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Call for entries: New Zealand Innovators Awards

Got a great story about design and innovation? What’s better than a nationwide competition to spread the word?

There’s less than a month until entries close for this year’s New Zealand Innovators Awards, and designers are being encouraged to enter.

Todd Gisby, co-founder of Stretchsense – which was named winner of Innovation in Design and Engineering, and Emerging New Zealand Innovator at last year’s awards – is encouraging about fellow innovators to enter and says the win has been “really valuable”.

Stretchsense launched in 2012, after creating stretch sensors to easily measure how people move and is used predominantly in the US, for health and rehabilitation, sports training and motion capturing/animation. 

“When you’re really new, sometimes you don’t realise the value of all the marketing and networking that comes out of even just being nominated for awards like these,” he says. “It can quickly change from you approaching people, to the other way around.”

We attended a design masterclass held by the Innovation Council on Monday and talked to Andy Blackburn, director of the council, about design thinking in the innovation industry.

“Innovation and design thinking are both about focusing and applying creative energy and talent and looking outwards for answers and breakthroughs,” says Blackburn.

“In many ways they share so much in common. Design thinking is now a vital part of any great organisational innovation system. It adds a focus for creative energy, talent and a wonderful set of tool and approaches. It constantly reminds us to be human-centred and customer focused.”  
CEO and founder Louise Webster says the awards are an excellent opportunity to put company’s products and services on a national stage. Finalists receive individual feedback about their entry by an expert evaluation panel, and an invitation to the New Zealand Innovators Awards cocktail event in Auckland.

This year’s variety of prizes include an Intellectual Property package from James and Wells to the value of $5000,  media coverage across TV, radio and magazines, and one of 15 crystal trophies.

New Zealand Innovators Awards Timeline

August 14: Entries close

September 10: Finalists announced

October 15: Awards ceremony

Surf, design, travel – these are the things that gets Leigh out of bed every morning (those, and a piping hot cup of milky tea). She holds qualifications in both fashion design and communications, and has written a bunch of fashion, beauty, food, travel and design stories.

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