13-15 Mar 2024
Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre

Speaker Profile

Dan Etherington

Smart Barge Pty Ltd

Dan is an academic turned serial entrepreneur, having founded ventures globally, known for their positive, sustainable solutions in the communities they served. He has been recognised for his many achievements and was awarded an AM in 2008. Dan is an agricultural development economist with a particular interest in Tropical smallholder agriculture. Born in Kenya, he studied at Rhodes University (RSA), Cornell and Stanford University where he did his PhD. He was in a Research School at the ANU for 25 years. His inventive bent has had him featured in ABC’s New Inventors’ program and, more recently, on Landline with his Direct Micro Expelling (DME) technology originally intended to provide a coconut oil biofuel alternative to diesel for remote island communities. He established Kokonut Pacific Pty Ltd as a Social Enterprise in 1994 and successfully commercialised the DME process with profits directed to the Niulife Foundation. Dan’s interest in Tidal Energy may seem to be out of the left field but, from his work in the Pacific islands, he recognised the power of the tides. Tidal energy, due to its nature, has been acknowledged as the most regular, totally predictable, and powerful naturally sustainable renewable energy resource. Given Australia’s massive tides, he became concerned with the general neglect of tidal power in research funding, in our literature (e.g. noting that there is nothing mentioned in Garnaut’s book, ‘SUPERPOWER’) and in discussions on sustainable energy. Our tides are a completely under-utilised resource, and thus a prime opportunity if the right device could be designed to harness their potential. This is the genesis of Smart Barge Pty Ltd.

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