KiwiNet Announces Innovation Award Finalists For 2013

Press Release – KiwiNet

Twelve finalists have been selected for the inaugural KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards designed to celebrate success within New Zealands research organisations.MEDIA RELEASE

KiwiNet Announces Innovation Award Finalists For 2013

HAMILTON, New Zealand, 23 May 2013 – Twelve finalists have been selected for the inaugural KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards designed to celebrate success within New Zealand’s research organisations.  Winners will be announced at an awards function, on 19th June in Auckland, to celebrate the people and technologies changing the research commercialisation landscape in New Zealand.

“The Awards celebrate a tremendous amount of work goes on behind the scenes turning research ideas into commercial value,” says KiwiNet General Manager Bram Smith. “Our 2013 finalists are some of the best at this, developing a new wave of exciting innovation for New Zealand. We are delighted to honour their amazing achievements and aim to inspire others to similar success.”

The 2013 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards finalists are:
Commercialisation Collaboration Award:
•           Plant and Food Research:  Land use change and intensification
• Aldera Health:  A collaboration to develop an animal and plant corridor in New Zealand
• Callaghan Innovation: Ovine Automation Consortium
Researcher Entrepreneur Award:
• Dr John Abrahamson, ArcActive (nominated by Research & Innovation, University of Canterbury)
• Professors John Boys and Grant Covic, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Auckland (nominated by UniServices)
• Professors William Denny and William Wilson, Co-Directors of Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC) (nominated by UniServices)

Research & Business Partnership Award:
• AUT: Growing the New Zealand surf clam industry with the Cloudy Bay Group
•           Lincoln University: The New Zealand Seed Industry Alliance
• Callaghan Innovation: Advanced Sonar Technology

Commercial Deal Award:
• WaikatoLink: Aduro Biopolymers – bioplastic made from bloodmeal
• Grasslanz Technology Limited:  Innovative plant technologies
•           Otago Innovation Limited: TOXINZ Success

The high level judging panel, drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds, comprises Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director at BioPacificVentures, award winning entrepreneur Bill Day, professional director and Angel Association Chairman Dr Ray Thomson, and director and executive advisor Helen Robinson, the founding CEO of TZ1.

Lead judge Dr Andrew Kelly says, “A theme that really came through and impressed the judges was the initiative taken by those commercialising new technologies, in what is a very dynamic and new space.  In nearly all the categories credit was given for out of the box thinking and those trying to create exceptional results.  People were trying to do things better than text book and selecting different paths and experimenting to get better results.  It was wonderful to see that attitude come through; it clearly showed there really is not just one way to do it.”

“We were fortunate to be able to draw from some diverse perspectives from the judging panel as it was a difficult job to select the finalists due to the wide range and high calibre of entries.  We were impressed with the number and quality of presentations for these inaugural awards.  KiwiNet is doing a fantastic job championing commercialisation.” 

Stage two of the awards involves finalists presenting at a full day event on 19th June at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.  The judges will select winners on the day to be announced at an awards reception that evening.  The People’s Choice Supreme Award, decided by popular vote by the audience on the day, will also be announced. 
Peter Crabtree, General Manager of MBIE’s People, Science and Enterprise Policy Branch, said MBIE supports KiwiNet’s efforts in the commercialisation of innovative research.  “Research commercialisation is important for New Zealand’s future growth so it’s great to see such a collaborative effort to make more of our publically funded research.”

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) (www.kiwinet.org.nz), is a consortium of New Zealand universities and crown research institutes collaborating on research commercialisation.  KiwiNet partner organisations include WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Callaghan Innovation, Viclink and Landcare Research.  Support is also provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

The awards day and evening reception on 19th June will run back-to-back with the biannual KiwiNet Commercialisation Forum on 20th June at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.  The principal sponsor of the events is the BNZ and the photography sponsor is Sciencelens. For more on the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards and Forum see www.kiwinet.org.nz
ENDS

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