Revolution Fibres, an Auckland company that uses nanotechnology to make super strong fibres – in particular, for air filters for household ventilation systems, high strength fishing rods and fabric to enhance skin healing – claimed the supreme prize at the 2012 New Zealand Innovators Awards.
Oddly enough, Revolution Fibres was first featured in the same issue of Idealog last year that contained the 2011 Innovators Awards winners – happy coincidence?
Whatever the situation, we’re stoked to see the team at Revolution Fibres pick up the big kahuna. This year, the company is sitting pretty at the top of an impressive list of homegrown innovators, each with their own unique story to tell.
Revolution Fibres, for the uninitiated, has developed its own technologies for the industrial production of nanofibre. The company uses a process called electrospinning to create functional fibres with diverse characteristics, such as high surface area, increased strength, energy production and more. And with a global market for nanofibre products growing from US$80 million in 2009 to a projected US$2.2 billion by 2020, Revolution Fibres is in the right place at the right time.
The company has made production-scale nanofibre a reality in New Zealand, showing performance advantages and marketability in the sectors of air filtration, cosmetics and composites. It’s continuing its R&D in carbon fibre, composite reinforcements and acoustics, to name a few areas.
Judges were impressed, saying the business had a lot of potential with its innovative manufacturing.
“They have come up with a new manufacturing process and are addressing new market opportunities,” said one judge.
Revolution Fibres also won the Innovation in Manufacturing category at the awards ceremony tonight. With its web getting bigger by the day, it’s definitely one to watch.
The awards, organised by Bayer New Zealand, Idealog and Ideas Accelerator, attracted a record 152 entries. (Navigate your way over to our Facebook page to see more Innovators Awards event photos and to tag yourself.)
"The Innovators Awards have revealed a thriving innovation culture that runs across the length and breadth of the country," says Bayer New Zealand managing director Patricia Castle.
Several other awards were presented covering a wide range of industries and business sectors from startups like Syrp and Paperkut to the iconic Kiwibank and international success of Booktrack and The Gibson Group.
Innovation in Design and Engineering
Winner: Syrp, Genie
Highly Commended: 3i Innovations with Inductive Powered Lighting
Innovation in Environment and Agriculture
Winner: Outpost Central, Outpost Wasp
Highly Commended: Compac Sorting Equipment with Compac Small Fruit Sorter
Innovation in Health and Science
Winner: Canterbury Scientific, Hemoglobin A1c Controls
in Hospitality, Food and Beverage
Winner: Oritain Global Limited
in Marketing and Communications
Winner: Kiwibank, Online Relationship Managers
Innovation in Manufacturing
Winner: Revolution Fibres
Innovation in Information and Communications Technology
Winner: The Gibson Group, TouchHistory
Innovation in Sustainability and Cleantech
Winner: Powersmart Solar, Tokelau Renewable Energy Project
Innovation in Media, Music and Entertainment
People’s Choice (product)
People’s choice (person)
Winner: James Riddell, Outpost Central,
People’s choice (company/organisation)
Most Inspiring Individual
Winner: Alison Stewart, Biopesticides for Healthy Plants
Winner: PAPERKUT Paperless Receipts
Highly Commended: Professor B. Robinson, Otago University, Intelligent Polymer Gels
Supreme New Zealand Innovator
Winner: Revolution Fibres