SAGE highlights for 2019

SAGE Group , Dec 18, 2019 11:18:21 AM

From creating the world’s first smart transit hub, to fighting the #WarOnWaste and celebrating our 25th birthday, 2019 was a year full of innovation, diversity and bucket loads of perseverance from our talented and rapidly growing team.

Simply put, it has been quite a year for the SAGE Group!

Here are some of our highlights from the past 12 months:

In 2019 we travelled all over the world to represent our company, from the ITS conference in Singapore, to Siemens Digitalize 2019 in Brisbane, and even Hannover Messe in Germany to learn all there is to know about innovation, innovation, innovation!

Our ambitious and exceptional engineers worked on some challenging, cutting-edge and life-changing projects right across the SAGE Group, the country and the world.

Smart Transport

Kicking the year off with a bang, our Smart Transport team launched the world’s first fully integrated smart bus stop ‘Matilda’ in connection with US company Local Motors. This led to the signing of an MOU with the Royal Society for the Blind, which will go a long way towards ensuring accessibility needs are considered in in future transport technology design. The bus stop was later trialled by world champion blind surfer Derek Rabelo, during a visit to Adelaide.

Later in the year, we partnered with Easy Mile, to bring our integrated autonomous technology to both Adelaide’s north and the South Australian Riverland, with separate trials currently underway in both communities.


WATCH: World champion blind surfer Derek Rabelo was one of the first to trial SAGE’s smart transit hub Matilda, which integrates with autonomous vehicle technology and caters to those who are both hearing and sight impaired.


Our energy team also set a cracking pace – forging ahead alongside energy provider Enerven as part of SA Water’s ‘Zero Cost Energy Project’. The project is designed to provide SA Water with access to more than 150 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic generation and 34 megawatt hours of energy storage – ultimately reducing water bills for South Australians. Our energy team is pioneering this space and has big plans on the horizon for 2020.


A brighter energy future:
SAGE engineers at the site of SA Water’s Zero Cost Energy Future Project at Christies Beach in Adelaide

Record growth

2019 was all about diversification for SAGE, and certainly, it’s been an ever-changing road for the company since its beginnings almost exclusively in the automotive manufacturing industry. This year alone, SAGE broadened its capability to encompass a suit of complementary services for clients including digital transformation consultancy and delivery (Nukon), comprehensive industrial asset operation and maintenance services (SAGE Automation’s Asset Operations division), industrial technology skills development (Skills Lab) and the supply of specialist engineering contract resources to support clients with key capability requirements (Embedded Expertise).

Meanwhile, SAGE’s defence industry became a key focus area for the business; accounting for more than ten per cent of the company’s total revenue.


In addition, SAGE Group recently posted its FY19 results – revealing the company’s revenue has grown 34% in three years, while staff numbers have almost doubled. 


Defence growth: 2019 was a strong year for SAGE’s defence industry both financially and collaboratively,
as the company strengthened ties with defence Primes and key OEMs in supporting the Australian Defence Force


Digital Transformation

When the Nukon team wasn’t attending conferences around Australia (including WineTech, Digitalize and VMS to name a few), they were busy launching ‘TilliT’ – an integrated and fully customisable app designed to enable companies to bridge the gap to Industry 4.0 during their digital transformation journeys.

Nukon also partnered with Operation Feedback Systems (OFS) to offer Australian manufacturers seamless Industry 4.0 solutions.



WATCH: Nukon's app TilliT is helping businesses to successfully navigate their way through Industry 4.0 


Recycling for a better future

SAGE’s Container Deposit Systems project (CDS) – which launched late in 2018 – continued to leap from strength to strength throughout 2019.

According to figures released by Coex ‘Containers for Change’ program, the project has now seen 1.1 billion containers returned and recycled at recycling centres across Queensland!

SAGE remains determined to fight the #WarOnWaste by pushing this project even further in 2020.

Read more: SA high-tech deposit machines fight war-on-waste

Recycling for a better future:
SAGE Automation, Nukon, the University of South Australia and Container Deposit Systems have continued to enjoy success through the CDS project, which is encouraging more Queenslanders to recycle their drink containers with ease



This year we have been fortunate to win a few awards for our efforts, too.

Nukon was nominated for the 2019 ARN Innovation Awards for Smart Technology. We also attended both the Melbourne Water AWA and the Adelaide Water AWA awards as finalists; plus we were nominated as dual finalists in the inaugural defence industry awards for Manufacturer of the Year and Defence Innovator of the Year. What a credit to our talented teams across the board!

In addition, our Senior Systems Engineer Ashby Martin was crowned winner of the ‘Emerging Leader’ Award for Smart Cities technology for his significant contribution to advancing the smart cities movement. Ashby worked on numerous Smart Cities projects throughout the year, including a tourism project designed to measure traffic in the McLaren Vale region and another project that gathers data from smart sensors in playgrounds so councils can improve their asset management.

SAGE also achieved ‘Schneider Electric Master Alliance Partner Status’ , Premier Integrator status with Inductive Automation and made InDaily’s South Australian Business Index for 2019.


WATCH: SAGE Senior Systems Engineer and Smart Cities ‘Emerging Leader’ winner Ashby Martin led the development and implementation of a world-first study of real-time playground usage, using an application that requires no hard-wired infrastructure



Outside of work our staff banded together to raise money for a cause particularly close to our hearts. We laced up our running shoes for the 'fight against multiple myeloma' taking part in the City to Bay fun run, and raising more than $43,000 dollars in the process.

We also donated two week-long holidays for families at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation (WCHF) Beach House south of Adelaide. The beach house is a place that families with children in palliative care or with special needs can visit and enjoy spending valuable time together as a family.


Fighting spirit: The SAGE team donned their race attire to take part in the City to Bay to raise money for the fight against Multiple Myeloma

Embedding more ‘experts’ than ever

Our brand Embedded Expertise has well and truly expanded its reach, receiving worldwide inquiries and employing talent managers to oversee all regions of Australia, across a variety of disciplines and expertise.


Throughout 2019 the company has doubled the number of ‘embedded experts’ it has placed with clients. It's also worked with numerous blue-chip clients on highly technical projects, allowing the company to expand its reach into the IT space where it has placed a number of high-end network engineers.



Embedding 'experts':
Embedded Experts placed more experts with clients than ever before

New business developments

Control system support

This year we also took on a few of our own projects, including the launch of our National Operations Centre better known at SAGE as the ‘NOC’. The centre, based at SAGE’s South Australia headquarters, is cutting cost and downtime for clients, while improving breakdown recovery times.

The NOC is one of many support services under SAGE’s Remote Support Offering which also includes the SAGE Go app, and Remote Service Module.


The birth of the ‘NOC’: In 2019 SAGE launched a National Operations Centre to reduce cut cost and reduce downtime for clients

Skills of the future

In exciting news in the education space, SAGE’s training brand ‘Skills Lab’ became a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), offering a range of both accredited and short courses across the areas of SCADA, PLC and Industrial Automation, among others. Skills Lab is currently accepting enrolments for 2020 – check out the courses on offer here.



Skills Lab tour:
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall (far left) and MP David Pisoni (far right) during a visit to Skills Lab at Tonsley Innovation Precinct in Adelaide

Manufacturing capability

SAGE rolled out and implemented a host of Industry 4.0 initiatives, including our new Komax cabling machine (below) that will help to transform the way we manufacture now and well into the future.

WATCH: Graduate Engineer Thomas Jolley explains how the Komax Cable Looming machine is increasing efficiency and boosting output within SAGE's manufacturing facility

Happy birthday to us!

On a social note, 2019 was a huge milestone for our company, as the year our company turned 25! To mark the occasion, we held a series of birthday celebrations at our offices right around the country.



Birthday milestone: SAGE finished the year celebrating in style, with a number of 25th birthday events held right around Australia for our teams. Pictured are attendees at our Perth event.

SAGE Group is growing - join us!

Finally, our staff numbers grew from 353 at the beginning of 2019, to 443 in December!

This growth triggered the lease of an additional space at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct and a string of other office expansions around our national locations.

And, we’re planning an even bigger 2020, which means we’ll be looking to continue growing our workforce right across Australia and abroad.

So if YOU want to help us create a Smarter Future and a Better World, then JOIN our team and become part of our next exciting chapter.