11 November 2008
In this tough economic climate, now more than ever companies
that want to stay ahead must innovate and deliver on their
International professional services company GHD is putting that
principle into practice, delivering on great ideas harnessed
through its global (innovations)n program.
Launched in 2008, the initiative encourages GHD’s 6000 employees
in Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, the Americas, UK and Asia
to submit, collaborate and vote on ideas via its in-house, custom
built innovation portal.
GHD has established an Innovation Advisory Group to evaluate the
ideas submitted and decide which are progressed.
These ideas receive seed funding from GHD to enable them to be
refined and tested, with the end goal being to see them
To date, close to 1000 ideas have been submitted with 20 being
progressed to the funding stage. Four provisional patents in oil
refining, marine and mining industries have been secured.
One early example of a GHD-delivered idea has been the
development of the ‘world’s quietest off-highway truck’.
Stringent noise limits for mining operations in New South Wales’
Hunter Valley required new thinking, and a GHD team from Newcastle
worked with the client to reduce the noise emitted by their
Caterpillar 789C off-highway trucks.
Advanced acoustic modelling and materials research was used to
limit noise from the engine, fan, transmission and differential of
the trucks, which are now so quiet one untreated truck makes the
same noise as 20 quiet trucks.
Other patented ideas the GHD (innovations)n
commercial team are working with clients and partners to deliver
- A safety conveyor frame that can be mounted to existing
conveyors to protect belts and stop limbs or equipment from
becoming entangled. The frame avoids the need for extensive guards
or fences and does not add cost to the assembly.
- A mine hoisting system that carries two standard mine trucks up
and down the slope of a mine on tracks and platforms. Known as
TULIP (Truck Up lift in Pit), the system greatly improves the
economics and safety of ore handling in large open pit mines and
can significantly cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
Jeremy Stone, GHD Manager – Innovation, said: “We know that our
people are clever and creative. The program offers a platform for
people to collaborate on ideas, and provides a transparent, formal
process through which their innovation can be recognised.
"This is truly innovation on a global scale and capitalises on
diversity – not just geographic, but also technical, market sector
and personal network diversity.
"Someone in Adelaide can submit an idea and get input from
colleagues in Canada, China and the UK, then see it funded and
"This approach has allowed us to capture and transform ideas
into innovative solutions that can create value for GHD and its
Mr Stone said there was no limit to the ideas that could be
submitted, with those put forward so far as diverse as new
products, services, community initiatives, improvements to internal
working practices and many related to climate change.
“The (innovations)n program will continue to
deliver on the ideas that have a positive impact on our community,
as well as helping our clients solve complex challenges and achieve
a competitive edge.”
For more information, please contact Kane Dowsett
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