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?
THE PAUL SHETLER DISRUPTER OF THE YEAR AWARD*
*NOMINATION AWARD. This award celebrates individuals who have made a significant impact on the sector in which they work. These are people that have demonstrated an exceptional vision for what is possible in their industry, including predicting future trends, identifying new opportunities and taking bold risks. These individuals drive disruptive change through a relentless focus on both the challenges and the opportunities, and a willingness to fight. This award is open to exceptional disrupters, from any industry sector – public sector, private sector, institutional research, NGOs or government.
INNOVATION LEADERSHIP AWARD*
*NOMINATION AWARD. This award honours individuals who have shown outstanding leadership of teams in guiding the development of a product or service, or successful commercial research outcome. These individuals are driven by the Big Picture, but are across the minutiae of detail. They are mentors to high performing individuals, they have demonstrated an ability to get individuals and teams working together in building maximum commercial value or social impact.
CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE
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, DUAL-USE TECHNOLOGY & SPACE
This award recognises those who have developed a technology that can benefit both the civilian and military sectors, while also taking into consideration the ethical and legal implications of its use. This type of award highlights the potential of technology to serve multiple purposes and encourages the development of technologies that can promote peace and security. Examples include advancements in renewable energy, advanced materials, robotics, and cybersecurity.
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.
GOVTECH PROJECT, PRODUCT OR SERVICE
This award recognises outstanding achievements in areas such as digital transformation, cloud-based platforms, automation, cybersecurity, open data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other emerging technologies in order to enhance government operations, streamline administrative processes, provide better, more transparent public services, and improve citizen engagement. We want to shine a spotlight on solutions that have been implemented to solve complex problems in the government sector, improve citizen services, or increase efficiency and productivity.
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, pharmaceuticals and biotech innovation. We want to celebrate those commercialising strong research.
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.
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.
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.
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.