Hamilton, NZ, 12 May 2016
Twelve innovative researchers and cutting edge research commercialisation projects have been selected as finalists for the fourth annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards, designed to celebrate commercialisation success within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes.
The clever high-tech innovations pushing the frontiers of business include, silver nanoparticles to treat and prevent dental disease, wood fibre-reinforced plastic, a method for boosting plant growth and controlling disease, laser sensors for sperm sorting, new honey and propolis based supplements, high value functional vegetables, and healing gels from natural products.
The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) is a consortium of 15 universities, Crown Research Institutes and a Crown Entity established to boost commercial outcomes from publicly funded research.
General Manager Dr Bram Smith, says, “Every year the awards uncover more inspirational stories of cutting edge research powering business innovation and economic growth. The awards are a tribute to innovative researchers, working with entrepreneurial businesses and passionate Tech-Transfer professionals across New Zealand. Where others see scientific complexity, they see commercial opportunity.”
The 2016 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards finalists are:
Norman Barry Foundation Emerging Innovator Award
Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur Award
MinterEllisonRuddWatts Research & Business Partnership Award
PwC Commercial Deal Award
The KiwiNet Awards judging panel comprises: Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director at BioPacificPartners, Dr Ray Thomson, angel investor and MacDiarmid Institute Chairman, Helen Robinson, Executive Chair at Organic Initiative, and Rob Heebink, R&D Executive at Gallagher Group.
Lead judge Dr Andrew Kelly says, “It’s great to see the KiwiNet Awards continue to bring out some excellent examples of the art of commercialisation. It’s a capability New Zealand needs more of, and our research institutes – all of them – seem to be getting better year after year.”
The Awards are the pinnacle of KiwiNet activities designed to build awareness and inspire research commercialisation success. Sponsorship support is provided by BNZ, MinterEllisonRuddWatts , PwC, Baldwins, MBIE and Sciencelens photography.
BNZ director – value chain, Jason Lewthwaite says, “At BNZ we are always keen to support innovative approaches to embracing commercial opportunities. We continue to support these awards as they encourage the next generation of innovators and researchers to explore new possibilities and enable a high achieving New Zealand.”
KiwiNet partner organisations include WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Callaghan Innovation, Viclink, Landcare Research, Cawthron Institute, ESR, NIWA, Scion and GNS Science. Principal support is provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).
Paul Stocks, Deputy Chief Executive of MBIE's Labour, Science and Enterprise group, says commercialisation of research is an important driver of economic growth, which benefits all New Zealanders. “Through collaboration KiwiNet is helping to create greater commercial outcomes from our publicly-funded research, an approach MBIE supports.”
KiwiNet Awards 2016 finalists will deliver a final presentation to judges on 30 June in Auckland and winners will be announced at a reception that evening.
Finalists from last years event
For further information please contact:
Shine Group (PR for KiwiNet)
Phone: +64 21 2262 858