Ignition for pizza and renewable energy

31AUGUST2021
What do heat and eat pizza and a universal solar and wind array mounting system have in common?

These are the propositions two Cockburn businesses will progress as recipients of City of Cockburn-funded scholarships to attend Curtin University’s celebrated Ignition program for 2021.

This is the second year the City has provided the sponsorship to local businesses, following Council approval of $6,500 to fund two places in the 5-10 September Ignition program which helps businesses prepare fresh ideas for the commercial environment.

Kerry Street Pear Tree and Woodfired Pizzeria in Hamilton Hill and Cockburn-based Onetide Modular Systems were among 12 local applicants for this year’s sponsorship.

Ronald Canty from the Pear Tree hopes to expand a tasty initiative that gained popularity when the café was forced to pivot to a take-away model during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

The café’s already popular woodfired heat and eat pizzas went like hot cakes during Perth’s lockdowns as people showed their support for local businesses meeting takeaway market demand during the restrictions.

“Competing against international frozen pizza businesses, we are now the only fully cooked heat and eat pizza in WA,” Mr Canty said.

“With the help of this course I hope to create another local business hiring local unskilled labour.

“It will help me create a profit margin with room to be environmentally friendly and engage with the community. We are already working with Randwick stables community garden in Hamilton Hill to use its produce on our pizzas.”

Rebekah Manley from Onetide said the financial, health, safety and environmental costs of installing solar and wind arrays was too high, especially in unconventional locations.

“Arrays are in increasing demand with the desire and requirement for industry to transition to renewable energy sources where possible, which is why we are working on a short time frame, cost-effective solution,” Ms Manley said.

“We are exploring a rapid, relocatable deployment array that can be manufactured or assembled onsite with minimal training.

“This would provide local employment opportunities and reduce transport costs, time, and the holistic carbon footprint through reduced product miles.

“It would be manufactured locally using novel advanced manufacturing techniques and with a minimal parts count, to enhance sovereign capability through reduced manufacturing costs.”

Ignition Program Coordinator Brittney O’Neill said 128 applications were received in total for the 2021 program, up from the average 100 applications of previous years, but lower than the pandemic’s record-breaking total of 169 for 2020.

“Another two of Cockburn’s 12 applicants have been lucky enough to receive scholarships to complete the course and one other has funded their own participation, which is a positive reflection of the vibrancy of Cockburn’s business community,” Mrs O’Neill said.

“This year the quality and variety of Cockburn’s applications was such that it was harder to decide the successful applicants.

“It was also great to see that while last year applicants were ready to develop ideas, this year ideas have already been explored and the focus is getting them off the ground.”

Business Engagement Officer Sarah Kahle said that previous City of Cockburn sponsorship recipients had found the program inspiring, forging valuable contacts to help progress their innovations.

“Ignition provides an amazing opportunity to spend a week focusing on how to take your business or innovation to the next level, and we can’t wait to see how the community will benefit from the growth of these local businesses,” Ms Kahle said.

“Ignition has already generated more than $6m worth of economic activity for WA over 10 years.”

Caption: l-r City of Cockburn Business Engagement Officer Sarah Kahle with Onetide Modular Systems Business Manager Rebekah Manley and Kerry Street Pear Tree Owner/Chef Ronald Canty.
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