’t keep up with her any more – she ended up beating me by about 5 minutes by the end!

Hidden talent?

I still enjoy drawing quite a lot, but these days I don’t get the chance too often – except for when my ‘creative director’ (Megan) has an idea for her friends’/relatives’ birthday cards that she would like to see come to fruition… So I guess the hidden talent could be referred to as ‘birthday-card-art’?

What did you want to be growing up?

I always loved drawing cars, bikes, planes, etc. and I can remember when my grandfather told me about Industrial Design. I would have been 10 or 12 years old, and from then on I knew that was for me. But, when I was really young, I wanted to be a garbage man because that would mean I could get up really early and be out working in the dark – this seemed so romantic at the time…

If you had one superpower what would it be?

I know everyone says it, but being able to fly would just be so much fun!

If you could take one thing to a desert island what would it be?

My vintage pair of red Oakley Eyeshades. It’s important to protect one’s eyes when stranded on a desert island, and also important to look good while doing so.

Best piece of advice for young designers?

Keep sketching! A good product sketch can do many things – communicate form, communicate function, highlight important details or portray emotion – or all of these things, often without even needing a high degree of realism. Nothing grabs my attention more than a great sketch.

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Dermapen 4 featured on 10

Dermapen 4 design featured on Channel 10 – Australia by Design: Innovations

Winner of a 2018 Good Design Award and a finalist in the Premiers Design Awards, the Dermapen 4 (DP4) has set an outstanding new benchmark in dermatology. As the only digital, vertical micro-needling device in the world it was fitting to be featured in the ‘Australia By Design – Innovations’ television series on Channel 10.

In the segment, Dermapenworld CEO Stene Marshall demonstrates that the DP4 is a leader in med-tech innovation. Oscillating its 16 needles at 120 times per second, the device improves the efficacy of skin treatments and resolves traditional handling and calibration limitations faced by other devices. Its increased effectiveness in drawing collagen to the skin surface means a wider range of skin issues can be treated, including scars. It can be used for both cosmetic and plastic surgery treatments.

Cobalt designed the DP4’s form to be truly ergonomic. Its large graphic user interface (GUI), angled head and cordless operation ensure balanced and secure handling. The world-first dual seal cartridge also prevents fluid entering the pen internally and externally, strongly reducing the risk of cross contamination.

Uniquely, the DP4 speed and depth is adjusted electronically via buttons and it’s the first micro-needling device with automatic calibration. This ensures optimal and accurate needle depth for each patient, skin surface and type of treatment. Additionally, the buttons allow for greater interaction through gloves or hygiene sleeves. Other micro-needling devices on the market require manual operation for depth adjustment, usually by turning a dial. This alone is problematic, as incorrectly set needles can cause unwanted damage to the skin.

Dermapen wanted more than simply a ‘new iteration’ of their market leading products. With rising pressure from their competitors, they wanted to raise the bar for micro-needling tech, positioning themselves ahead of the crowded market they created — and with a little help from Cobalt, the DP4 has become the new industry standard.

Watch a snippet of the Dermapen segment below or see the full episode here.

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