Three finalists in the KiwiNet Awards 2021

Published Aug 4, 2021

The finalists for the 2021 KiwiNet Awards have now been announced and we’re delighted that three of the 16 finalists were nominated by Wellington UniVentures. In its ninth year, the annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals, teams and organisations as their research is developed to have real-life impact through new products or services.

 Ged Finch, Founder and Director of XFrame™ is a finalist in the Breakthrough Innovator Award, which recognises an entrepreneurial researcher who is making outstanding contributions to research commercialisation in New Zealand.

With its prefabricated and interlocking framing system, XFrame™ is designed to be disassembled and reused at the end of the building lifecycle, aiming to reduce waste in the construction sector. Over the last few years, XFrame™ has experienced rapid growth supported by investment and connections through Wellington UniVentures, KiwiNet and Innovyz and recently completed a successful and oversubscribed maiden capital raise. XFrame™ has been deployed across New Zealand and Australia, with plans to make waves in the UK and US later this year.

Dr Shalini Divya, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of TasmanIon has also been nominated as a finalist in the Breakthrough Innovator Award category. Shalini has discovered a new cathode material for aluminium-ion batteries, which outperforms most other energy storage materials in aluminium-ion battery literature. While aluminium-ion batteries are in their infancy, Shalini is working to create a safer, cheaper and more sustainable battery class which can be used for various applications including electric vehicles and renewables.

In addition to the researchers we work so closely with, Hamish Findlay, our General Manager Commercialisation, is also a finalist in the Commercialisation Professional Award category. This award recognises a commercialisation professional who has made an incredible contribution to the commercialisation of publicly funded research. Hamish has a breadth of experience across the commercialisation ecosystem and has supported the commercialisation of projects including STRMix™, TOXINZ and XFrame™.

Anne Barnett, Wellington UniVentures’ CEO is pleased to see three of our nominees make it through to the final stages of this year’s awards. “Ged and Shalini’s research aims to deliver impactful outcomes for society, and we’re thrilled to be supporting them on their commercialisation journey. Hamish has played a significant role in helping them to get where they are today, and this has been acknowledged in his own award nomination. Congratulations to all the finalists who are changing the innovation landscape in Aotearoa.”

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 16 September.