The push towards deep tech commercialisation is in the news following the announcement of the $2 billion Research Commercialisation Action Plan from the Federal Government pre-May 2022 budget and election push.
But for an Australia’s science entrepreneur, the business of science and innovation can start at the very beginning of a career – at least that’s the case for ShanShan Wang, an industrial designer who took her university project into a stellar science and innovation career.
ShanShan Wang is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Roam Technologies, an Australian medical device company focused on portable oxygen, and making oxygen accessible and measurable to everyone.
She has since has won over five international design and innovation awards with her the most recent win of COVID19 NASA International Space Apps Challenge. She has also been named as one of Australia’s youngest innovators and the next generation of disruptive business leaders including Business Insider, AMP Amplify, Sydney Morning Herald and Australia’s Women’s Weekly– AWW Women of the Future.
From study to business
So many innovations start with a problem. For then UNSW industrial design student Wang, that problem was “what on earth am I going to write my thesis on?”
The answer came in surprising form – she spotted a mother and young child, tugging around a large cylinder, which she later learned was for the supply of pure oxygen. After some research, she realised there hadn’t been much improvement to this method of delivery for a long time, despite many people needing to use oxygen tanks daily.
“I saw a problem, and I wanted to solve it,” she says.
Wang launched Roam Technologies – and a plan to convert air to oxygen on demand, in a small, easy-to-transport device – in 2014, the year after she graduated from university. Backed by clinical expertise in the field, engineering competancy, regulatory and quality supoort, their product, nicknamed Juno, is a small portable device that can produce oxygen out of ambient air and can regulate oxygen to user activity levels.
Juno leverages gas separation techniques with artificial intelligence to improve health.
“It’s impactful health,” says Wang. “As COVID-19 has exacerbated a lot of problems that we’re trying to solve, it’s more important than ever.”
The technology has since been featured in Popular Science, BBC News, Fox News, Business Insider, Huffington Post and more.
She and her team are accelerating development of the device for regulation approval, before it is released to the wider market.
Accelerating Deep Tech Businesses is the fourth instalment in the ANSTO x Science Meets Business Innovation Series. Bringing together science leaders, deep tech entrepreneurs, academic partners and national organisations, this in-person and online event will be an opportunity to hear from, and connect with, those who embrace challenge-based innovation and collaboration.