From nanofibres to bio-pesticides and magnetic resonance, a handful of companies and individuals have been named the best that Kiwi ingenuity has to offer as finalists in the 2011 New Zealand Innovators Awards.
Previously known as the Bayer Innovators Awards, the competition this year attracted 124 entries, which a team of evaluators from academia and business whittled down to 24 finalists.
The awards are designed to celebrate and recognise great New Zealand innovations, inventors and organisations across a range of industries that have invested in developing new products, services and ventures as well as improving the performance of people and teams.
Among the selected finalists are a natural biomedical gel derived from squid, X-ray technology that scans meat batches to determine fat content, compact glass bottle crushers and a cloud-based point-of-sale software system.
The grand winners will be announced at an awards evening attended by guest speaker and former General Motors vice president/CFO Chris Liddell at the HP Winter Garden on Auckland's Wynyard Quarter on October 20.
Bayer spokesperson William Malpass says he is delighted at the level of interest, which is reflected in the large number of business ideas and diverse range of sectors represented.
“The response from throughout the country has been fantastic and I think strongly reflects how seriously Kiwis are embracing innovation," he said.
“As a global company, Bayer has always recognised the importance of innovation in driving business forward.
"The Innovators Awards finalists clearly show that this same principle applies, no matter whether you’re a big corporate or a small family startup. Innovation is everywhere and should be celebrated."
In partnership with Ideas Accelerator and Idealog, the rebranded competition introduced new categories this year, bringing the total to six: Marketing and Communications, Information Communication Technology, Design and Engineering, Environment and Agriculture, Health and Science, and Manufacturing.
Other awards to be announced at the grand ceremony next month are those for an emerging innovator, most inspiring individual, people’s choice and supreme winner.
Marketing and Communications:
Draft FCB – The Journal: an online resource for treating depression.
eBUS Ltd – eBUS delivery: a cloud-based solution that digitally delivers TV commercials and other video content to broadcasters, web and mobile media using the Internet.
Mt Cook Alpine Salmon – Saikou Sushi Grade Salmon: a new premium niche product category in the US market.
TVNZ U: a commercial free-to-air digital channel which features real life TV, targeted at New Zealanders aged 15-24.
Information Communication Technology:
Vend Ltd – Vend: a revolutionary cloud based point-of-sale (POS) used by retailers all over the world.
MedTech Global - ManageMyHealth: a secure personal internet health portal allowing healthcare providers to empower individuals to take a more active role in the management of their health.
Serato Audio Research - Scratch Live: a product that allows a DJ to control a digital music library using special control vinyl records.
Design and Engineering:
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare – F&P ICON™ CPAP: a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea.
KM Medical Ltd - The Next Step in Resuscitation and Ventilation: a machine developed to reduce the incidence of neonatal death and long-term lung injury.
HaloIPT - Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles: uses induction power transfer (“IPT”) to transfer power between a transmitter pad in the ground and a receiver pad on the vehicle.
Environment and Agriculture:
Greentide Ltd: a company that researches, manufactures and distributes a range of indigenous fungal based bio-pesticides and natural metabolites.
C-Dax - Pasture Meter: a machine that identifies how much feed a paddock contains as well as areas of poor pasture, enabling more efficient fertiliser application.
Expleco Ltd - Compact Glass Bottle Crushers:innovative glass bottle crushers that reduce bottles to sand, making recycling easier and more cost efficient.
Health and Science:
Draft FCB - The Journal: an online resource for treating depression. Draft FCB is also a Marketing and Communications finalist.
University of Otago - Smart Gels: a natural biomedical gel that prevents complications from bleeding and scarring in endoscopic surgery.
Magritek Ltd - Magnetic Resonance Technologies: a range of sophisticated magnetic resonance (MR) spectrometers and magnet resonance imaging scanners which are exported to customers all over the world.
Doyle Sails NZ Ltd - Stratis Ice: a new super-light, super-strong sail membrane fabric currently on trial in the America’s Cup – an international first for a New Zealand manufactured fabric.
Meatvision Ltd - The Eagle FA: X-ray technology and specialised software that scans meat batches within the processing chain to determine fat content.
EnaSolar - Solar Inverter: a range of solar inverters for the global market with built in wi-fi and statistics package for tracking data.