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2020 KiwiNet Awards Winners Showcase NZ’s Leading Research Innovations

Winners of the eighth 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, were announced at a reception in Auckland last night.

The 2020 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards winners are:

Norman Barry Foundation Breakthrough Innovator Award

· Dr Eldon Tate, Inhibit Coatings Limited: Antimicrobial coatings keeping people safe in food and healthcare industries

Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur Award

· Professor Jim Johnston, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington: A world-renowned inorganic and materials chemist focussed on commercial outcomes

MinterEllisonRuddWatts Commercialisation Professional Award

· Brooke Marshall, AgResearch: Creating impact from AgResearch’s world-class science

PwC Commercial Impact Award

· Massey University – ‘FERRI PRO’ IP Sale: A partnership to help address the global problem of iron deficiency

BNZ Supreme Award

· Professor Jim Johnston, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington: A world-renowned inorganic and materials chemist focussed on commercial outcomes

KiwiNet Awards lead judge Rob Heebink, R&D Executive at Gallagher Group, says: “The quality of entrants this year was incredibly high – it was difficult to select the finalists let alone the category winners. Over the years we have seen a number of shifts occurring in research organisations, such an increase in commercialisation capability and more engagement with industry. This has resulted in global impact with significant benefits for New Zealand. The future is bright – we have much more technology coming out of our research organisations that we can fund.”

Mr Heebink was joined on the judging panel by Bridget Coates the Chair of White Cloud Dairy Innovation, Kendall Flutey the Co-Founder and CEO of Banqer, and Debra Hall an investor, director and Chair of KiwiNet Investment Committee.

KiwiNet CEO Dr James Hutchinson, says: “New Zealand needs technology innovation now more than ever, to help rebuild a more diverse post-COVID economy and bring into the world new solutions the big global challenges we face. Our awards finalists are doing just that. They are leading the charge in the creating a better, brighter and prosperous Aotearoa New Zealand for our tamariki to inherit.”

The annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards are supported by sponsors BNZ, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, PwC, Baldwins, MBIE, Norman Barry Foundation and K1W1, as well as, key partner Return On Science.

BNZ’s Tim Wixon, Head of Technology Industry, and Charlie Mear, Business Development Manager, added their congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 KiwiNet Awards. “We are always delighted to see and hear about those individuals, teams and organisations who have created successful businesses built on interesting ideas and scientific research. Each year we enjoy taking the time to acknowledge, congratulate and celebrate some of New Zealand’s leading commercialisation talent.”

Paul Stocks, Deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, says “The quality of the submissions and the outstanding achievements of this year’s KiwiNet Awards winners are a testament to the talent we have in New Zealand. MBIE is proud to support research commercialisation and especially during challenging times the sector’s work must continue to be celebrated.”

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.

For more information on the 2020 KiwiNet Awards winners see https://kiwinet.org.nz/Awards/Awards2020

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