KiwiNet wants to know if you have turned a piece of science into profits

KiwiNet is on the hunt to uncover companies that have married the best of science with commercial acumen.

The hunt is on for best ideas of turning scientific ideas into profit-making ideas with the launch of 2015 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards. 

"We want to turn the spotlight onto some great stories about turning scientific discovery into commercial success from within our universities and crown research institutes," says KiwiNet General Manager, Dr Bram Smith. 

“These new innovations will play a vitally important part of New Zealand’s future as they will be central to the formation of new companies that will grow our economy," he adds.

“By highlighting these stories we can not only acknowledge the great efforts of people involved in research commercialisation but also expose potential collaborators, customers and investors to a new wave of innovation and a world of new opportunities,” says Dr Smith.

Entries are open until 27 February.

The awards are the pinnacle of KiwiNet activities, designed to build knowledge and inspire research commercialisation success.

KiwiNet (The Kiwi Innovation Network) is a consortium of universities, Crown Research Institutes and a Crown Entity, established to boost commercial outcomes from publicly funded research.

The Awards are open to entrepreneurial researchers, business and science collaborators and research partnerships who have commercialised publicly funded research. 

The 2015 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


Dr Smith says: “Through the Awards we’ve 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 past winners have received has in some cases helped the organisations and people involved to even greater success.”

KiwiNet’s BNZ Supreme Award in 2014 went to The University of Canterbury and Tait Communications . The duo also won the Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Research and Business Partnership Award for their Wireless Network Partnership to develop technology in LTE (long-term evolution) broadband, narrowband mobile radio, coverage extension, enhanced reliability and situational awareness.

The Commercial Deal Award winner was Kifunensine from Glycosyn, Callaghan Innovation.

TiTeNZ -- a collaboration between the University of Waikato, Callaghan Innovation, GNS Science, Auckland University, the Titanium Industry Development Association (TIDA) and a number of industry partners -- won the AJ Park Commercialisation Collaboration Award.

Researcher Entrepreneur for 2014 was Alistair Jerrett, for his work in seafood technologies at Plant & Food Research.  Plant & Food Research and Precision Seafood Harvesting won the 2014 People’s Choice Award.

2015 KiwiNet winners will be announced at an awards reception, on June 17 in Auckland, sponsored by BNZ, AJ Park, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts and Sciencelens photography.