Criteria & Categories
We have asked our judges to focus on the following criteria to assess the entries. As part of the consultation with our Advisory Board, we have determined that the following five focus areas are vital ingredients to success.
Judges will review what commercial success looks like for your organisation, your export potential and success stories within the international marketplace. We want to see evidence of your company’s track record in creating a product or service, then effectively selling to domestic and/or international markets. It’s a Commercial Disco(very)!
Translation of intellectual property
Intellectual property (IP) is developed in different environments and there are many strategies to successfully bring the research outputs to market. Judges will reward excellence in the translation of IP – through programs that enable successful research collaborations across various sectors as well as those companies that continue to develop IP internally.
What is your company’s impact on its sector? Does your product or service take Australian smarts and create new jobs and wealth for the nation, or make the lives of citizens better? Does your innovation inspire through originality and ambition? Judges will review how entrants are aligning their success measures –such as addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals or CSIRO’s Challenge Missions.
We will also be looking for business innovations that have helped your organisation translate its IP for commercial or societal success. Elements will include your organisation’s business strategy, a successful pivot, or its adaptability to major challenges, risk or unexpected outcomes. It will look at your leadership and human resources strategy and all the other non-R&D factors that are vital to successful growth.
Judges also want to hear stories of organisations that have adapted or pivoted research and innovations to build a product or service for an entirely different sector. What horizonal applications of these particular technologies have been used to solve a challenge? How are they themselves consumers of emerging tech to create new products?
This award celebrates the rapidly growing creative tech sector – where technology collides with the arts, design, media, entertainment, music, games and education. This acknowledges the achievements of those helping to build Australia’s expertise in these fields and the amazing innovations that are shaping the landscape.
Since the launch of the Australian Government Cybersecurity Strategy in 2016, the local cyber ecosystem has been building steadily. From a handful of companies five years ago, there are now hundreds of Australian cyber companies – many based on deep-tech research in everything from cryptography to Artificial Intelligence. Cybersecurity is one of the most vibrant sectors in the Australia’s innovation ecosystem.
DEFENCE & DEFENCE-RELATED SOVEREIGN CAPABILITY
The Defence sector has been a stand-out in terms of collaborations between partners – of researchers, private SMEs and multinational corporations, covering the vast array of technologies consumed by the defence community. This award seeks to highlight the best products, services and innovations created through valuable collaborations between research and industry.
DIGITAL HEALTH & HEALTH TECH
With global concerns for aging, child mortality, pandemics and the effects of poverty and racial discrimination on access to healthcare, the need for a connected, and effective, healthcare system is greater than ever. This broad category of Health Tech is open to digital health platforms, and related technology innovations such as devices, diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as MedTech and biotech innovation. We want to celebrate those commercialising strong research.
ENERGY & RENEWABLES
This category seeks to reward ambition and innovation in the renewable energy, recycling and circular economy sectors. Commercial research in this area is fast growing and holds tremendous promise for the nation. From hydrogen extraction technologies and solar cell improvements to the management software systems. This category is also open to innovators in re-manufacturing.
FOOD & AGRITECH
Value-added food production and AgriTech have been a focus of innovation investment in this country. This is in both food processing as well as production and range from high-tech sensor devices and farm-based robotics and automation to the at-scale production of plant-based meat and other protein products.
Increasing interconnectivity and smart automation has created a whole host of technological advances for industries, processes, and society. While robotic automation is a core component, this category should include other sensor-based automation activities within smart cities – IoT devices, construction tech, emergency and instant response, transport tech and PropTech.
This broad category is looking for those creating smart products and services across every aspect of the manufacturing process – from R&D, production, supply chain and logistics management through to sales and end of life management. This could be from across the spectrum of other industries – from Australian-designed and built satellites, to mineral processing, food products and everything in between.
This category celebrates the software products that are making an impact in spaces such as FinTech, AI and machine learning and edge computing or for technology that has applications across verticals and has or will contribute significantly to industry and community.
SPACE, EARTH OBSERVATION & GEOSPATIAL
The space sector was a lonely place to be in up until recently – now it is a hotbed of activity. From launch companies to companies with ambitions for global satellite constellations, the Award goes to our most ambitious entrepreneurs. We include remote automation in this category because there is so much cross-over.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
Our judges select a final panel of the most ambitious and most outstanding entries to the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence – and allow our readers to vote on their choice for the most outstanding Australian innovation of the year.
TRANSLATION HERO AWARD
Recognising the individual or team for excellence in taking the Intellectual Property fruit of deep-tech research and successfully brought it into the commercial realm. There are boundless examples here, from plant-based meat production to mineral processing, and space initiatives. This is not restricted to the translation of just institutional research – it can be corporate, or startup based, or it can be collaborations of many partners.
AUSTRALIAN HERO AWARD
The Australian Hero Award is the top category of the night, recognising the individual (or the leaders of a company) whose ambition and drive has resulted in a game-changing innovation, and a fabulous commercial or social impact success. This is like a Bradman award, for outstanding contribution to the nation.