Dreamliner composites. Hearing loss. AI valuations. Healing chronic wounds. Mercury-free teeth.

Conferences, Media releases

Innovation winners from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane

Six Excellence in Innovation awards were presented last night at the Collaborate Innovate 2023 conference in Adelaide, held by Collaborative Research Australia. The awards are sponsored by UNSW.

“The winners have each shown how Australian research can be transformed through collaboration into impactful organisations and businesses, creating jobs and improving lives,” says Jane O’Dwyer, the CEO of Cooperative Research Australia.

Composite technologies for Dreamliners and minehunters

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Industry-Research Collaboration was presented posthumously to Distinguished Professor Adrian Mouritz (RMIT) for creating impact for industry in the field of composites.

Until his passing, Adrian Mouritz was the Dean of Engineering and Distinguished Professor in Aerospace Materials at RMIT University. He has a lasting reputation of creating impact for industry and research excellence in the field of composites, particularly in their use and safety for maritime vessels, aircraft and the automotive industry. Over his career he built collaborative links between academia and Boeing, Defence Science, Rio Tinto, Ford, the US Office of Naval Research and many others.

A lifelong champion of industry and research collaboration

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Industry-Research Collaboration was presented to Dr Leanna Read.

Leana’s contributions to science, research, and industry collaboration span a multitude of commercial, government, social, and cross-sectoral ventures. She led the CRC for Tissue Growth and Repair and the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing, and served on the board of many others.

She has also led several spinouts including Carina Biotech Pty Ltd and TekCyte Ltd. She was the first woman to hold the role of Chief Scientist for South Australia.

Transforming the lives of those with hearing loss

The Award for Research Institution Leadership in Industry-Research Collaboration was presented to Macquarie University for the development of the Australian Hearing Hub over the past decade.

This partnership with Cochlear Ltd is now expanding with Google and other new industry partners.

The Hub is a unique campus precinct bringing together academic, industry, government, and not-for-profits to transform the lives of those with hearing loss.

Achievements include:

  • Supporting the development of Clinical Guidelines for Adults with Hearing Loss,
  • Education and training to support Newborn Hearing Screening programs in the Asia-Pacific
  • Collaboration with user groups including the Deafness Forum Australia, Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf, and forums for parents and teenagers.

Sharper land and property decisions with AI

The Award for Research Commercialisation was presented to Frontier SI.

Valuing property, and how values might change with infrastructure investment, is challenging.

Frontier SI and its partners created Value Australia, an interactive platform, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, that enables accurate and transparent property valuations, as well as infrastructure/development scenario planning and value uplift projections based on multiple valuation models.

It was developed by Frontier SI with UNSW and Omnilink, with embedded users including Commonwealth Bank, NSW Valuer General and Liverpool Council. It was successfully commercialised with PEXA in July 2022 and brought to market earlier this year.

Best practice wound management for all Australians

The Award for Impact was presented to Wound Innovations, a company spun out from the Wound CRC. Chronic wounds such as leg ulcers and pressure injuries are very challenging for ageing Australians, aged care facilities and health professionals. They have high recurrence rates, require frequent visits to health care professionals and often result in hospitalisation through infections and other complications.

Wound Innovations is bringing best practice to homes and the community through training and direct clinical support. The team has already treated 5000 people in person and 20,000 through telehealth. 

Dentistry without mercury

The Award for Enduring Industry-Research Collaboration was presented to Professor Gangadhara Prusty from UNSW Sydney. He has developed glass-fibre reinforced flowable dental composite restorative materials that contribute to the elimination of mercury from dentistry.

The WHO has called for mercury-based amalgams to be phased out due to the high level or mercury content and related toxicity for patients and staff. SDI Ltd responded, supporting an ARC Linkage grant and then a CRC-P grant, working with UNSW Sydney, University for Sydney, University of Wollongong, Bestech and Dentalk.

The patented technology is now available in over 100 countries and the project has led to several full-time jobs in Melbourne and Sydney.

Media contacts:

Conference website: https://conlog.eventsair.com/collaborate-innovate-2023/

Contacts for awardees