Aurecon reveals ‘significant’ investment in Queensland AI firm

Engineering giant Aurecon has announced a “significant” investment in artificial intelligence company ELARA.

Aurecon didn’t reveal the size of the investment in the Queensland-based company, which produces a platform that it says can help businesses maximise profit.

The platform, which can run on-premises or in a cloud environment, uses a business’ data to build an economic digital twin and conducts “virtual and real-life experiments” that can identify opportunities to increase profit; for example through predictive ordering and inventory, optimised labour rosters, and predictive and adaptive promotions.

ELARA emerged from an RD initiative by Queensland-headquartered asset management business Quartile One, which Aurecon acquired earlier this year.

“ELARA is at the forefront of AI technology and we are very impressed with its capabilities,” Aurecon chief digital officer and ELARA director, Dr Andrew Maher said in a statement.

“The software is creating incredible opportunities for companies to firstly identify and then fully maximise their business operations and opportunities to turn a profit.”

The CDO added: “The partnership will further support other initiatives we have at Aurecon that focus on building a company’s digital profile of existing and real-time asset behaviour, which can be used to optimise performance. We see tremendous potential in this space and are very keen to support ELARA’s launch into the market.”

“Businesses of all structures and sizes suffer from sub-optimal decisions due to an abundance of data, yet lack the context required to make sense of complexities that impact profit. Many businesses also operate in silos that can reduce accountability for decision-making,” said ELARA founder and CEO Campbell Morrison.

“These factors result in wasted profit and cash-flow opportunities and ELARA is designed to help businesses leverage data to increase profit. Many businesses do not understand the true driver behind profit, so ELARA helps ask what does your profit opportunity actually look like and what could drive improvements? Importantly, it also helps businesses understand what their risk trade-off is.”

In April, Aurecon revealed it would acquire Quartile One, which has a focus on data analytics.

“Aurecon believes there is enormous potential for organisations with complex assets to improve their performance through better management of the life cycle of their assets by using advanced analytics and Aurecon’s traditional engineering advisory strengths,” Aurecon managing director, advisory, Brad McBean, said at the time.

“With the growing digitisation of infrastructure, organisations in the energy, water and telecoms sectors, in particular, could benefit greatly from Quartile One’s data analytics methodologies. These enable asset-rich organisations to extract greater value from their physical assets through data capture, synthesis and application of insights to technically complex operational environments.”

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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