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KiwiNet award finalists highlight a new wave of innovation

KiwiNet award finalists highlight a new wave of innovation

Hamilton, 3 April 2014 - Finalists have been selected for the second annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards designed to celebrate success within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes.

Innovations from finalists include the Springfree™ trampoline, a rare pharmaceutical ingredient generating major export returns, titanium technologies including 3D printed animal implants, pasture meters, artificial muscle technologies, precision seafood harvesting, eradicating bovine tuberculosis, controlling insects with sex, new vanilla products, and a wireless network partnership.

“The Awards celebrate the tremendous work of research organisations turning clever science into commercial value. Our 2014 finalists are some of the best at this, developing a new wave of exciting innovation that will create new companies, products and services to grow our economy,” says KiwiNet General Manager Dr Bram Smith.

“Many exciting stories of research commercialisation success are not well known. By putting the spotlight on the people and research organisations changing the commercialisation landscape in New Zealand, KiwiNet aims to inspire others to similar success,” says Smith.

The 2014 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards finalists are:

AJ Park Commercialisation Collaboration Award
• Eradicating bovine tuberculosis with TBfree New Zealand, (Landcare Research and TBfree)
• Titanium Technologies New Zealand (TiTeNZ), (University of Waikato, Callaghan Innovation, GNS Science, University of Auckland, the Titanium Industry Development Association (TIDA) and a number of industry partners)

Researcher Entrepreneur Award
• Associate Professor Iain Anderson, StretchSense - entered by UniServices, University of Auckland
• Alistair Jerrett, Seafood Technologies, Plant & Food Research

Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Research and Business Partnership Award
• Heilala Vanilla, entered by Massey University
• Controlling Insects with Sex, entered by Plant & Food Research
• Precision Seafood Harvesting, entered by Plant & Food Research
• Wireless Network Partnership (University of Canterbury and Tait Communications), entered by University of Canterbury

Commercial Deal Award
• Springfree™ Trampoline, entered by University of Canterbury
• Kifunensine, entered by Glycosyn, Callaghan Innovation
• C-Dax Pasture Meter and Massey University's Centre for Precision Agriculture, entered by Massey University

The BNZ Supreme Award will be presented to the entry which demonstrates overall excellence in all core areas of research commercialisation.

The KiwiNet Awards judging panel comprises Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director at BioPacificVentures, Sharon Hunter, one of New Zealand’s best-known business women and Director of Hunter Powell Investment Partners, professional director and Angel Association Chairman Dr Ray Thomson, and director and executive advisor Helen Robinson, the founding CEO of TZ1.

Lead judge Dr Andrew Kelly says, “It’s great to see another strong new set of applicants this year, demonstrating that innovation is continuous in this country. These innovations are important as the next generation of the science and technology successes our economy is now seeing like Xero, A2 and Pacific Edge.”

Kelly adds that the bigger pool of entries has been stimulated by the expansion of KiwiNet, ‘which is now the driving force in research commercialisation in New Zealand.’

Paul Stocks, Deputy Chief Executive of MBIE’s Science, Skills and Innovation Group, says MBIE supports KiwiNet’s collaborative approach to commercialising innovative research. “Research commercialisation is vitally important for New Zealand, as it can be a major driver of economic growth. KiwiNet is helping to create greater commercial outcomes from our publicly-funded research, which will benefit all New Zealanders.”

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) (www.kiwinet.org.nz), is a consortium of 13 universities, Crown Research Institutes and a Crown Entity established to boost commercial outcomes from publicly funded research. 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 and NIWA. Principal support is provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).

The Awards are the pinnacle of KiwiNet activities designed to build awareness and inspire research commercialisation success. Sponsorship support is provided by BNZ, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, AJ Park, MBIE and Sciencelens photography.

BNZ director – value chain Jason Lewthwaite says New Zealand is increasingly recognised for its innovation, design and engineering which creates a huge opportunity for boutique products and services in overseas markets.

“The early stage innovation commercialisation that KiwiNet fosters combined with market contacts and experienced business partners such as banks and business organisations will allow New Zealand businesses to bring valuable new products and services to niche markets internationally.”

All finalists will deliver a presentation in the final stage of judging on 11 June in Auckland. Winners will be announced at a reception that evening.

About KiwiNet
The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) comprises universities and crown research institutes and agencies working together to increase the scale and impact of scientific and technology based innovation in New Zealand. KiwiNet’s role is to empower those involved in research commercialisation by helping them access the tools, connections, investment and support they need. By working together, KiwiNet aims to better leverage the combined capability of NZ research organisations and help each other to achieve greater commercial outcomes for 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 and NIWA. Principal support is also provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).

www.kiwinet.org.nz

ENDS

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