Three Plant & Food Research innovations and scientists are among the 12 finalists selected for the fifth annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards, which celebrate impact from science through successful research commercialisation within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes.
Winners will be announced on 5 July.
The final innovative researchers and cutting edge research commercialisation projects include: insect receptor sensors, infinitely rechargeable batteries, real-time nitrate sensors, ‘Hot Lime’ to help feed the world, air quality measurement sensors and systems, biological tools to control plant disease, virtual and augmented reality technology, research for the world’s largest radio telescope, high speed train travel, smart sensors for wearables, an unmanned aerial vehicle competition, plant-based weight management extract, and MRI-safe electrode implants.
KiwiNet, the Kiwi Innovation Network, is a consortium of 16 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 2018 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards finalists are:
Norman F. B. Barry Foundation Breakthrough Innovator Award
• Dr Andrew Kralicek, Plant & Food Research: Harnessing insects’ receptors for commercial sensing.
• Dr Deborah Crittenden, University of Canterbury: Infinitely rechargeable batteries; real-time nitrate sensors.
• Dr Vlatko Materic, Hot Lime Labs: ‘Hot Lime’ to increase greenhouse crop yields and help feed the world.
Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur Award
• Professor David Williams, University of Auckland and MacDiarmid Institute: Air Quality Measurement for Everyone: Sensors, systems and networks.
• Dr Philip Elmer, Plant & Food Research: Biological tools to control plant disease and reduce pesticides.
• Associate Professor Taehyun Rhee, Victoria University of Wellington: Taking New Zealand’s virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology to the world.
MinterEllisonRuddWatts Research & Business Partnership Award
• AUT and the NZ SKA Alliance: Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope (SKA) – NZ is a member of its first ever global mega-science project jointly undertaking research and design behind the world’s largest radio telescope.
• Victoria University’s Robinson Research Institute and Chinese partners: Revolutionising high speed train travel.
• StretchSense and Auckland UniServices: StretchSense – next generation smart soft sensors for wearables.
PwC Commercial Impact Award
• Callaghan Innovation: C-Prize Competition – Transforming NZ’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) sector.
• Plant & Food Research: Amarasate® Extract – 100% plant-based, world-first weight management extract.
• University of Waikato and WaikatoLink: MRI-Safe human-implantable electrodes – licensing deal with Saluda.
The BNZ Supreme Award is awarded to the category winner with overall excellence in all core areas of research commercialisation.
The KiwiNet Awards judging panel comprises Dr Andrew Kelly, an Executive Director at BioPacific Partners, Helen Robinson (ONZM), the Executive Chair at Organic Initiative, Bridget Coates, the co-founder of Kura™ and Chairman of White Cloud Dairy Innovation Ltd, Paul Dyson, an entrepreneur and non-executive director, and Veronica Harwood-Stevenson, the founder of humble bee and Spindle Fibre Films and a member of the Return on Science Momentum Investment Committee.