Success story: Illumination Physics Pty Ltd

Illumination Physics Pty Ltd finds EMDG vital to Australia’s export performance


Jason L Findley (photographer)

Illumination Physics Pty Ltd specialises in high technology architectural lighting solutions and related equipment including direct view LED products designed to be viewed without reflection, and indirect view lighting products designed to cast light onto physical architecture. If one goes to Hong Kong and looks at the lighting show at night, one can see what Illumination Physics creates.

Simon McCartney, Director at Illumination Physics, claims that the EMDG scheme is vital to the export performance of Australia. As an exporter of more than 20 years’ experience in Asia and now the overseas representative for Illumination Physics, he feels that he can personally attest to the positive effect the EMDG scheme has brought to his companies’ success.

He argues that the initial risks of exploring an export marketing initiative for small Australian companies is high, and that familiarity with the business culture and the markets takes time to develop. The decision to spend a significant part of a company’s available discretionary budget, or even most of that budget, to attack foreign markets is a bold step, which in his view, is not lightly taken.

He states, “The support from Austrade’s EMDG scheme makes that decision much easier to take. It means that some potentially viable exporters who might otherwise never have taken the first step, would have failed to fulfil their potential. EMDG provides a vital tipping point for Australians on the brink of a bold decision.

“For companies that have gained a toehold in a foreign market, EMDG emboldens them to try harder. I can say without any doubt, without the EMDG scheme, the companies I have worked for in the past and our own company would not be where we are today. I can recount several instances where the support from EMDG encouraged entrepreneurial behaviour that resulted in the biggest project in the company’s history being won.”

Mr McCartney has worked with Austrade’s offices in Korea, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Taiwan, Singapore, Dubai and China. He has made trade presentations together with Austrade in Asia, seeing with his own eyes how other new exporters have got along. He has frequently met with and discussed business with companies similar to his own in the chambers of commerce in the region.

He notes that he mentions all this to make a convincing case that he is not just a grateful Aussie who has picked up a few dollars. He says, “I have two decades of experience which allow me to state absolutely that to terminate the EMDG scheme would be a disastrous decision and I struggle to imagine anything more foolhardy or detrimental to Australia.”

“Australia is vulnerable whilst ever its trade is so dependent on such a narrow focus. The benefits that the EMDG scheme brings outweigh its costs by such a margin that its continuance should not even be a subject of debate. For our company it was the catalyst for our current success, the reason why our sales are derived 95% from overseas and the reason our successful little company exists and is growing rapidly.”