KiwiNet Newsletter - September 2016
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 Congratulations to all the winners of the 2016 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards!  

Pictured is Associate Professor Cather Simpson from the University of Auckland who won the Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur category and the BNZ Supreme Award for the commericalisation of her incredible laser technologies. Cather was presented the Supreme Award by John Janssen (pictured) from BNZ.

Check out the full Awards story here and watch videos  about each of our amazing finalists and winners.

You can also watch all our finalists explain what it means for them to see their Science Powering Business Innovation!
KiwiNet Annual Report - highlights of our achievements
KiwiNet has had another big year funding and supporting Researchers and Tech Transfer people taking great discoveries to market. We're delighted to showcase the results in our Annual Report. Download it here.

Otago scientist inspired by nature awarded $25,000 from KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Fund

Dr Walker, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Otago, is the third recipient of the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Fund. Greg has developed a spider web-like system for the protection of plants and crops against pests using his pharmaceutical knowledge.

Thanks to the generous support of the Norman F. B. Barry Foundation, KiwiNet has allocated 10 emerging innovators $25,000 each. 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 also receives IP expertise from Baldwin's Intellectual Property, top legal support from MinterEllisonRuddWatts and advice from commercial mentors provided by KiwiNet and the KiwiNet Investment Committee.

Check out Greg's story here!

Mathematics in Industry (MINZ) 2016
4 - 8 July 2016 

The second annual Mathematics-in-Industry NZ (MINZ) event held in Wellington, was a terrific success. We had six exciting challenges from Fonterra, Transpower, Compac Sorting, NZ Steel, Zespri and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology for over 100 mathematicians to tackle. It was an exciting, high energy week! 

The Royal Society of NZ (RSNZ) in conjunction with the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) kindly supported the event. This enabled strong Japanese involvement and also meant that six NZ mathematicians have the opportunity to attend a similar event in Japan later in the year. Read the full story here...

Check out our video from last year.

KiwiNet Stakeholder Survey

Spring has sprung and we are in planning mode for next year.

We're conducting our annual Stakeholder survey to help us better understand how we are adding value to you and your organisation and how we can better meet your future needs.

Your feedback is extremely important to us and is instrumental in shaping our strategy for 2017.

If you can spare us ~10 minutes to provide feedback we'd really appreciate your input!

Meet KiwiNet's new Board Member:
Ngaio Merrick

Ngaio's career has spanned science, sales and management of technologically advanced organisations combined with leadership and development roles. Her experience provides a wide perspective on success in its many forms. Ngaio has a real passion for relationship management and her key strengths lie in relationships, strategic thinking and innovation. She is an active speaker on leadership, motivation, communication and engagement, regularly MCs events and is a trustee for the North Harbour Club and YES Disability.

Learn more about Ngaio on LinkedIn.
Chiasma's Synapse speakers capture the minds of next-gen enterprising researchers
4 August 2016 

Synapse 2016 delivered inspirational stories about journeys and opportunities in the Science Industry as told by influential leaders from the NZ science industry. This year’s stellar speaker lineup include Hon Steven Joyce (Minister for Science and Innovation), James Hutchinson (Commercialisation Manager at Kiwi Innovation Network) as well as Associate Professor Cather Simpson (Winner of the KiwiNet BNZ Supreme Award and Founder of the Photon Factory).

Watch Cather (11:46 min) and James' (13 min) presentations on YouTube.

Farewell to our colleague, Phil...

Phil Stucki, from Callaghan Innovation, has been seconded to KiwiNet for a year as a Commercial Projects Manager and is now returning to the Callaghan fold. Among other things, Phil's championed the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Fund, working with applicants and recipients to ensure these budding entrepreneurial scientists they make the most of the full wrap-around support on offer.

It's been awesome to have you as part of the KiwiNet Team Phil!

Want to hear about 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.

Check out the recent Sept to Nov events newsletter .

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

Stephen Lorimer,
Senior Commercialisation Manager
Victoria Link Ltd (Viclink)


What better way to get an inside look into the research commercialisation industry than to talk to the people practising it in our own backyard. In this edition we meet Stephen Lorimer. Stephen is Senior Commercialisation Manager at Viclink. Viclink helps researchers at Victoria University of Wellington transform their discoveries into products or services that have real benefit to society. It can help test, protect and develop an idea, optimising its chances of success, before launching it into the world where it can do the most good.

How did you get into this area of work and where did you begin your career? 
Many years ago I went to Otago Uni to do a chemistry degree with some management in it. Not easy back then. I got hooked on research and focused on that. After over 10 years my interest in business and management drew me into the Business Development side and then into team and company leadership but always at the interface between science and business.

Tell us about some exciting projects you have been involved with. 
There have been a lot over the years ranging from feta cheese to black truffles production, production and sale of a biological agrichemical, production of ice cream containing a probiotic. Now in my current role I get to work with some great people in areas as diverse as pharmaceutical development and high temperature superconductors.
I love research commercialisation because….  
It combines my interests in research and business and offers opportunity to think strategically. Its pretty interesting too.

What one thing could be done to improve commercialisation in New Zealand? 
I still think we have work to do in getting researchers to understand the game they are playing in their research and allowing this to help shape some of the research they do so that they are more ready for commercialisation. It is a willingness to engage in the discussion on how a project could get to market and then recognize how some aspects of the project can be modified to shorten or simplify this pathway.

What is your favourite quote? 
“Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” James Stockdale. Which I came across in the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. It has served me well in both business and research environments.  

What technology would you love to have been involved with over the past 10 years? 
I think the story of the survival and then thriving of the New Zealand Kiwifruit industry post Psa is one of our great science success stories. How science capability and technology was mobilized to save an industry and deliver and new cultivar that is taking the industry to new levels and has proved the value of breeding to the industry.   

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
The time in the future when New Zealand is recognised as a leader in research commercialisation that transforms the local economy.
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