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Export Award: Future Fibre Technologies

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The 48th Australian Export Awards were co-presented by the Austrade and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). The 12 category winners earned more than $3.5 billion in export sales during the 2009/10 financial year and employed nearly 13,000 people, according to Minister for Trade Dr Craig Emerson, with SMEs punching well above their weight in the representation.

Exporter of the Year: Future Fibre Technologies

The Prime Minister’s Australian Exporter of the Year award went to Future Fibre Technologies (FFT), which was also the Small to Medium Manufacturer category winner. The Melbourne-based company is recognised as a world leader in the security systems industry. Providing perimeter protection that can accurately locate breaches gives FFT a competitive edge in the global security market. Where other systems deliver alerts of an occurrence, FFT pushes the laser-based technology to enable more advanced analysis, identifying the location of an intrusion. The technology took four years to develop from inception in 2002, and a further four to trial. "We can identify an intrusion event and give a very accurate indication where it is," says chief executive Rob Broomfield. "We use one cable and through our system we can locate to the metre where the physical intrusion would be." This degree of accuracy, combined with the ability to cover 80 kilometres, made the system the preferred choice for perimeter protection and pipeline security for industrial, military, petrochemical and government sites. The company exports 90 percent of its product, with sales doubling every year from 2006 to 2009. Since its establishment in 1994, FFT has supplied more than 1 million metres of fibre optic security cabling to organisations including the United States army, navy and air force, BP, Shell and NATO, plus many other industrial, military and government organisations. The company’s fibre optic cable systems are coupled with proprietary artificial intelligence technology that discriminates between false alerts and real events, and are immune to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference. FFT provides perimeter fences, pipeline security, data tapping protection and central alarm monitoring systems compatible with CCTV camera systems, devices using the Modbus communication protocol, high level security management and access control systems via TCP/IP. Austrade’s state manager for Victoria Sally-Ann Watts described the company as a thought leader in its industry, due to the publication of its annual Boundaries of Security Report, regarded as the most comprehensive report on current global trends in perimeter security. "This document is now widely accepted as an industry reference source and has positioned FFT as the primary expert in this field," she said.

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