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Back to News 9 October 2023

Global LED technology leaders eye lucrative market from new R&D headquarters at Tonsley

Leading visual simulation companies One World LED and Sportal will consolidate their national and international research and development capabilities into new premises at Tonsley Innovation District to underpin their global growth ambitions.

The companies research, design and engineer custom LED technology in Adelaide (Australia), Houston (USA) and Suzhou (China) and hold more than a dozen patents in those countries.

Both companies recently played a part in the Matildas’ FIFA Women’s World Cup preparations, connecting their hardware and software to the team’s coaching tablets during training, enabling their outdoor LED screens to effectively become ‘giant whiteboards’ – displaying real-time data during drills as they were running.

One World LED has now purchased one of the last remaining large-scale greenfield sites left at Tonsley and will invest $9 million to create a new purpose-built 2000m2 scalable facility with the potential to more than double in size as the company grows.

The companies plan to centralise the majority of their international R&D activities to Tonsley, generating 50-70 positions with expectations that this could grow to a staff of several hundred within 10 years.

About One World LED and Sportal

Started by CEO and founder Schumann Rafizadeh who moved with his family from the USA to Adelaide 10 years ago, One World LED produces bespoke LED solutions for clients.

One World LED’s products are standalone, AI-enhanced, internet-connected LEDs with multi-sector applications. The result of more than $40m in R&D invested over the past decade, the company can now offer a secure multi-party platform that it says is different from anything else on the market, enabling clients to use LED to interact securely using a virtual commerce model, integrating public space screens with traditional transaction capabilities of e-commerce websites.

One World LED was named “the most innovative digital signage solution provider” by Asia Pacific News Headlines in 2021 and one of the “30 Most Reputable Companies” in 2022 by Silicon Review in the US.

Affiliate company Sportal, founded by Darius Rafizadeh, utilises technology that gives schools and clubs unparalleled ability to curate their own content on their screens or scoreboards including training, announcements, advertising, live scores and team-specific material – all in real-time from an app on their smartphone. This includes the ability to play a tailored celebratory animation bespoke to a club’s branding when a team scores a goal – creating a big-game experience for fans.

One World LED and Sportal also recently signed an eight-year R&D partnership agreement for scoreboards for Football SA and Football Victoria. This includes installation of screens at the home of the Matildas at La Trobe University Sports Park in Victoria.

“We see our technology as ‘the fourth screen of significance’ that will match the disruptor influence of the previous three – the invention of the television, the arrival of the PC and the seismic impact of the smartphone – and unlock a lucrative global market, particularly in the area of sports,” Schumann Rafizadeh said.

“Due to that pipeline, we needed to start looking for new headquarters that we could use as a platform for growth. Because we operate internationally, we looked at other sites around the world, but Tonsley proved the ideal location because of the availability of infrastructure and other support systems including academic, trades and industry and its focus on innovation.

“There is significant potential for collaboration, particularly with other companies in the software and simulation space which is a focus area at Tonsley. We’re excited about the move and what being in the Tonsley environment will mean for us.”

Minister for Housing and Urban Development Nick Champion said the latest businesses to join the Tonsley fold were another great example of innovators, looking to make a difference.

"The Innovation District continues to attract industry leaders wanting to capitalise on the precinct’s award-winning research and development. "

Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Nick Champion

Renewal SA Executive Director, Major Projects and Property, Todd Perry said it was fantastic that the significant global growth plans of both companies were going to happen in Adelaide.

“We know from experience that the companies choosing to come to Tonsley are those that want to grow, and they want to be the best in their field,” Mr Perry said.

“The environment we have created at Tonsley allows them to do just that while also paving the way for new opportunities through collaboration with other like-minded companies.”

Construction of the new R&D headquarters is anticipated to commence in last quarter of 2023 with the company expected to move in in 2025.

One World LED is a South Australian joint venture with American funding provided by GEMSA and its manufacturing affiliate, One World Technology of Suzhou.

Tonsley is Australia’s most awarded innovation district. Already home to businesses such as Tesla, ZEISS, Siemens Energy, Micro-X, SAGE Automation, AZZO, Flinders University and many others, Tonsley is creating high-value jobs by co-locating world-class research and education institutions with innovative businesses alongside vibrant, modern residential living and retail space.

Around 2,000 people now work out of Tonsley with 8,500-plus students educated onsite every year. Private sector investment in the precinct to date totals more than $395 million – a figure that is targeted to reach $1 billion by the end of project’s lifecycle – with a diverse mix of 140 organisations established across the Tonsley community.

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