KiwiNet Newsletter - March 2016
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Entries for the 2016 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards are now closed and our Judges are shortlisting the 12 finalists.

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, so put this date in your diary! 

Where are they now? 2014 KiwiNet Award Winners Tait & Canterbury

Tait and Canterbury were awarded two KiwiNet awards in 2014. The Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Research & Business Partnership Award, which recognises a partnership that delivers significant commercial value for New Zealand and the BNZ Supreme award, which celebrates overall excellence in all core areas of research commercialisation.

We had a chat to Fred Samandri from the University of Canterbury to find out what he and his team have been up to over the last couple of years. Here's what he had to say...

How did winning a KiwiNet award make you feel and what did it mean to your team?
We were extremely happy to have won our awards, especially considering the other very successful finalists. Both the Wireless Research Centre (WRC) and Tait still proudly display their awards and cherish the fact that our strong collaboration was recognised through KiwiNet.

How has the partnership between UoC and Tait progressed in the last year and what new initiatives have you been working on?
The relationship has continued to grow and has reached new heights. The latest initiatives have been in the areas of Data Analytics, the Internet of Things and the incorporation of varying communication standards into Tait's new legacy products.

What future commercial plans do you have with industry partners?
Outside of Tait, we have actively worked with collaborators in various areas of intelligent transport and indoor logistics. We have greatly expanded our work into Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) research on behalf of our industry partners. We have also continued our work with the Defence Force in both land-based and Satellite communication areas.

Baldwin's Backs KiwiNet in Transforming Innovative Research into NZ’s Cutting Edge Businesses

KiwiNet is proud to announce Baldwins Intellectual Property as a Major Corporate Partner.

Dr Bram Smith, General Manager of KiwiNet sees the collaboration with Baldwins as an excellent match, commenting, “Patenting and IP protection strategies are critical to many of the research commercialisation projects that KiwiNet supports. Baldwins have generously offered to contribute their invaluable expertise and connections to help scientific discoveries power business innovation in New Zealand. It’s great to have organisations such as Baldwins making a commitment to boosting innovation that will produce good economic returns for New Zealand”.

See here for the full press release.

NPNZ Summit 2016 Debrief
18 March 2016 

In collaboration with NZBIO, KiwiNet hosted a session at the 2016 Natural Products NZ Summit in Nelson.  The two-hour session was themed ‘Research Connecting With Industry’ and showcased the R&D capabilities from a number of publicly-funded research organisations and their willingness to work with the natural product industry. Representatives from Victoria, Auckland, Massey, and Waikato University, as well as Callaghan Innovation and Plant & Food Research gave brief overviews on key technical capabilities, projects and collaboration opportunities. The meeting has already generated follow-up engagement.

Do you hear voices in your head?

As you're reading through this newsletter silently, do you hear an inner voice speaking the words in your head? A new paper that has been published suggests that most people do. The research is far from conclusive but definitely an interesting read.

Check out this link for more information.

Event Debrief: Getting to Market
3 February 2016 

"Getting to Market" was held at the University of Waikato's Innovation Station on Wednesday 3rd February, 2016. The event brought together representatives from the University of Waikato's faculty, students, researchers and local businesses to build valuable connections and learn the basics of market validation from expert Peter Simon. The event was organised in collaboration with WNT Ventures and Callaghan Innovation.

Success from KiwiNet's GetFunded36 Workshop

A 36-hour commercialisation sprint session has opened up a world of possibilities for academic Brendan Darby. Brendan is a PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington who is completing his doctorate in physics. Working in the group of Professor Eric Le Ru, Brendan developed a potential breakthrough in spectroscopy– measuring cloudy solutions with light – which could have commercial applications.

See the full story 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 February to May 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.

Peter Cook
Research & Innovation Manager
Lincoln University

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 Peter Cook. Peter is the Research and Innovation Manager for Lincoln University and is working to support the growth of New Zealand's knowledge transfer sector by advancing research at Lincoln.

How did you get into this area of work and where did you begin your career? 
I was a scientist, but found out that I was more interested in using science than doing the work at the bench. There were only so many PCRs that I could take! 

Tell us about some exciting projects you have been involved with. 
Before moving to New Zealand I was working with a project called Eliminate Dengue that was led through Monash University. This was an international research collaboration working to develop a biological control strategy for dengue. They were doing some really interesting science that may benefit millions of people globally.   
I love research commercialisation because….  
I'm really excited by how science and technological innovations can benefit society. What’s the point of developing knowledge if we can’t put it towards a positive use?  

What one thing could be done to improve commercialisation in New Zealand? 
More money.

What is your favourite quote? 
"Ideas are useless unless used" - Theodore Levitt

What technology would you love to have been involved with over the past 10 years? 
Something fun like the Hendo Hoverboard.

What's your favourite thing to do on a night out in Lincoln?
A pizza and a few craft beers at The Laboratory pub.  
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