There was a surprise result for the top award of the night at the first annual InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence on Wednesday, with two finalists named as co-winners for the inaugural Australian Hero award.
The gong of gongs was awarded to both EcoTech company, Sea Forest Limited, and quantum computing pioneers Q-CTRL.
The Australian Hero award winner represents the absolute the best of the best, chosen from the best entries among all categories presented on the night.
“It was very hard to choose a winner for this first Australian Hero award,” said InnovationAus publisher Corrie McLeod. “Our judges decided that the award should go to both of these amazing Australian success stories, equally.”
“Q-CTRL and Sea Forest are from very different parts of the innovation landscape, but both are outstanding companies in their respective fields.”
Ms McLeod said that both winners represented the optimistic outlook for Australian technology, focusing on solving today’s problems with a view to making a better future for the whole planet.
Sea Forest Limited also won the Food and Agritech category as well as the People’s Choice award for their innovative approach to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. The company has developed a food additive which, when given in very small doses to livestock, reduces their methane production by up to 98 per cent.
“We feel the pressure of climate change, we feel the 2030 targets, and the work that has to be done in such a short amount of time,” says Sam Elsom, chief executive of Sea Forest Limited.
“We’re making rapid progress but there’s just such a long way to go. We’ve gone from a concept with just two individuals working in the company to now 44 employees all equally passionate and driven by purpose. It’s just great to have InnovationAus recognise that. It’s a really proud moment.”
Sea Forest Limited shares the top honour with world-leading quantum computing developers Q-CTRL. Earlier this year Q-CTRL announced a huge breakthrough in reducing decoherence – the background noise that has up to this point made scaling truly formidable quantum computers unworkable.
“It’s always nice to be recognized by your colleagues,” said Q-CTRL chief executive Michael Biercuk.
“Because these awards, of course, are judged by all of our peers and to be recognized with this, what is described as the ultimate award of the night, the Australian Hero Award, it’s really a wonderful thing.”
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