KiwiNet News 17 February 2014

Hamilton, 17 February 2014

The hunt is on for innovative people and technologies changing the research commercialisation landscape in New Zealand. The second annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals, teams and organisations, who commercialise publicly funded research. Entries are open until 21 February.

"We're looking for great stories about turning scientific discovery into commercial success," says KiwiNet General Manager Dr Bram Smith. "A tremendous amount of work goes on behind the scenes in universities and crown research institutes transforming clever research into innovative products and services. We want to honour these game-changing achievements."

Smith says these innovations will play a vitally important part in our future, being integral to the formation of new companies that will grow our economy.

The Kiwi Innovation Network, a consortium of 13 universities, Crown Research Institutes and a Crown Entity, was established to boost commercial outcomes from publicly funded research. The Awards are the pinnacle of KiwiNet activities, designed to build knowledge and inspire research commercialisation success.

"Through the Awards last year we uncovered many inspiring examples of researchers who crossed the divide between the research and business worlds, leveraging their discoveries to build successful commercial ventures. The profile the winners received for their work was great to see and in some cases helped the organisations and people involved to even greater success," says Dr Smith.

Callaghan Innovation submitted two award winning entries in 2013: Ovine Automation Consortium, a commercialisation collaboration between research partners and the meat industry, and Advanced Sonar Technology which won the research and business partnership award. TOXINZ Success, the National Poison Centre's database, developed at the University of Otago was a winner for Otago Innovation, and AUT's collaboration with the Cloudy Bay Group to grow the New Zealand surf clam industry proved a crowd favourite, winning the BNZ People's Choice Award.

Professor John Boys and Professor Grant Covic from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Auckland were winners of the inaugural KiwiNet Researcher Entrepreneur Award. They went on to claim the prestigious Prime Minister's Science Prize later in the year.

Professor John Boys says, "It was a real honour to win at the KiwiNet Awards. It was a great chance to acknowledge the role of our students and the University in our success. It also boosted the profile of our research which has opened up new opportunities."

The 2014 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards categories are:

  • Commercialisation Collaboration Award
  • Researcher Entrepreneur Award
  • Research & Business Partnership Award
  • Commercial Deal Award
  • Supreme Award
  • People's Choice Award

Winners will be announced at an awards reception, on 11 June in Auckland, sponsored by MinterEllisonRuddWatts and Sciencelens photography.

For more on the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards visit www.kiwinet.org.nz