KiwiNet Newsletter - June 2016
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The KiwiNet awards will be held in Auckland on Thursday 30th June, 2016 and are a great opportunity to celebrate the success of research commercialisation in New Zealand.

Registrations close Wednesday 22nd June, so register today !

The big day/night is only a couple of weeks away, so why not take the time to get to know a few of our finalists and some of the awesome science they're doing! 

Link to 2016 Finalists.
KiwiNet welcomes Government's increased support for PreSeed Accelerator Fund
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced that PreSeed funding for the commercialisation of publicly-funded research will increase by $12 million over the next 4 years. KiwiNet is excited by this announcement and believe the increase in PreSeed will play an essential role in helping early-stage research successfully get to market.

Andrew Turnbull, KiwiNet Investment Committee Chair comments, "The KiwiNet partners are passionate about working together to lift commercial capability across the science system to drive economic impact. There are many exciting hi-tech commercial opportunities in universities and Crown research entities. PreSeed investment is invaluable to powering up these opportunities on a path to business success."

See the full story here.

Emerging Innovator Update

Thanks to the Norman F. B. Barry Foundation, KiwiNet has allocated $20,000 of funding to 10 emerging innovators. The fund was established to help up-and-coming scientists build valuable industry connections and use their commercial interest to take a clever new idea to market. Each recipient receives support from Baldwin's Intellectual Property, expert legal support from MinterEllisonRuddWatts and advice from relevant commercial mentors, as advised by KiwiNet and the KiwiNet Investment Committee.

Check out the latest Emerging Innovator story here!

MINZ 2016
4 - 8 July 2016 

KiwiNet is delighted to be supporting the second annual Mathematics-in-Industry NZ (MINZ) event. We have six exciting challenges this year from Fonterra, Transpower, Compac Sorting, NZ Steel, Zespri and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. With over 100 mathematicians registered, it is set to be an exciting, high energy week. 

This year we were fortunate enough to obtain support from the Royal Society of NZ (RSNZ) in conjunction with the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). This award has enabled strong Japanese involvement and also means that six NZ mathematicians will have the opportunity to attend a similar event in Japan later in the year.

Check out our video from last year.

Are we alone in the universe?

The number of known alien planets has just gone up by more than 60% as NASA's Kepler space telescope has discovered 1,284 new exoplanets, including 9 rocky worlds that might be capable of supporting life as we know it.

Check out this link for more information.

Event Debrief: Smarten Up Your Ideas
1 June 2016

KiwiNet held a Knowledge Transfer 101 workshop 'Smarten Up Your Ideas' at Lincoln University on Wednesday 1st June. The workshop was coordinated and run by KiwiNet team members, Seumas McCroskery and James Hutchinson. The purpose of the workshop was to help attendees develop a greater understanding of knowledge transfer mechanisms to inform future implementation plans for research proposals. We have had some really positive feedback from attendees, with the event receiving a rating of 8.33/9 for overall benefit.

Christchurch GetFunded Workshop
22-23 June 2016 

GetFunded is an innovative, new workshop to up-skill the research community in knowledge and transfer practices to improve science investment opportunities. The 2-day professional development workshop is for researchers and research organisation staff. Participants are mentored by commercial experts and receive specialist pitching training as they progress.

Further specialist mentors from Baldwins will provide expert IP advice, and MBIE mentors will discuss the distinction between government investment compared with private support into science ideas.

KiwiNet is holding three GetFunded events in 2016. One in Christchurch (next week - 22-23 June), one in Wellington (6-7 July) and the last for the year in Auckland (13-14 July). These workshops are hosted by KiwiNet in partnership with CreativeHQ, with sponsorship provided by MBIE, powerHouse and Callaghan Innovation.

Register for your closest event here!

Want to receive info on upcoming events?

Sign up to receive KiwiNet's Bi-Monthly events newsletter which includes info on a wide variety of upcoming events in the research commercialisation space.

The April to July newsletter has just been released, click to view the latest version.

If you would like to view a broader range of innovation events in New Zealand, check out our Innovation Calendar.

Mitali Purohit
Commercialisation Manager
AUT Enterprises Limited

Commercialisation Professional


KiwiNet loves research commercialisation, and what better way to get an inside look into the industry than to talk to the people practising it in our country. In this newsletter we meet Mitali Purohit. Mitali is a commercialisation manager at AUT Enterprises Limited and is working to capture, evaluate and progress the commercial development of AUT's intellectual property.

How did you get into this area of work and where did you begin your career? 
I began my career at Pacific Channel Ltd, helping NZ biotechnology and engineering start-ups with venture development and raising investment. It was a great start for me as I gained experience in preparing technologies, entrepreneurs and companies for investment, as well as building an investor network. I initially joined Pacific Channel as an intern, during my final year completing Masters in Bioscience Enterprise. 

I joined AUT Enterprises Ltd as a Commercialisation Manager in late 2012, to commercialise IP developed by AUT staff and students.

Tell us about some exciting projects you have been involved with. 
Currently, I am involved in commercialising RACer, a disruptive technology for the management of sleep apnoea. It aims to solve one of the biggest problems that the CPAP industry and sleep apnoea patients suffer from - a very low compliance rate to current therapies due to discomfort and side-effects. RACer could significantly improve the lives of sleep apnoea patients, who currently only sleep for 4 hours or less each night! 

Recently we licensed an image processing technology to GP2U Telehealth Pty Ltd in Australia, to commercialise a more accurate melanoma screening and monitoring tool.
I love research commercialisation because….  
I get to work with passionate innovators who are trying to solve real world problems, and helping them get their products into the hands of customers. It is even more satisfying when commercialising technologies that have a positive impact on humanity. 

What one thing could be done to improve commercialisation in New Zealand? 
Funding to access international experts to work alongside commercialisation staff to bring technologies into the global market through their experience and networks.

What is your favourite quote? 
 “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.” - John Cage

What technology would you love to have been involved with over the past 10 years? 
Oculus Rift! This technology and virtual reality is going to very quickly change the way we interact with people and our surroundings in the future. 

If you could be any age for a week, what age would you choose and why?
70 years old, to see if I am ready to retire yet, or still having too much fun doing what I am doing.
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