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Innovators Awards spotlight warms up

This year’s Innovators Awards are open for entry, celebrating the Kiwi heritage of ideas and commercialisation.

Innovation Council CEO Louise Webster says outstanding innovation can come from anywhere and the organisers are looking for entries from a diverse range of businesses and industries, from technology to the services sector.

“We have a history of innovation in New Zealand – in our communities, our personalities and in our DNA,” she says. “Our interest and passion to create new things, find new solutions and develop new products and ventures makes us a nation of great Kiwi innovators.”

Nominations opened last month and continue throughout the awards process. People who know of innovators, products and services worthy of nomination should put them forward for the council to invite to enter, says Webster.

“Kiwis don’t like to profile themselves, they like someone else to say that they’re great,” she says.

The organisers have a high success rate in terms of nominations that become entries or go on to win an award, she adds.

In 2013 award entries came from nine industries and business disciplines, including design and engineering; ICT, media, music and entertainment, marketing and communications, as well as hospitality, food and beverage. Entries came particularly from high growth companies with fewer than 50 employees, the organisers say.

Overall, 56 percent of entrants were from Auckland last year, but there were also strong entries from Otago and the West Coast, as well as most major cities throughout New Zealand.

Last year the supreme winner was Pacific Edge, for its bladder cancer diagnostic management system. Cloud computing company GreenButton won the Communications Technology award.

Entries close on 14 August, with finalists announced 10 September. The awards ceremony is held on 15 October.

Dr Holger Detje, managing director of foundation awards sponsor Bayer New Zealand, says the event is having positive impact on innovation and the business community.

Other foundation sponsors include the New Zealand Innovation Council, Idealog and Ideas Accelerator, as well as category sponsors James and Wells, 3M, Alcatel Lucent, Datamine, NZ Trade and Enterprise, Auckland University of Technology (AUT, Yealands Wine Group, Tangible Media, Dominion Breweries, Radio Live and Waterfront Auckland. 

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