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U of Queensland start-up acquired by Schneider Electric for transformer-monitoring technology

A University of Queensland (UQ) start-up developing technologies to monitor the health of electricity network transformers has been acquired by French multinational company Schneider Electric in a multi-million-dollar deal.

Autra develops remote industrial sensors based on a patented technology developed by UQ researchers. The sensors monitor aging transformers and provide automated online reports to electricity distributors of a transformer’s condition, damage, and any probability of future failure.

Since it licensed the technology from UQ’s tech transfer arm UniQuest in 2017, Autra has expanded into 16 countries.

“The key was the combination of available capital and software architecture that facilitated ease of product roll-out and support and a unique product that delivered a strong return to the customer,” says Terry Woodcroft, CEO and founder of Autra. “It was during this expansion that Aurtra came to the attention of Schneider Electric.”

“The technology is highly valued by asset managers as a way of undertaking preventative maintenance or controlled shutdowns,” says Dean Moss, CEO of UniQuest. “It is remarkable that within five years Aurtra has managed to in-license the intellectual property from UQ, build a successful company with global sales, and exit on strong terms.”

Source: UQ News

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