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Taking Black Hawk aerial firefighting technology to the US market Wednesday 15 May 2019

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When Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were made available to the civilian market in the US, a Queensland based manufacturer saw an opportunity.

Helitak, a supplier of aerial firefighting solutions, developed a high capacity retractable tank system that could be rapidly fitted to a Black Hawk. The retractable system is entirely unique compared with other solutions available and offers significant advantages when controlling wildfires from the skies.

Helitak needed funding to support continued R&D, secure the testing and certifications required to bring its product to market, and to develop its export markets in the US and beyond. They engaged Glasshouse Advisory to explore opportunities to help to fund and commercialise the innovations.

 Working with Glasshouse Advisory and its partners, Helitak was able to:

  • Establish strategies for intellectual property protection prior to disclosing the product to market. This included aligning its patent strategy with its commercialisation timeline and incorporating funding strategies to ensure both could be achieved.
  • Secure R&D tax refunds to support the ongoing development and testing of the retractable tank system.
  • Access Export Market Development Grants to assist Helitak to continue to market to the US National Guard and other Black Hawk owners.

Helitak has continued to test and develop its retractable tank design and is in the process of receiving the required certification for flight in the US. Helitak will continue to partner with Glasshouse to pass through the remaining gates to commercialisation and scale.

“Glasshouse helped us consider our IP protection and funding plans as a single strategy. This played a big part in financing the Black Hawk tank and giving us confidence that our technology is well protected.” 

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