31 August, 2023
Our Commercialisation and Industry Engagement Manager, Kevin Sheehy has been shortlisted for this year’s KiwiNet Simpson Grierson Commercialisation Professional Award. The award recognises a commercialisation professional working within a New Zealand research organisation who has made an outstanding contribution to the commercialisation of publicly funded research.
Commenting following the announcement, Institute Deputy Director for Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, Associate Professor Natalie Plank, said Kevin Sheehy’s shortlisting for the Commercialisation Professional Award was well deserved.
“Kevin works closely with our researchers and PhD students, to help them identify potential commercial opportunities and to support them to successfully navigate their own paths through the commercialisation territory. The Institute has spun out nine affiliated startup companies since Kevin took up his current role.
Kevin works closely with our researchers and PhD students, to help them identify potential commercial opportunities and to support them to successfully navigate their own paths through the commercialisation territory.Associate Professor Natalie Plank Deputy Director Commercialisation and Industry Engagement The MacDiarmid Institute
“Beyond this, Kevin has established several fora to facilitate connections between entrepreneurial scientists and wider industry, and last year took a group of 14 companies up to the Singapore Cleantech Forum, with several new connections for New Zealand coming out of that as well. My predecessor, Associate Professor Geoff Willmott, with whom Kevin worked closely, joins me in congratulating Kevin for this very well-deserved shortlisting in the KiwiNet Awards.”
Institute Co-Director, Professor Justin Hodgkiss (who himself has spun out two startup companies), said that the impact of the work Kevin has been doing, not only within the Institute but throughout New Zealand’s deep tech and cleantech ecosystem, had been clear for a long time.
“It’s wonderful to see his work acknowledged by the wider commercialisation sector through being selected as a finalist for the KiwiNet Commercialisation Awards”.
Institute Co-Director, Professor Nicola Gaston, said that one of the key roles Kevin had played in the wider commercialisation ecosystem was in pulling together key players in the wider startup sector to identify ways that support for new deep tech and cleantech startup companies could be enhanced.
“Kevin identified a key piece of support for new startup companies in the highly challenging deep and clean tech space, so crucial for our efforts to address climate challenges, and has taken this as a policy initiative to government and others in the sector”.
Kevin identified a key piece of support for new startup companies in the highly challenging deep and clean tech space, so crucial for our efforts to address climate challenges, and has taken this as a policy initiative to government and others in the sector.Professor Nicola Gaston Co-Director The MacDiarmid Institute
Associate Professor Plank said she was really pleased to see Kevin’s work acknowledged through being shortlisted for the Commercialisation Professional Award.
“We’re all very proud of Kevin’s work and are delighted to see him receive recognition in this way.”.
Associate Professor Plank also congratulated the other four Institute-affiliated KiwiNet finalists: BNZ Researcher Entrepreneur Finalist, Principal Investigator Dr Laura Domigan, Sprout Breakthrough Innovator Finalists, Alumna Dr Olivia Ogilvie and Dr Jerome Leveneur, and PwC Breakthrough Project Finalist, Bspkl.