Deadline looms: InnovationAus Awards 2021

James Riley
Editorial Director

This is a call-out to Australia’s entrepreneurs and innovators, to our researchers and commercialisation heroes: The deadline for entries to the inaugural InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence looms large.

The awards are a six-month program of discovery, where InnovationAus will put a spotlight on our best and brightest companies through editorial profiles, podcasts and videos.

Our focus is on the Australian heroes who are driving the wealth-creating innovation and long-term economic and social value for the nation.

The deadline to enter this awards event and to participate in the profile-building editorial program that accompanies it is July 21.

The InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence is a celebration of our best and brightest. We’re putting a spotlight on the smart people and the innovative companies that are creating new business and new industries for the nation.

“Our focus is on the people and the companies creating valuable intellectual property, the key players in building the industries that will help secure Australia’s future,” InnovationAus publisher Corrie McLeod said.

“Our goal is to lift the profile of those people and companies driving research translation, who have taken ideas and built products and services, delivering commercial success or social impact, and national wealth,” she said.

These are people and companies worth celebrating. The awards culminate in a black tie gala in Sydney, a night of commercial discovery that we are calling the Commercial Disco. We will dance the night away.

“If we want to shift the focus of our economic outputs from an over-reliance on our commodity resources sectors and to participate more fully in the growing industries reliant on our intellectual muscle, we understand our strengths,” Ms McLeod said.

“And that means building the public profiles our innovation leaders and to celebrate their success. We want Australians to see these Australian heroes for who they are, and to get behind them.”

The 2021 InnovationAus Awards for Excellence has been made possible with the support of our foundation sponsors – Verizon Business Group, Sitecore, Squiz, Microsoft Australia, CSIRO, Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), Mimecast, Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC), Agile Digital, and Wrays.

The 2021 InnovationAus Awards for Excellence cover a set of 11 categories that reflects broad nature of our innovation ecosystems. We have sought to build our categories to align with national strategic priorities.

The categories are:

This broad category will include entries across the spectrum of other industries – from Australian designed and built satellites, to mineral processing, food products and everything in between. We hope this category also attracts successful pivots of IP during COVID-19 to meet supply chain shortages.

Since the launch of the first Australian Government Cybersecurity Strategy in 2016, the local cyber ecosystem has built 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.

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.

The pandemic has put a huge spotlight on biotechs through the detailed mainstream discussion about vaccines and vaccine manufacturing. Australians are good at this stuff. Our research community is exceptional, and the commercialisation of that research is strong.

The technology that supports the mining sector in Australia is highly advanced; whether it’s remote operation of highly-automated operations – including autonomous robotics – or the software systems that drive those operations. Australia has an incredible technology track record that we want to highlight.

This category seeks to reward ambition and innovation in the renewable energy sector. 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.

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.

The defence sector has been a stand-out in collaborations of partners – of researchers, private SMEs and multinational corporations, covering the full, vast array of technologies consumed by the defence community. This award seeks to highlight the best, most valuable collaborations between research and industry.

Recognising an innovative product or service that has found institution-based IP, created a team around it, and successfully taken it to commercial realm. There are boundless examples here, from plant-based meat production to mineral processing, and space initiatives

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.

This award recognises the individual (or leaders of a company) whose ambition and drive has resulted in a game-changing innovation, and a fabulous commercial success. These are the heroes that we must celebrate in this Australian life we are creating.

The 2021 InnovationAus Awards for Excellence has been made possible with the support of our foundation sponsors – Verizon Business Group, Sitecore, Squiz, Microsoft Australia, CSIRO, Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), Mimecast, Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC), Agile Digital, and Wrays.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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