Roasters reach for clouds

PERKED UP: The Little Red Roaster Company director Stephen Maddern meets with Jobs Minister Martin Pakula.

By Natalee Kerr

A Geelong company is set to create a “unique” cloud-based coffee roasting system that could be managed remotely across the nation.

Local coffee roasting business The Little Red Roaster Company received $50,000 from State Government this week to begin the project.

Company director Stephen Maddern said the new operating system could be “remotely operated, controlled and administrated” through the cloud.

“The concept is to develop a roaster autonomously and remotely that doesn’t require someone standing beside the machine to make it work,” he said.

“The system allows access through the cloud and central monitoring so you can watch what is going on from anywhere.”

Mr Maddern said the collaborative project with Swinburne University could give small roasters nationwide the ability to roast coffee under the local brand.

“As far as I know there is no franchisable coffee roasting system in the world,” he said.

“There’s a lot of big coffee manufacturers out there but not a network of roasters who can be roasting anywhere under the one umbrella.

“Rather than having a giant roasting facility, this puts a number of them out there that can collectively roast instead.”

He said the “different methodology” would also provide a safe alternative to normally “dangerous” coffee roasting.

“This system it can be done in complete safety, it’s incapable of catching fire and it’s simple to operate,” he said.

The first phase of the project, including the development of a working prototype, is set to be completed by March next year.

“We’re excited to be developing this concept in Geelong,” Mr Maddern said.

Jobs Minister Martin Pakula yesterday visited the company, one of 70 small to medium enterprises across Victoria to have shared in new innovation grants.

The categories of the grants include Asia Gateway, Food Innovation, Social Enterprise, Advanced Manufacturing, Defence, Aerospace and Security, Entrepreneurs with a Disability, and Victoria-Israel Innovation.

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