UC researchers nominated for business innovation

16 May 2016

Two University of Canterbury academics are shortlist finalists in the 2016 KiwiNet Awards that showcase the clever science driving business innovation in New Zealand.

UC researchers nominated for business innovation

UC senior lecturer in Chemical and Process Engineering Dr Daniel Holland is a finalist in the Emerging Innovator category, which recognises an upcoming entrepreneurial researcher who is making outstanding contributions to business innovation.

Two University of Canterbury academics are shortlist finalists in the 2016 KiwiNet Awards that showcase the clever science driving business innovation in New Zealand.

UC academics Dr Daniel Holland and Dr Renwick Dobson are among the 12 innovative researchers and cutting edge research commercialisation projects selected as finalists for the fourth annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards, designed to celebrate commercialisation success coming from New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes research.

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) is a consortium of 15 universities, Crown Research Institutes and a Crown Entity established to boost commercial outcomes from publicly funded research.

General Manager Dr Bram Smith says that every year the awards uncover more inspirational stories of cutting edge research powering business innovation and economic growth.

“The awards are a tribute to innovative researchers, working with entrepreneurial businesses and passionate Tech-Transfer professionals across New Zealand. Where others see scientific complexity, they see commercial opportunity.”

UC senior lecturer in Chemical and Process Engineering Dr Daniel Holland is one of three finalists for his work, Mathematics plus measurements equals economic benefit, in the Emerging Innovator category, which recognises an upcoming entrepreneurial researcher who is making outstanding contributions to business innovation or is creating innovative businesses in New Zealand through technology licencing, start-up creation or by providing expertise to support business innovation. 

Dr Holland has a strong track record of applying novel measurement and mathematical analysis techniques to improve efficiency in the chemical industries. He graduated with a BE(Hons) with First Class honours from the University of Canterbury. Since completing his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2006, he has worked with major international companies as well as specialist technology companies, after which he returned to the University of Canterbury and is currently a senior lecturer in the College of Engineering’s Chemical and Process Engineering department.

Measurement techniques he developed for Oil and Gas Measurement in the United Kingdom led to the production of a new sampling product to measure the water distribution in flows of oil and water. Since returning to New Zealand in 2015, he has actively pursued opportunities to drive business innovation within New Zealand companies, building on his overseas success.

He has recently established a new programme of research with Magritek, a developer of cryogen-free, compact Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems that work on the benchtop. He is also working with Eko360, a company specialising in innovative environmental products for growing plants, and seeks to use a mathematical model and novel measurements to rapidly prototype controlled release fertilisers. Cost-effective controlled release fertilisers have the potential to improve nutrient use efficiency especially with nitrogen fertilisers. The outcome being greater agricultural productivity while reducing leaching from the dairy and forestry sectors in New Zealand and internationally.

UC Biochemistry lecturer Associate Professor Renwick Dobson, a Principle Investigator at UC’s Biomolecular Interaction Centre, is nominated for his work with Canterbury Scientific in the MinterEllisonRuddWatts Research & Business Partnership. This award recognises the deeply embedded working relationship between a research organisation and business that delivers significant commercial value for New Zealand.

In their Biotechnology partnership,titled Biotechnology research projects to address significant, global diagnostic health problems including diabetes, preeclampsia and hypertension, UC and Canterbury Scientific Ltd have been uniting on long-term and higher-risk research projects to address significant, global diagnostic health problems.

UC and Canterbury Scientific have successfully collaborated on projects to improve diagnosis of complications arising from diabetes. These collaborations have grown into a strong partnership addressing diagnostic health issues in diabetes, preeclampsia, and hypertension with an aim of developing new biotechnology products.

The partnership supports Canterbury Scientific’s R&D challenges and goals, provides a clear path to market for new IP developed at the University and engages undergraduate and postgraduate students to provide them with relevant, industry experience and encourage entrepreneurial thinking at the University of Canterbury. Canterbury Scientific develops and produces the highest quality freeze-dried and ready-to-use liquid haemoglobin controls available. Its major product, the haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) control, is relied on by tens of thousands of people around the world to help manage their diabetes.

 

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 2775 | Mobile: 027 5030 168 | margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz


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