How Australia is advancing IoT: the 2021 IoT Awards winners

Connecting councils, unlocking solar energy use, showing the way forward for secure IoT and other standout projects.


3D visualisation of buildings in Camden, New South Wales.

The 2021 IoT Awards recently recognised standout Australian industry and government projects which are using the Internet of Things (IoT), listed below (watch the awards presentation here).

Various award finalists and winners went far beyond the mere collection of IoT data, using it to achieve business outcomes or pursue other goals. They include the winner of the Infrastructure & Construction and Smart Data Use Awards, Inauro, which is connecting IoT data to its clients’ business processes

We also saw more examples of collaboration to harness IoT – including by the eight councils involved in the Western Parkland Councils sensors network project.

This year’s awards paid special attention to projects that showed evidence of interoperability by design. They included programmable telemetry device Senquip ORB, which the judges praised for demonstrating interoperability through its tech stack.

“The degree of collaboration between many of the entrants and academia, government departments and different commercial entities, was fantastic to see,” said one of the judges of the interoperability by design award, CYQIQ Director Dani Storey.

Australian organisations can also learn from Myriota’ s embedding of security throughout its device-to-cloud infrastructure, and Infyra’s use of the IoT Alliance Australia’s reference framework to assess the cybersecurity of Monash University’s microgrid project (the latter project didn't win an award, but was nevertheless well regarded by the judges).

These projects stood apart from others that bolted on security or didn't demonstrate a holistic view of security. “Some of the applications were very good at claiming levels of security for their solutions, but not necessarily able to demonstrate the security they practise in their own organisations,” said Secure IoT Award judge Matt Tett, Chair WSe3 - Cyber Security & Network Resilience, IoT Alliance Australia.

The awards once again highlighted opportunities to use IoT to enable more sustainable use of natural resources. The SolShare won the Energy Award for offering a way to unlock greater use of solar energy.

Another important aspect of this year’s awards was the human risks and opportunities created by IoT. For instance, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Action Award winner, the Smart Homes for Seniors project, evaluated the implications of smart devices in elderly people’s lives and asked those people about their fears regarding those devices.

That “exemplified I think, the essence of this award, in that the project was really co-designed with the people that it aimed to help and facilitate and support,” said IoT Awards judge Dr Manisha Amin, CEO of the Centre of Inclusive Design.

Other important research included the University of Technology Sydney radio frequency energy harvesting project . “If this can happen it will utterly change the face of deployment of low cost sensors, and has [the capability to help] Australia lead sensor technology worldwide,” said IoT Alliance Australia CEO Frank Zeichner.

Here is a summary of the winning 2021 IoT Award entries:

Smart Cities Award


Screenshot from the Western Parkland Councils sensors network project

  • NSW Smart Places Acceleration Program, nominated by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – this $45 million co-investment program funds replicable projects that demonstrate outcomes for the people of NSW.
  • Western Parkland Councils sensors network project, nominated by Peclet Technology – with major change expected in Western Sydney in the coming decade, eight of the area's local councils are working together to measure population growth and the impact of development.

Food & Agribusiness Award

  • Pairtree Intelligence – Pairtree boasts the largest suite of integration partners in Australian agtech. Its platform gives farmers a single place to view everything from weather to spray condition forecasts.

Water Award

  • Large-scale IoT wastewater blockage detection – this Sydney Water project uses IoT devices to detect blockages before they lead to wastewater discharge into customer properties and the environment.

Energy Award


Examining The SolShare hardware

  • The SolShare – Melbourne based Allume Energy sells this single rooftop photovoltaic installation which is designed to be shared between multiple apartments behind-the-meter – helping people living in apartments to make use of rooftop solar energy.

Transport Services Award

  • Ambulance Victoria connected vehicle IoT initiative – this Australian designed and built solution was nominated by Directed Technologies. It provides mission-critical telematics about vehicle operation, safety system activation and emergency equipment.

Manufacturing Award

  • Electronics manufacturing for the Ellume COVID-19 rapid antigen test – Adelaide company Entech Electronics manufactured this edge computing-enabled test at scale and cost competitively for Brisbane company Ellume.

Infrastructure & Construction Award


The SiteHive Environmental Digital Twin

  • Inauro data fusion platform, Perspio – this platform brings together data from ERP systems, sensors in the field and other sources to assist construction companies to make better decisions.
  • SiteHive Environmental Digital Twin – this real time network of data is connected to more than 80 construction sites across Australia and New Zealand, helping contractors be more proactive in managing compliance with environmental laws.

Health Award

  • COVID-19 screening system pilot at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network – this system was co-designed with frontline health workers and integrates thermal sensors, automated gates, QR readers and novel encryption and privacy preserving algorithms.

Interoperability by Design Award

  • Senquip ORB – this programmable telemetry device is designed to connect any industrial source of information to any endpoint and has been trailed by a wide range of major Australian organisations.

Secure IoT Award

  • Implementation of secure device-to-cloud infrastructure – direct-to-orbit satellite IoT connectivity provider Myriota took a by-design approach to embedding f security, authentication, integrity and privacy requirements in its system.