2023 KiwiNet Awards Winners
Turning science discoveries into transformative new technologies for the world

Hamilton NZ, 28 September 2023

Winners of the 11th annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards were celebrated at a gala event in Auckland last night for their success in transforming research into impactful innovations for the world. Winners, chosen from the passionate people and teams commercialising scientific discoveries within New Zealand’s universities, Crown Research Institutes and other research organisations, represent the best of the research innovation ecosystem. KiwiNet’s Commercialisation Icon was also honoured.

Winners included innovations for reusable framing for sustainable construction and hydrogen production tech, and innovators transforming Aotearoa New Zealand’s clean tech economy, simplifying the manufacture of important biologic pharmaceuticals, and developing natural menstrual care products.

The 2023 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards winners are:

Momentum Student Entrepreneur

  • Monique Lau: Endosoothe / University of Canterbury: Reimaging menstrual care through innovation and community

Breakthrough Innovator Award

  • Dr Sean Feast – Precision Chroma / University of Canterbury: Pioneering 3D printed chromatography to transform the separations industry

BNZ Researcher Entrepreneur Award

  • Professor Rod Badcock - Robinson Research Institute - Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington: Building an emerging clean tech economy taking New Zealand’s expertise to the world

Simpson Grierson Commercialisation Professional Award

  • Kevin Sheehy, MacDiarmid Institute: Effective support for deep tech entrepreneurs, start-ups, and the ecosystem

PwC Breakthrough Project Award

  • Bspkl – GNS Science: Activating sustainability through innovative manufacturing

MAS Commercialisation Impact Award

  • XFrame and Wellington UniVentures: Reusable framing for the next generation of sustainable construction

Commercialisation Icon:

  • Duncan Mackintosh, Brandon Capital: An inspirational leader who has helped shape NZ’s research commercialisation ecosystem

The Commercialisation Icon is awarded as KiwiNet’s highest honour to a champion of New Zealand’s research commercialisation community who has made an outstanding impact in the ecosystem and advanced the commercialisation of publicly funded research within New Zealand.

KiwiNet CEO Dr James Hutchinson says, “Our 2023 winners are inspirational. They are showing New Zealanders the real possibilities that our public research holds, alongside quality commercialisation leadership, to drive economic prosperity and bring technology solutions into the world to solve some of our greatest challenges. Our research commercialisation sector is using the power of collaboration to achieve important outcomes for Aotearoa, and the time is now for the sector to scale.”

2023 KiwiNet Awards judging panel convenor, Nick Willis says: “It was a real honour to judge the KiwiNet Awards and get to exposed to the brilliant minds driving research and the exceptional expertise and commercialisation capability. Through their passion and commitment, all of the finalists are making significant social, cultural, environmental and financial impacts for Aotearoa. While the judges found it difficult to select the winners, it was a thrill to be able to recognize their current achievements and look forward to their future successes.”

Nick Willis – Chief Technology Officer of Adminis; Hanie Yee - Chief Operating Officer of Alimetry; Dr Sean Simpson - Founder of LanzaTech; Bridget Coates - Executive Director, and Eleanor Chambers – Chair of the Wellington Momentum Investment Committee joined Nick Willis – Chief Technology Officer of Adminis on the judging panel.

Nic Blakeley, Deputy Secretary Labour, Science, and Enterprise at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, says, “The KiwiNet Awards celebrate outstanding individuals and organisations who are bridging the gap between research and business to the benefit of all New Zealanders. Turning science and research to real-world impact is essential work, transforming our future, which MBIE is proud to support.”

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) is a consortium of 19 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.

The 2023 KiwiNet Awards are supported by MBIE,  Callaghan Innovation, MAS, PwC NZ, Sprout, Simpson Grierson, and BNZ, as well as Return On Science, Momentum, and Matū, the sponsor of the Momentum Student Entrepreneur.

More information on the
2023 KiwiNet Awards winners

For further information please contact:

Sandra Lukey
Shine Group (PR for KiwiNet)
Phone: +64 21 2262 858
Email: sandra@shinegroup.co.nz