Faculty of Engineering researchers announced as finalists for commercialisation funding

18 Jun 2018 - 21:56:35 in Achievement

Two Victoria University of Wellington academics were announced as among the twelve finalists for the 2018 KiwiNet Awards, which celebrate successful commercialisation of science research in New Zealand.

Deputy Director of the University’s Robinson Research Institute Dr Rod Badcock is a finalist along with several Chinese research and business partners for their high-speed train travel project, which aims to develop new technology to help transform train networks across Asia and Europe. This project is part of an ongoing partnership with Beijing Jiaotong University.

The other finalist is Associate Professor Taehyun Rhee, Deputy Director of Computational Media Innovation Centre, Faculty of Engineering, who is working on taking New Zealand’s virtual and augmented reality technology to the world. His research looks at creating an immersive virtual reality experience where users can interact with 3D objects against a live video background, creating technology that could be used for anything from home entertainment to simulation and training for architecture and product design.

Both of these projects have been supported by Viclink, Victoria University’s commercialisation arm.

“We have supported the development of relationships, protection of intellectual property, and helped fund the projects,” says Anne Barnett, chief executive officer at Viclink. “Winning these awards, or even being a finalist, is a reflection of success in our commercialisation efforts. There is no doubt we will continue to support the researchers to develop the tech further, and develop themselves as commercially savvy academics.”

KiwiNet Awards Lead judge Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director at BioPacific Partners, says, “I feel like we say this every year, but the quality of commercialisation in this country really is getting better. Each of the four Award categories was strong and demonstrated the power of outstanding research innovation backed by real commercial savvy. In fact the judging panel had the longest (and hardest) discussion we’ve ever had. We’re looking forward to Awards day very, very much.”

Paul Stocks, Deputy Chief Executive of MBIE's Labour, Science and Enterprise group, says “The range of innovative research reaching market this year will go a long way to solving some of the most pressing issues facing New Zealand.”

The winners will be announced on 5 July in Auckland.

KiwiNet (the Kiwi Innovation Network), helps bring science and innovation together to create commercialisation opportunities for New Zealand with backing from the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment. The awards celebrate impact from successful commercialisation of science research within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes.