2014 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards

The KiwiNet Awards celebrate heroes in research commercialisation — those individuals and organisations whose best practice approach is changing the innovation landscape in New Zealand. We congratulate the 2014 winners!

AJ Park Commercialisation Collaboration Award

This award recognises the outstanding new collaborations formed between multiple research organisations working together to build national scale around a technology platform or address a business need.

TiTeNZ SLM machine image © Chris Parker Photography

Titanium powder metallurgy technologies creating a platform for high value manufacturing in NZ

TiTeNZ was established in Dec 2012 with the goal of developing a world class platform in titanium powder metallurgy that would in turn become a multi-company, multi-sector manufacturing base for advanced technology products and export focused technology enterprises. The TiTeNZ team involves a collaboration between the University of Waikato, Callaghan Innovation, GNS Science, Auckland University, the Titanium Industry Development Association (TIDA) and a number of industry partners.

This collaboration has resulted in the commercialisation of several exciting new technologies, which have been leveraged for optimal economic return to New Zealand. These include:

  • Design through to export of a firearm suppressor patented and manufactured by TiDA in partnership with Oceania Defence Ltd, using 3D printing techniques.
  • Export sales of a new titanium alloy crew safety knife manufactured in collaboration between TiDA, Page Macrae and Victory Knives, for use by the Team New Zealand Americas Cup syndicate.
  • Successful demonstration of a proof of concept Ion Beam coating process for cleaning and pre-treatment of metal surfaces by GNS Science. The technology is now integrated within the daily operation of Page MacRae Engineering, enabling improved quality, appearance and performance of titanium alloy coatings.

Researcher Entrepreneur Award

This award recognises an entrepreneurial researcher who has made outstanding contributions to business innovation or has created innovative businesses in New Zealand through technology licencing, start-up creation or by providing expertise to support business innovation.

Alistair Jerrett: Changing the way New Zealand fishes

Alistair Jerrett has a vision of a New Zealand seafood industry that has a national and international reputation for ethically harvested and high quality fish. This vision has underpinned his research programmes over the last 15 years. He has focussed on understanding the properties of New Zealand commercial fish species and applying that knowledge to the development of technologies that can operate at commercial scale to maximise the potential of New Zealand seafood products.

Alistair works closely with the Seafood industry to find science and technology based solution for their businesses. His research has delivered a new harvest technology that is able to consistently and selectively land high quality fish - a monumental step forward for New Zealand’s fishing industry with potential to add value in all post-harvest areas, from improving the quality of current products to new and exciting market opportunities.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts Research & Business Partnership Award

This award recognises the deeply embedded working relationship between a research organisation and business that delivers significant commercial value for New Zealand.

BNZ Supreme Award

This award celebrates the supreme entry which demonstrates overall excellence in all core areas of research commercialisation.

Wireless Network Partnership

Since 2007, Tait Communications and the Wireless Research Center (WRC) at the University of Canterbury have combined forces in the development of technology in LTE broadband, narrowband mobile radio, coverage extension, enhanced reliability and situational awareness. This partnership has allowed Tait to significantly expand its business and has raised the capability of both organisations. Through $2.2 million in cash and an equal amount in kind contributed from Tait, the WRC has boosted its research and student capability putting graduates in a prime position to take up formal employment at Tait, and delivering a combination of research and commercial expertise that has elevated Tait’s business. This partnership has all the hallmarks of a successful collaboration between research and business:

  • WRC researchers are able to immerse themselves in the world of Tait and its clients, enabling shared knowledge around the fast moving digital communications space.
  • Tait has been able to expand its business and address new and upcoming markets, as well as penetrate into overseas markets generating export value for New Zealand.
  • Tait has been able to expand its business and address new and upcoming markets, as well as penetrate into overseas markets generating export value for New Zealand.

With a further $1.5 million guaranteed from Tait to the WRC over the next 2 years, this relationship is set to deliver ongoing value to both New Zealand’s public and private sectors.

Commercial Deal Award

The commercial deal award celebrates excellence in research commercialisation delivering outstanding innovation performance and the potential for generating significant economic impact for New Zealand.

Kifunensine Serendipity

Kifunensine is a crucial ingredient in the manufacture of an enzyme replacement therapeutic for the treatment of a rare genetic disorder. A viable manufacturing process was developed by GlycoSyn, a world class technology leader in the area of Carbohydrate Chemistry and a business unit of Callaghan Innovation.

GlycoSyn specialises in high quality drug development and prototype scale-up manufacture of complex drug candidates for its clients. A synthetic pathway to Kifunensine was developed in-house and the process patented by GlycoSyn, positioning themselves as one of the world’s few providers of this valuable compound and one of the few commercial providers of pharmaceutical grade material. GlycoSyn successfully connected with a US-based Biotech multinational for the export sale of clinical grade Kifunensine. Total revenues generated with this partner have exceeded NZ$16M over the last 7 years, with demand steadily increasing, year-on-year, until commercial launch of the business partner’s product in 2010.

To put the worth of this material in perspective, on a per gram basis Kifunensine is 20 times more valuable than gold. GlycoSyn’s development and commercialisation of Kifunensine is an exemplar for a commercial deal from publicly funded research, generating significant economic returns to New Zealand.

People’s Choice Award

Recognises the presenter/s voted by their peers for research commercialisation excellence that is well presented and inspires others - the spirit of the KiwiNet Awards!

Precision Seafood Harvesting

Plant & Food Research (PFR) is working in partnership with Sanford Limited, Sealord Limited and Aotearoa Fisheries Limited and the Ministry for Primary Industries to deliver a world leading commercialisation programme that will transform the way New Zealand, and eventually the world, fishes. The system uses an understanding of the physical, physiological and behavioural aspects of fish to target specific species and fish sizes, as well as enabling fish to be landed in a better condition than with traditional harvesting systems, leading to premium pricing in export markets. By landing the fish in a live, low fatigue state, unintended catch can be returned to the sea. The reduction in the number of non-target species taken maintains the health of all fish stocks. By meeting consumer demands for quality and sustainability, it is expected that New Zealand’s export returns will increase by $100 million by 2020 through use of the system.