NIHI’s Robyn Whittaker receives KiwiNet Award

Winners of the fifth annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards, designed to celebrate commercialisation success within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes, have been announced.

NIHI's Robyn Whittaker was part of the Precision Driven Health team that was awarded the MinterEllisonRuddWatts Research and Business Partnership Award.

Lead KiwiNet Awards judge Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director at BioPacific Partners says, “The quality and sophistication of presentations rises every year and applicants are really demonstrating how commercially savvy they are. It’s great to see the commercial focus getting sharper. Yet again, we’re seeing the benefit of previous research commercialisation success stories, and some failures, and people are learning from those.”

Dr Kelly was joined on the judging panel by Rob Heebink, R&D Executive at Gallagher Group, Bridget Coates, co-founder of Kura™ and Chairman of White Cloud Dairy Innovation Ltd, and Paul Dyson, entrepreneur and angel investor.

KiwiNet CEO Dr James Hutchinson says, “We've had some really inspirational pitches from finalists today. They're showing that with some entrepreneurial spark, and the right support and commercial expertise, in New Zealand we can take our cutting edge technology innovations to the world.”

The annual KiwiNet Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate research commercialisation success. Sponsorship support is provided by BNZ, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, PwC, Baldwins, MBIE, Norman F. B. Barry Foundation and Sciencelens photography.

Jason Lewthwaite, Senior Partner at BNZ says, “Today’s winners have created game changing innovations that will create new commercial opportunities for New Zealand. BNZ is very pleased to be a long-time supporter of these awards as they inspire and celebrate people who are dedicated to making a global impact through cutting edge research, world leading product development which will in turn deliver a higher achieving New Zealand.”
Paul Stocks, Paul Stocks, Deputy Chief Executive of MBIE's Labour, Science and Enterprise group, says “Commercialisation of publicly-funded research drives innovation, helps to solve problems and creates economic growth for the benefit of all New Zealanders.”

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) is a consortium of 16 universities, Crown Research Institutes and a Crown Entity established to boost commercial outcomes from publicly funded research. Principal support is also provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).


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