Hamilton, New Zealand - 2 August 2021
Sixteen stunning finalists have been selected for the ninth annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards, designed to celebrate impact from science through successful research commercialisation within New Zealand’s universities, Crown Research Institutes and other research organisations.
The innovative research commercialisation successes include new aluminium-ion battery technology, next-generation cochlear implants, nanofibre cosmetic products from marine collagen, ‘lab on a disk’ testing platform, freeze-dried vegetable baby food, plant disease biocontrol product, reusable framing system for sustainable construction, smart calling and voicemail platform, commercial-scale production of traditional Māori fungi, and protection of critical infrastructure from cyber attack. New Zealand’s research commercialisation professionals are also recognised.
The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) is a consortium of 18 universities, Crown Research Institutes, an Independent Research Organisation and a Crown Entity established to boost commercial outcomes from publicly funded research by helping to transform scientific discoveries into new products and services.
KiwiNet CEO Dr James Hutchinson says: “The KiwiNet whānau of universities and research institutes has spent the past ten years creating an extraordinary pipeline of projects, accelerating our most promising ideas to market. The stars are now aligning for all parts of our ecosystem, and great opportunity awaits. We see the critical role that deep tech can play in our COVID-19 recovery, scientifically, economically and beyond. We’re excited to celebrate the people and teams who are harnessing brilliant research discoveries to transform lives and grow New Zealand for future generations.”
The KiwiNet Awards judging panel for stage one comprised: Rob Heebink, R&D Executive at Gallagher Group, Bridget Coates, Founder & Chair of Kura Nutrition and White Cloud Dairy Innovation, deep-tech expert Kiri Lenagh-Glue, and independent director, advisor and mentor Debra Hall.
Lead judge Debra Hall says: “Judging the KiwiNet Awards entries is such a joy, seeing the best of New Zealand’s scientific discoveries coming to life to deliver meaningful impact to people’s lives, our country and our planet. The judging doesn’t get any easier - every entry is a winner, and when we get to the final judging, it will be very much about selecting the best of the best. The judges salute all our entrants - both the researchers and the commercialisation teams delivering world-class outcomes - you are the ones making a real difference to our world.’
Paul Stocks, Deputy Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, says: “It is encouraging to see such a wide range of exciting innovative research this year. Getting research from the lab to market is critical in a time where we’re still experiencing impact from COVID-19, not just in Aotearoa New Zealand but globally. All of the finalists have shown great determination in these challenging times, with impressive outcomes. You should all be incredibly proud.”
Hutchinson adds, “KiwiNet gratefully acknowledges support from MBIE and Return On Science and Momentum, as well as Matū for sponsoring the Momentum Student Entrepreneur category – to help showcase some truly outstanding innovation, people and teams.”
Winners will be announced at an evening reception on 16 September in Auckland.
2021 Awards Finalists
For further information please contact:
Shine Group (PR for KiwiNet)
Phone: +64 21 2262 858