Radiator Wetsuits: Water Tight Solution


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Background

Radiator is the Australian company that created a revolution in wetsuits, and used an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) to take on the big multi national companies. While other companies were working on conventional style wetsuits with the emphasis on stretchy rubber, the innovative team at Radiator chose a completely new direction. They made lightweight suits and undergarments, which provided a new level of flexibility, performance and warmth.

Today surfers, swimmers, kite-surfers, and divers from around the world seek out the Radiator range. Originally made in Fremantle, Western Australia, manufacturing has now been moved offshore, to achieve competitive pricing for the international market.

Challenge

Radiator wanted funds to explore and develop their export business, however there was a problem.

Their garments were no longer made in Australia, and after enquiries Radiator were advised that they were not eligible for EMDG funding.

Export Solutions heard of their plight, investigated their business, and took an active interest. After analysing their method of operations (at no cost to Radiator), it was thought that there may be an opportunity for an export grant after all.

How it works

  • Export Solutions argued that even though their goods are manufactured overseas, there was sufficient Australian content to qualify for EMDG funding. Eligible Australian content includes; labour, overhead costs, profit, componentry in the finished good, freight, insurance and intellectual property
  • Export Solutions prepared an application that showed that Australia would derive a significant net benefit from Radiator’s export business, and a grant was deemed eligible
  • To make compliance easier, Radiator were provided with the tailored EMDG KitSM that captures only pertinent documents. Export Solutions also provided interim reviews and processing to ensure the EMDG claim was lodged in a timely manner, which greatly assisted their cash flow

Quote from the client

“We have always had a great relationship with Austrade and practical on the ground support from them. However, with the excellent advice and assistance we received from Export Solutions we are now very pleased to be able to access the EMDG as well, and this makes a real difference when trying to break into export markets.”

Some issues

There is a general “belief” that companies are not eligible for an Export Market Development Grant if they manufacture offshore. However it is not simply a wet or dry argument as there are many variables. Radiator’s success, and other Significant Net Benefit applications put forward by Export Solutions, proves there are real opportunities for similar companies.

Key benefits

  • Radiator received a first year grant. This was a refund of half the eligible marketing expenses, above the threshold amount
  • Today, Radiator continues to fund their export development programme with confidence, knowing that they will receive even larger grants for another 6 years

The future

Export Solutions lodged a grant pplication on Radiator’s behalf and was successful. This has and will continue to help Radiator with financial assistance as they continue to promote and market their product to targeted overseas markets.

 

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