KiwiNet News 20 June 2013

2013 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards winners announced

Auckland, New Zealand, 20 June 2013

Innovative discoveries honoured at inaugural KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards

Winners of the inaugural KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards were announced at an awards reception in Auckland last night. Around 150 guests attended the awards, designed to bring together and celebrate the people and technologies changing the research commercialisation landscape in New Zealand.

The 2013 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards winners are:

  • Commercialisation Collaboration Award: Callaghan Innovation - Ovine Automation Consortium
  • Researcher Entrepreneur Award: Professors John Boys and Grant Covic, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Auckland
  • Research & Business Partnership Award: Callaghan Innovation - Advanced Sonar Technology
  • BNZ Commercial Deal Award: Otago Innovation Limited - TOXINZ Success
  • BNZ People's Choice Award: AUT: Growing the New Zealand surf clam industry with the Cloudy Bay Group

Hon Ruth Richardson the Chairman of KiwiNet says, "When we look at the sort of success we need to advance New Zealand's ambition to become globally recognised leader in research commercialisation, we just need to look around at the finalists and winners at the KiwiNet Awards here today."

The sponsors of the two-day forum and awards dinner are BNZ, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), AJ Park and Sciencelens.

Dr Bram Smith, General Manager of KiwiNet says, "The KiwiNet awards have uncovered a new wave of exciting innovation with global potential emerging from New Zealand's research organisations. The awards celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of those who strive to bridge the gap between research excellence and outstanding business leadership. We want to celebrate today's innovation game changers and inspire the next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs."

Lead judge Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director at BioPacificVentures says, "We're actually seeing innovation in the way researchers approach innovation, which is really exciting. Research commercialisation is one of the most significant gaps in New Zealand's economic environment. The sharing and learning will enrich the research commercialisation community nationally."

Dr Kelly was joined on the judging panel by award winning entrepreneur Bill Day, professional director and Angel Association Chairman Dr Ray Thomson, and independent director and executive advisor Helen Robinson. The People's Choice Supreme Award was decided by popular vote by the audience at the finalists' presentations earlier in the day.

BNZ director value chain, Jason Lewthwaite says that access to knowledge and established market contacts is key to enabling New Zealand businesses to bring world-class products to market.

"A collaborative approach involving tapping into key partnerships such as banks, business associations and organisations such as KiwiNet ensures businesses can benefit from a collective pool of experience and established contacts to achieve their business outcomes."

Paul Stocks, Deputy Chief Executive of MBIE's Science, Skills and Innovation Group, 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."