Announcement

CEC Systems is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Hans van der Vlugt as Group Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer with immediate effect. Hans joins CEC Systems from Landmark Capital Pte Ltd, a boutique venture capital firm.

While at Landmark Capital, Hans acted as a management consultant to the group and a member of the Board of Directors for portfolio companies active in the LNG Shipping sector and IP licensing environment, before moving to Australia. Over the past 15 years Hans has worked both on the industry side as well as for financial institutions with organisations including Modex Energy, Pareto Securities, and DVB Bank. He was previously based out of Singapore, Brazil, London and the Netherlands. His international background is a combination of industry management experience, corporate finance, investment banking and project finance expertise towards the intermodal, shipping and transportation sectors.

While at Modex Energy Ltd, Hans was responsible for driving the organisation’s strategic transformation from a start-up offshore container manufacturer into the world’s fifth largest offshore container lessor operating a fleet of over 15,000 units worldwide. He subsequently advised the founding shareholders on several corporate acquisitions and was appointed Country Head and Director of Modex Energy do Brasil Serviços Ltda. which he established in Rio de Janeiro.

Nicholas Press, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEC Systems said: “CEC Systems is an industrial technology company that is fast moving forward with proprietary designs that offer sustainable value propositions to the entire lifecycle of the container ecosystem. We are currently in a stage of rapid growth resulting from increased demand for our products. Hans brings with him strategic and operational experience combined with a solid track-record in finance. His appointment complements CEC Systems’ strong shipping and logistics expertise and sets us up to deliver further robust outcomes for our customers, people and shareholders”.

Hans holds an executive MSc in Finance and Control from VU University in Amsterdam, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Association of Chartered Controllers (VRC) in the Netherlands. He also holds a postgraduate degree in Shipping, Trade and Finance from Cass Business School in London and a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He started his career as an officer in the Merchant Navy.

Since 2015, CEC Systems has been collaborating with industry stakeholders to develop the COLLAPSECON® C-400, the world’s first semi-automatic collapsible container system. The COLLAPSECON® has been designed to collapse to a quarter of its original size, enabling customers the ability to combine four empty units to form one single container. This innovation to the shipping and logistics industries drastically cuts costs associated with storing, handling and shipping empty containers around the globe.

With the assistance of an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant, CEC Systems has been working with the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) since 2017 to develop a fully optimized version of the COLLAPSECON® system that was both lighter and had more capacity than the C-400. As a result, CEC Systems is proud to announce the release of the COLLAPSECON C-401®.

“The C-401 represents the culmination of 4 years’ worth of engineering and experimentation,” explains CEO Nicholas Press. “We started with a very detailed specification and in developing the system came up against many challenges. For every unique solution created, there was an issue that would compromise our specification. Through R&D and prototyping we were able to develop a solution that meets the specification as well as meet industry’s needs.”

Some of the advances incorporated into the new C-401 design include; a 17% weight reduction to the overall system through a reduction in steel required; a 30% increase in manufacturing efficiency by redesigning all components for mass manufacturing; a strengthening of structural components to support 382 Ton top load; and an increased internal and cargo capacity.

The fully optimised commercial version of the C-401 system is now ready for market, promising a new level of efficiency, return on investment and environmental benefit not yet witnessed across the industry.

After a rigorous two-year process, with the support of AusIndustry, CEC Systems have now received trademarks across multiple jurisdictions.

CEC Systems announces that the ‘CEC Systems’ trademark has now been granted in Australia, the European Union, Hong Kong, the United States of America, Singapore, Japan and the Republic of Korea. CEC Systems announces that in addition to the ‘CEC Systems’ mark, the company’s core product, ‘COLLAPSECON’, has also been granted in Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the United States of America, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and China.

“The granting of protections over the last two years has been an important step for the company,” explains CEO, Nicholas Press. “They not only ensure that our brand is internationally protected, it also demonstrates our commitment to operate at an international scale”.

Since 2017, AusIndustry has been providing expert advice and grant funding to CEC Systems through their Accelerating Commercialisation grant, an Australian Government initiative to help commercialise novel products, processes and services. As part of the company’s AC grant, up to 50% of the costs associated with expanding the trademarks into different jurisdictions has been supported by AusIndustry.

Press went on to say “The AC grant has been a fantastic enabler for CEC Systems. It has added a level of credibility but more importantly, supported key activities. Nowadays businesses operate on a global scale. Understanding other markets is very important. And who better to give you advice than these government organisations that are set up specifically for that.”

Sydney-based industrial technology developer CEC Systems announces new collaboration agreement with the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute under the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Over the past 11 months, SIMTech has been working with CEC Systems to optimise their core product, COLLAPSECON® C-400, a 40 foot shipping container that can be collapsed and combined whenever empty to reduce handling, storage space and transportation costs.

“Testing of loading conditions, damage tolerance, buckling analysis, shape optimisation and a number of other key outcomes were a key focus for our work with SIMTech,” explained Nicholas Press, CEO of CEC Systems. “In particular, SIMTech were able to identiy several parts of the COLLAPSECON® C-400 design that were over-engineered, resulting in us simplifying components, whilst still meeting certification standards. Another key discovery was that a 30% weight reduction across several key sections could be achieved without increasing manufacturing costs, which is very significant as we move to producing larger quantities of the upgraded C-401”.

With the success of their first collaboration, the two groups are pleased to announce the launch of a new collaboration agreement in which SIMTech will continue to support CEC Systems to enhance the structural design, implement previously identified weight saving strategies, seek additional manufacturing efficiencies, and test adhesives to achieve optimal sealing throughout the system.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for our team to help optimize this inspiring design concept”, said Dr Stefanie Feih, Senior Scientist and project lead from SIMTech. “We are excited to support CEC Systems all the way to product certification and launch”.

“The support we have received from SIMTech to date has been incredible,” said Nicholas Press. ”As we continue to upgrade the COLLAPSECON® C-400 series, we are pleased to be supported by an organisation focused on achieving a real impact in design, engineering and manufacturing. Their insights and experience have enabled us to develop an even better product that will drive real innovation and efficiency across the shipping and logistics industries. I am looking forward to building on the great level of collaboration we have established”.

Prerana Mehta, Australian Trade and Investment Commissioner (Austrade) to Singapore, said, “Australian start-ups like CEC Systems, collaborating with high caliber Singapore entities such as SIMTech, exchanging ideas and developing new technologies, is exactly what we are encouraging.”

CEC Systems have been selected to join the EY (EY) Vantage Program, an initiative that began in 2005, connecting future EY leaders with market leaders of tomorrow to promote social and economic growth in growth markets.

Since the EY Vantage Program launched, Vantage Advisors have helped over 300 entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries tackle key business challenges, from improving financial management and operational efficiency, to formulating new growth strategies, to understanding the cross-border tax implications of expanding into new markets.

The EY Vantage Program works with Endeavor Global and EY’s Accelerating Entrepreneurs Program, to identify promising entrepreneurs and match them with a Vantage advisor, one of EY’s top-performing managers. Over the course of six weeks, the Vantage advisor works alongside the entrepreneur, leveraging the power of EY’s global network of professionals and breadth of experience to help deliver projects across all business functions and industries.

In 2017, CEC Systems CEO Nicholas Press was selected for the EY Accelerating Entrepreneurs Program, designed to help fast-growth tech start-ups scale their business across borders and enhance growth. The EY Vantage Program will now help CEC Systems tackle specific barriers to business growth by developing and implementing effective cross-border market solutions.

“I am truly appreciative of the support CEC Systems has continued to receive from EY Australia and now the EY Vantage Program. As a small business that is very much in a growth phase, the advice and assistance we have received thus far has been incredibly helpful. Now, with the assignment of a dedicated EY manager, I am confident we can continue to build the strong foundations for our future growth”, Nicholas Press, CEO, CEC Systems.

Loletta Chow, EY Asia-Pacific Growth Markets Leader has expressed her support for CEC Systems’ selection:

“Since its inception, the EY Vantage program has made a positive impact on the entrepreneurs we have supported.  Our hope is that EY Vantage can serve as a catalyst for sustainable growth.  We’re proud to support impact entrepreneurs, like CEC Systems.  We believe that when businesses like CEC Systems grow faster and work better, the world works better.”

Since 2015, CEC Systems has been collaborating with industry stakeholders to develop the COLLAPSECON® C-400 (Cargo-40Foot-Version 0), the company’s first collapsible container designed to improve operational efficiency, reduce environmental impact and provide a better ROI for container owners and operators.

A combined set of 4 x COLLAPSECON C-400 units being handled during operational testing.

In 2017, CEC Systems completed design work on the prototype and commenced a series of sea trials to prove the effectiveness of the COLLAPSECON® design and research potential product enhancements. In the same year, the industrial tech company signed an MOU with the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) to optimise the C-400 design through the implementation of operational, engineering and manufacturing efficiencies.

In February 2018, CEC Systems and SIMTech completed their optimisation package for the C-400, which produced significant upgrades to the core COLLAPSECON® design and gave birth to the enhanced C-401. Some of the advances to be incorporated into the new C-401 design include; a 30% weight reduction to the overall system; a 28% increase in manufacturing efficiency; a strengthening of structural components; and a reduction in overall material requirements.

CEO Nicholas Press expressed his excitement for the roll out of the C-401, “The work conducted by our engineers and production facility, in collaboration with our partners at SIMTech, has produced some incredible enhancements on the original COLLAPSECON® design. When fully optimised, the C-401 will be an even bigger leap forward in container technology.”

With the development and testing of the C-400 now complete, CEC Systems and SIMTech have begun implementing the optimisation package into the C-401, which will be ready for commercial use by the end of 2018.

“The release of the COLLAPSECON® C-401 will represent a significant milestone, not just in our product development, but also for the company as a whole. The C-401 will offer a new level of efficiency, ROI and environmental benefit not yet witnessed across the industry”.

CEC Systems is pleased to announce an exciting new collaboration with A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) of Singapore.

CEC Systems is working to enhance its product COLLAPSECON®, a type of shipping container that can be collapsed whenever empty to reduce handling, storage space and transportation costs. The collaboration with SIMTech seeks to optimize the design of the shipping container, as well as explore alternative manufacturing processes, such as leveraging environmentally friendly and cost-effective lightweight materials.

Nicholas Press, CEO of CEC Systems, expressed excitement about the collaboration and said, “SIMTech has worked on a wide range of projects across diverse industries and is well- equipped to offer us expertise that surpasses the typical level of support made available to companies our size. This collaboration also demonstrates the importance of technological innovation in the shipping industry, and we are greatly honored to have this opportunity to work with SIMTech in our drive for real innovation and efficiency in our industry.”

CEO Nicholas Press signs the agreement with Dr Lee Eng Wah from SIMTech. Witnessed by Ms Sim Ann, Singapore Senior Minister of State and the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

Dr Lim Ser Yong, Executive Director of SIMTech said, “This public-private R&D project leverages on SIMTech’s capabilities in lightweight manufacturing. As with our support for other industries, we hope to help shipping companies close technological gaps so that their productivity and efficiency levels can be improved, and businesses made more competitive, through product and process innovation. We are also happy that this collaboration will pave the way for CEC Systems’ plans to build up their R&D capabilities and increase their company’s presence in Singapore, and we look forward to working with them.”

This new collaboration follows CEC Systems’ recent acceptance into Austrade’s Singapore Landing Pad, an initiative which gives market-ready Aussie startups access to local innovation and startup ecosystems. Other cities hosting similar Landing Pads include Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tel Aviv. In addition to this collaboration, CEC Systems is exploring other long-term collaborative partnerships in the region for the future.

Prerana Mehta, Australian Trade and Investment Commissioner to Singapore, said, Australian start-ups like CEC Systems, collaborating with high caliber Singapore entities such as SIMTech, to exchange ideas and develop new technologies, is exactly what we are encouraging.”

Earlier this year, CEC systems received an AUD$282,000 Accelerating Commercialisation grant from AusIndustry to explore the commercial benefit of COLLAPSECON® to the shipping and logistics industries as compared to traditional shipping containers. And now with the support of SIMTech, CEC Systems is ready to lead the next wave of change in the shipping and logistics industry.

“It is a really exciting time for CEC Systems,” explained Nicholas Press. “With the shipping industry suffering from high operating costs and low profit margins, as well as the continued drive for increasing returns-on-investment and reducing environmental impact, we are dedicated to being on the forefront of technological innovations and pioneering integrated solutions to the complex challenges that our industry face.”

Sydney-based industrial technology developer CEC Systems has been selected for Austrade’s innovative global startup network, Landing Pad, out of Singapore.

CEC Systems will now join a handful of Australia’s most promising startups who have made Singapore their short-term operational home to benefit from Austrade’s extensive global network of contacts in Singapore and the ASEAN region.

Launched earlier this year as part of the Australian National Innovation and Science Agenda, Austrade’s Landing Pad provides market-ready Australian startups access to some of the world’s most renowned innovation and startup ecosystems. Other cities currently hosting Landing Pads include Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tel Aviv.

The initiative creates an immersive environment designed to accelerate the development of a startup’s product or service business model by exploring in-market business development, investment, mentorship and strategic partnership opportunities.

Singapore’s Landing Pad is an initiative launched under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed by Singapore and Australia in 2015 to deepen cooperation between the two countries in trade and economics, foreign affairs, defence and security as well as people-to-people ties.

CEC Systems’ acceptance into Austrade’s Singapore Landing Pad marks the start of their global expansion according to CEO Nicholas Press. ‘As a technology company working in the shipping and logistics industry, we identified early on that Singapore was a key location that we had to expand into. Singapore has always been known as a global shipping hub, and for CEC Systems it is crucial that we position ourselves where the key decision makers are. Acceptance into Austrade’s Singapore Landing Pad will greatly assist in reducing the risk and uncertainty of moving into a new market and, thanks to this initiative, Singapore will now become our global base’ he said.

‘CEC Systems is a great example of the type of tech savvy start-ups that will benefit most from the Landing Pad – they are using Singapore as a base through which to connect with the innovation ecosystem, leverage the Austrade network and expand globally’ said Prerana Mehta, Singapore’s Trade and Investment Commissioner.

Geraldine Doogue


CEO Nicholas Press chats with Geraldine Doogue from ABC Radio National about CEC Systems, Austrade’s Landing Program and the importance of Singapore.

On a recent trip to Singapore, Geraldine Doogue, broadcaster for Radio National, Australia visited the Australian Landing Pad. Listen to the conversation Geraldine had with Joseph Ziegler, Austrade’s Landing Pad Manager and Nicholas Press.

CEC Systems acceptance into Landing Pad is yet another signal of Australian government confidene in the Sydney-based tech company who received a AUD$282,000 Accelerating Commercialisation grant from AusIndustry to explore the commercial benefit of their semi-automated Collapsible-Economic-Container, COLLAPSECON®, to the shipping and logistics industries compared to traditional shipping containers.

And now with the support of Austrade and Singapore, CEC Systems is ready to lead the global evolution of shipping and logistics, pioneering integrated solutions to the complex challenges facing these industries.

Sydney-based industrial technology developer CEC Systems has received a AUD$282,000 grant from the Australian Government to explore the commercial benefit of their collapsible shipping container, COLLAPSECON®, to the shipping and logistics industries compared to traditional shipping containers.

The grant has been awarded by AusIndustry as part of the Accelerating Commercialisation programme. Grants provided under the programme are designed to help commercialise more of Australia’s wealth of intellectual property by nurturing the brightest business ideas around the nation. Through these grants, the Federal government seeks to advance Australian industries, create new opportunities and ensure Australia’s intellectual property is protected.

CEC Systems’ focus is on pioneering solutions to the complex global challenges facing the shipping and logistics industries, with the COLLAPSECON® at the forefront of their innovations.

CEO, Nicholas Press, is excited by the opportunities the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant will give to his burgeoning technology company. “We’ve calculated the benefits of the COLLAPSECON® through the entire supply chain, however, a targeted commercial demonstration is required to confirm that these calculated improvements can be achieved”.

The grants are matched dollar for dollar by investment by the recipient companies. To date, the programme has provided 75 successful grants worth more than $37 million in Australian Government commercialisation assistance to bring Australian innovation to market.

Advisers also guide businesses through the commercialisation process and eligible groups may also receive financial assistance in the form of a matching grant of up to $1 million.

More information on the recipients can be found at business.gov.au/ac-grant-recipients.

As part of Ernst & Young’s (EY) Accelerating Entrepreneur competition, CEC Systems is proud to announce that the company has been selected as 1 of 24 companies from across the Asia-Pacific to join the global accelerating entrepreneur program in 2017.

EY’s Accelerating Entrepreneur Program has been developed to help scale fast-growth start-ups that have an innovative technology-based product or service move past country borders and enhance growth. Additionally, the program helps companies and leadership teams by matching participants with EY professionals and industry leaders who can guide, coach and share relevant insights to accelerate business growth.

CEC Systems CEO, Nicholas Press, said “The other winners from across the Asia-Pacific are all amazing, yet very different companies, operating across a number of different industries. I am thrilled that EY has selected CEC Systems to join these amazing companies.”

“I am greatly looking forward to participating in EY’s Strategic Growth Forum in Rome where I hope CEC Systems will benefit from hearing from leading-class speakers and participating in working groups.”

About EY’s Asia-Pacific Program

Asia-Pacific has many of the world’s emerging start-up hotbeds; Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney are just some of the dynamic locations fostering fast growing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

EY‘s Accelerating Entrepreneurs program helps scale businesses across borders and accelerates company’s growth. EY works with organisations on the most critical business issues facing their company’s growth acceleration.

What is the 2017 Strategic Growth Forum Mediterranean?

EY will host over 600 guests at the Strategic Growth Forum in Rome from 9 to 10 February 2017. The Strategic Growth Forum is part of a global series of events held by EY to connect global companies, investors and government leaders to share and discuss strategies for growth, both in the Mediterranean Region and around the world.