World-first innovations among winners of prestigious research commercialisation awards

A world-first alert system for the elderly, a COVID-19 business recovery plan, and one of the largest-ever start-up deals from an Australian university are among the winners of the prestigious KCA Awards.

“These awards celebrate the dedicated, collaborative efforts of leading technology transfer professionals across the country, who are changing lives through their commercialisation successes,” KCA Chair, Dr Erin Rayment, says.

The results are global innovations which have the potential to help millions of people and create thousands of jobs in our knowledge industries. 

The winners were announced at the Knowledge Commercialisation Australia annual conference.

*Category 1: REMi® is a world-first, high tech, non-invasive monitoring and alert system, which helps improve the elderly’s quality of life. A collaboration between RMIT University, Sleeptite and Sleepeezee Bedding Australia, the REMi system is embedded into mattress covers to help prevent falls and detect signs of stress or dangers. The stretchable sensor technology can also be used in the defence, space, sport and wider healthcare sectors.

*Category 2: NextOre uses breakthrough magnetic resonance (MR) technology, developed by CSIRO, to accurately measure mineral concentrations in broken rock at mining sites in real time. This means essential minerals, including copper, gold and iron, are produced more efficiently, avoiding unnecessary consumption of water, electricity and chemicals. NextOre’s MR solutions have been rapidly adopted and are now in use at mines in five countries.

*Category 3: Start-up Inflazome was acquired in 2020 in one of the largest deals based on Intellectual Property from an Australian university. Pharmaceutical company Roche paid €380million ($A617million) to acquire the rights to develop new treatments for chronic inflammation. Developed by researchers from University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Trinity College Dublin, and commercialised by UniQuest, the technology may help treat multiple diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and MND.

*Category 4:During the pandemic, four unique programs helped 1500 entrepreneurs throughout Victoria pivot to digital. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship team at La Trobe University, alongside Investible and Business Victoria, delivered free COVID-19 Recovery Programs in digital strategy, analytics, SEO, SEM and social media. One of these businesses – Qulfi Mart, which pioneered authentic Indian ice-creams – increased sales by 70%.

*People’s Choice: REMi®

“These are the only Australian awards that recognise the role of technology transfer professionals in bridging the gap between publicly funded research institutions, and commercial partners such as entrepreneurs, industry and government stakeholders,” one of the judges, Dr. Tim Boyle, says. “We congratulate all of the finalists and winners.”

The judges were:

  • Mark Wickham (Partner, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick)
  • Dr. Tim Boyle (Director, Innovation and Commercialisation, ANSTO)
  • Natalie Chapman (MD, gemaker)
  • Dr. Laura Issa (Abbvie Inc., Australia and New Zealand)

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