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Science Innovator Recognised

21 October 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Science Innovator Recognised for Career Entrepreneurial Accomplishments

Dr Rod Claycomb, CEO of Quantec, was recognised for his career entrepreneurial accomplishments by winning the award for Science Entrepreneur at this year’s Kudos Award held earlier this month.

Since the start of his career in the late 1990s, Dr Claycomb has always had an entrepreneurial bent and has primarily focused his career in the agricultural industry. 

“The most exciting thing for me is discovering something that no one has ever discovered before and then creating a product out of that discovering and taking it to market.  That’s what really gives me a buzz,” says Dr Claycomb.

Currently with Quantec at Hamilton’s Waikato Innovation Park, Dr Claycomb and his partner, Dr Bragger, are commercialising their patented, naturally derived milk protein-based ingredient, IDPTM that has been proven to have anti-microbial and other immune defense properties.  

“There is strong commercial potential to use our novel ingredient as a non-antibiotic treatment for mastitis in cows as well as an ingredient in oral care and skin care products in humans.  We’re still in the early stages, but excited to announce that we’re launching the product onto the US nutraceutical ingredient market this November,” say Dr Claycomb.

His career started out with a start-up firm in Denver, Colorado – DDx Incorporated – where he worked in a team to commercialise biosensing systems for measuring food-borne pathogens, medical and/or veterinarial analytes, and air-borne biological warfare agents. 

He also worked on developing sensing systems for animal applications.  His most significant entrepreneurial achievement while at DDx was developing a sensor to detect the mounting of cows while in heat which optically alerted farmers when this happened.  His idea was refined by the in-house design team and launched as a successful commercial product in 1999, known as ‘MountCountTM.‘

Dr Claycomb emigrated to New Zealand in 1999, where he began working for DEC International NZ.  He was hired for his expertise and accomplishments in biosensor research and was leading the company’s R&D team.  Within 18 months, the company spun off his milk sensor research unit into a new company, Sensortec, which is located at the Waikato Innovation Park. 

As CEO of Sensortec, he took it from inception to 20+ employees including R&D, Marketing and Manufacturing and managing a $1.5+ million annual budget. 

One of Dr Claycomb’s greatest accomplishments while at Sensortec was leading the research, development and launch of the world’s first online somatic cell count sensor for the detection of mastitis in cows.  This product – CellSenseTM - is now sold in New Zealand, Australia and Europe. 

Also during his time at Sensortec, Dr Claycomb, along with Drs Murray Woolford and Jenny Jago at DairyNZ (then, Dexcel), set up the world’s first robotic milking R&D project for a grazing system – the Greenfield Project. 

Dr Claycomb left Sensortec in 2006 to start his own consulting business to assist companies in linking high-tech research and development ideas or problems to commercial market outcomes.  One of his largest clients was Quantec, where he acted as Managing Director for this business.   In December 2008, Dr Claycomb and Dr Judy Bragger (the Chief Scientist at Quantec) bought the business from DEC International NZ Ltd. 

During his career, Dr Claycomb has been granted six patents, while over 10 others have been filed by teams he has worked with. 

-ENDS-

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