Awards received - Annual Report 2021

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Awards received - Annual Report 2021

27 May, 2022

The MacDiarmid Institute again performed strongly in the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards. Two alumni were finalists for the Breakthrough Innovator Award – in this category there have now been six nominations with strong MacDiarmid Institute connections in the past three years.

KiwiNet Breakthrough Award FinalistsThe winner of the Breakthrough Innovator Award was Dr Shalini Divya (top right), co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of TasmanIon. Dr Divya worked on a new cathode material during her PhD, and has since been developing a new aluminium-ion battery technology, working closely with Wellington UniVentures to drive the project to the investor level.

The other finalist was Dr Matheus Vargas (below right), Chief Technology Officer at Orbis Diagnostics, a startup from the Photon Factory in Auckland with long-term support from the MacDiarmid Institute and the Dodd-Walls Centre. Dr Vargas has been the driving force behind a ‘lab on a disk’ testing platform for COVID-19 antibodies.

Serial research entrepreneur Professor Jadranka Travas- Sejdic and her team (including both a MacDiarmid Institute student and a postdoctoral researcher) won the Academic Category award of the annual Velocity Entrepreneurship Challenge at the University of Auckland for a carbon fibre technology for wound dressings and face masks.

Dr Maryam Shojaei and Professor Aaron Marshall won the Value Added Product category and the Research Runner Up Prize in the Food, Fibre & Agritech Supernode Challenge run by KiwiNet, ChristchurchNZ, the University of Canterbury, AgResearch and other supporters. The team aim to commercialise an environmentally friendly material to optimise flow batteries using natural fibres.

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MacDiarmid Institute-affiliated companies founded between 2002 and 2021