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Publication Date: 
October 2018

Transcript

[Music plays and text appears below the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation logo: Dr Simon Poole AO, Steven Frisken, Andrew Bartos & Glen Baxter, Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation]

[Image changes to show Dr Simon Poole and colleagues looking at scientific components]

Dr Simon Poole:

I’m Simon Poole; I’m part of the team that developed a technology that improves the capacity and reliability of the Internet.

[Image changes to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

[Image changes to show Steve Frisken and a colleague standing together and flicking through a folder full of papers]

Steven Frisken:

My name is Steve Frisken,

[Image changes to show Steve Frisken, seated and talking to the camera]

I was the person that brought some of the concepts into the team about how the optics could be configured.

[Image changes to show Andrew Bartos walking and talking with colleagues]

Andrew Bartos:

My name’s Andrew Bartos, I’m an electrical engineer,

[Image changes to show Andrew Bartos, seated and talking to the camera]

and my main contribution was on the electrical and electronics side of the technology.

[Image changes to show Glen Baxter standing next to a screen pointing out different things to colleagues who are seated at a table in front of him]

[Image changes to show Glen Baxter, seated and talking to the camera]

Glen Baxter:

My name is Glen Baxter and my role was to make the products work.

[Image changes back to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

Dr Simon Poole:

We got together in 2001. The problem was that optical fibers we used just for connecting one point to another point,

[Image changes to show Andrew and Glen working with and electronic microscope]

there was no ability to switch the signals around in the network. There are a large number of companies working on solving this problem,

[Image changes back to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

billions of dollars were being spent.

Glen Baxter:

We just looked for a different, a gap that no one else had thought about. We were contrarian in a way.

[Image changes back to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

Dr Simon Poole:

The initial inspiration came from the realisation that Steve had,

[Image changes to show Steve and Glen working with a magnifying glass in a laboratory type setting]

that we could take some technology that had been developed for projectors.

[Image changes back to show Steven Frisken, seated and talking to the camera]

Steven Frisken:

This technology was great for projecting images up onto a screen,

[Image changes to show Glen viewing a computer chip through a microscope]

and I thought I could see a way that we could use it to project different colours of light into different fibers.

[Image changes back to show Steven Frisken, seated and talking to the camera]

Today we’re switching over a hundred colours of light,

[Image changes to show circuit boards in a rack]

and we’re switching them into up to 20 different fibers. So there’s two main components to our device. One is a glass prism that is able to divide the light into many different colours and the other is a liquid crystal on silicon chip,

[Image changes back to show Steven Frisken, seated and talking to the camera]

which is able to steer the light into different optical fibers.

[Image changes to Glen in a laboratory type setting]

Glen Baxter:

Our devices are everywhere in the world, New York or London the mountain tops of Kenya, the jungles of Peru, the deserts of Saudi Arabia they’re there.

[Image changes back to show Dr Simon Poole, seated and talking to the camera]

Dr Simon Poole:

To win the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation is a tremendous vindication of our decision back in 2001 to address one the really important problems of the developing Internet.

[Camera zooms in on Dr Simon Poole and his colleagues all standing and smiling at the camera]

[Music plays and text appears below the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation logo: Dr Simon Poole AO, Steven Frisken, Andrew Bartos & Glen Baxter, Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation]

Read more

Read more about the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science 2018