InnovationAus Awards 2021: Here are our outstanding finalists

James Riley
Editorial Director

It is an enormous pleasure to announce the outstanding finalists across 11 categories for the inaugural InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence. Putting this awards program together has been one of the most rewarding things we have done as a publication.

For all of the uncertainty of the times, for all of the difficulties of the past 18 months, it is clear we are living through a period of great creativity and innovation. This is as true of Australia as it is elsewhere.

This awards program has unearthed some incredible companies, and some truly brilliant and driven entrepreneurs. You can click through to find out the finalists in each category below.

Take your time to read about each of these companies and the entrepreneurs that run them – we think you will be hearing a lot more about them in the future.

The ultimate winners of each category will be unveiled at a Black-tie gala event at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay in Sydney on the evening of December 1, a double-vaxxed, in-person Commercial Disco event to celebrate the cream of Australia’s researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

InnovationAus thanks our commercial sponsors who have helped to make this awards program a reality – including Platinum sponsor Verizon Business Group; Gold sponsor Sitecore; Silver sponsor Okta; and People’s Choice Award sponsor Squiz.

The category sponsors included Microsoft Australia, CSIRO, Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), Mimecast, Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC), Agile Digital and Wrays.

The top award for the night – called the Australian Hero Award – will be selected as the award of awards from the winners of each of the other categories.

“The last 18 months have represented an enormous step change that saw digital transformation and innovation occurring at an unprecedented pace,” said Rob Le Busque, Verizon Business Group’s regional vice-president of Asia Pacific.

“Verizon supports excellence and innovation as key pillars of our culture,” he said.

“As the world stands on the cusp of a new era of industrial revolution with digital transformation, Verizon continues to support hard-working enterprise technology solutions with strong infrastructure and broad product portfolios with global reach.”

Okta’s APAC general manager Graham Sowden said his company’s mission was to accelerate a world where everyone can safely use any technology, which aligned with the awards and one of Okta’s core values: to never stop innovating.

“We are a company of builders, driven to ask ‘what more can we make possible?’ and we are deeply passionate about supporting and recognising other innovators asking this same question across the globe. Australia outperforms many counterparts in the level and quality of homegrown research and innovation, and we’re excited to be part of celebrating the next generation of promising local companies.”

Sponsor Sitecore congratulated the finalists.

“As proud partners of the inaugural InnovationAus Awards, Sitecore sends its heartiest congratulations to all finalists,” said Sitecore’s Area Vice-President, ANZ, Peter Belton. “The innovation ecosystem in Australia is key to our continued growth as a nation, and we are eagerly looking forward to the awards ceremony in December.”

And the finalists are…

Click through to see the finalists in each category:

1. Advanced Manufacturing

2. Cybersecurity

3. Food and AgriTech

4. MedTech and BioTechnology

5. Mining Equipment, Technology and Services

6. Energy and Renewables

7. Space and Remote Automation

8. Defence Industry

9. Research Translation

10. InnovationAus Wildcard Award

11. People’s Choice Award (shortlist previously announced)

InnovationAus publisher and chief executive Corrie McLeod congratulated all finalists in this inaugural awards program.

“Looking through our list of finalists, it really does reinforce what a deep and diverse pool of talented entrepreneurs and researchers and commercial translators that Australia has,” Ms McLeod said.

“One of the most interesting things is that so many of these finalists could fit across multiple categories – a testament to multidisciplinary teams and the successful cross-translation of intellectual property,” Ms McLeod said.

“We are absolutely looking forward to hosting everyone at our gala awards evening on December 1, and celebrating this incredible innovation ecosystem in style!”

The InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence will be presented at a gala black-tie dinner held on Wednesday, December 1, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney. You can book your tickets at the Awards website. For further enquiries, please email

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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