Lithicon: Find the Good Oil

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Background

Commencing business in May 2009, Lithicon Australia (formerly known as Digitalcore), was born as a spin- off from research at the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales. It is the leading provider of 3D x-ray images of core samples, image-based core analysis and interpretation services to the oil and gas industry.

Challenge

Having become independent from the Australian National University, the business needed to quickly generate sales revenue. This would require costly international market development for a new technology entering the oil and gas industry, which is considered to be technically conservative. With clients becoming more and more demanding on their services and with limited resources, Lithicon saw the need for outside assistance on the technical matters of EMDG and guidance for a successful claim. With a non-competitive Government rebate, they would be able to reinvest the money and focus on marketing to other countries and assist with expansion of their resources to meet the growing demand.

Solution

Export Solutions discussed the concerns with Lithicon and advised that the business was eligible for EMDG. Our services were engaged to provide advice and a system to streamline the collation of documents, and most importantly to capture all eligible expenses to maximise the grant.


Quote from the client

“Engaging Export Solutions to assist us with our EMDG was a ‘no-brainer’. The resource and effort required to prepare the paperwork involved in submitting a claim far outweighs the services fee Export Solutions charges. Moreover the fee is recovered from the EMDG refund which means there is no upfront cash outlay. The knowledge and experience that Export Solutions staff have, makes lodging a claim and the subsequent audit process efficient and relatively simple.”
– Lithicon Australia

How it works

Export Solutions provided training and guidance with the use of our EMDG kit. We advised on the importance of a paper trail of expenses which helped focus on what was important and saved unnecessary time on ineligible costs. In turn, Lithicon were able to quickly provide a file to work with for an early submission. Throughout this process the most important factor was open communication and cooperation.

Some Issues

As a first time claimant the process of preparation is quite daunting and time consuming. Not knowing what is relevant for eligibility can create more stress than necessary. Essentially, there was a need to understand the importance of a thorough paper trail to support eligible expenses bringing to account by 30th June. With marketing trips overseas for various employees, Lithicon did not have any formal diary or reporting system to substantiate their purpose for travel. We advised that each trip be supported with trip reports outlining relevant marketing activities undertaken by each employee.


Key Benefits

Export Solutions and Lithicon were successful in not only submitting an early claim but also submitting a maximum claim of $150,000. With professional advice and support through the auditing process funds were received within 6 weeks. Lithicon were able to re-invest their grant funding and continue marketing their service through an overseas representative.

The Future

Lithicon continue to take a strong hold in their industry with a partner office in Norway and a joint venture partnership in Saudi Arabia. With complementary strengths, growing customer bases, and active research teams, they were confident that by working together they will have unmatched capabilities for advanced imaging and model-based analysis services for the widest range of core material.