KiwiNet Awards 2021

Published Dec 1, 2021

Celebrating transforming scientific discoveries into new business, last nights’ 2021 KiwiNet Awards saw Dr Shalini Divya win the Breakthrough Innovator Award for her work into aluminium-ion batteries.

This year we were thrilled to see that three of the 16 finalists in the KiwiNet Awards were nominated by Wellington UniVentures. Alongside Dr Shalini Divya, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of TasmanIon Ged Finch, Founder and Director of XFrame™ was also a finalist in the Breakthrough Innovator Award, which recognises entrepreneurial researchers who are making outstanding contributions to research commercialisation in New Zealand. Our very own Hamish Findlay was also a finalist for the Commercialisation Professional Award, which recognises those that have made an outstanding contribution to the commercialisation of publicly funded research.

Of the four finalists in this year’s awards, Shalini won this year’s Breakthrough Innovator Award. Developing a new aluminium-ion battery technology which offers a safer, sustainable and more cost-effective alternative to current lithium-ion batteries, the judges acknowledged how her work has huge potential for New Zealand, the world and the 400 million people across the globe living in energy poverty, limiting their access to food and water, education and employment and negatively impacting their health and hygiene.

Wellington UniVentures nominated Shalini not only for her tenacity in seeing the technology succeed, but for her passion to share her invention and knowledge, which has garnered significant interest from the public and investors alike.

“There’s an energy and enthusiasm in the way that Shalini approaches the commercialisation process,” says Hamish Findlay, Wellington UniVentures General Manager Commercialisation. “Shalini’s never afraid to talk to people and ask questions, it’s what’s helped her to get where she is today and drive the success of TasmanIon. It’s really exciting to watch her develop her skills and grow as an entrepreneur.”

Amongst some fantastic finalists in this year’s award, the judges acknowledged Shalini’s high energy and her ability to paint a compelling technology story and vision which engages all audiences.

Anne Barnett, Wellington UniVentures CEO says: “Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of this year’s event – despite having to take the event online and do things a little differently this year, it was fantastic that we were still able to celebrate the incredible work of our entrepreneurs and those in the ecosystem. These innovators are making a huge impact and with the right support, they have the ability to go on and make a real difference in the world.”