Innovator of the Year 2021 finalists announced

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innovator of the year
The program is back after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Image - WA government and Canva

Finalists for this year’s WA Innovator of the Year (WAIOTY) have been announced.

The program, which was launched in 2006, is back after a pandemic-induced hiatus last year.

The finalists for this year’s program will compete for awards across six categories from a prize pool of $140,000 to help commercialise their innovations.

The program has many notable alumni – Mining & Process Solutions (MPS) took out the overall award in 2019, while Udrew won it back in 2018.

MPS won for their development of a biodegradable, non-toxic and reusable liquid to extract metals such as silver, copper, gold and nickel from ore. MPS used the prize money to build a facility in Perth which has been used to demonstrate their technology to gold mining companies.

Since then, the company has established partner laboratories and agents in Canada, South Africa, the United States and the Philippines, significantly expanding their channels to market.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, 3 November.

Rio Tinto is this year’s primary sponsor; there are four finalists for the Rio Tinto Emerging Innovation category with a further four for the Growth Category.

These eight finalists are in the running for the main award which comes with a $70,000 prize.

Additionally, another 12 finalists were selected for three Platinum Awards:

  • Wesfarmers Wellbeing Award;
  • Business News Great for the State Award; and
  • Woodside Oil & Gas Award.

VeinTech co-founder Nicholas Buckley told Startup News the company is “thrilled” to be nominated as finalists.

“It feels fantastic to be nominated, and be lucky enough to be counted amongst such esteemed company,” said Nicholas.

We’re proud to be part of the burgeoning WA MedTech sector represented alongside us in the 2021 WAIOTY nominations. We look forward to continued successes this year and beyond.

Nicholas Buckley, Veintech co-founder

All finalists will receive specialist pitch presentation training along with mentoring, digital and social media strategy to help highlight how their innovation will benefit the state.

Additionally, the eight program finalists will be given professional photography and video packages.

The awards are funded through the WA government’s New Industries Fund.

“These awards provide a platform to support Western Australia’s brightest innovators and help them develop the full potential of their ideas,” said Don Punch, Minister for Innovation and ICT.

This year’s finalists demonstrate the business diversity in Western Australia and the enormous potential to create jobs, boost the economy and provide solutions to a range of challenges.

I’d like to offer my congratulations to everyone who applied for an award and I wish all 16 finalists the best of luck.

Don Punch, Minister for Innovation and ICT

Rio Tinto Growth Category

CompanyProject Title
GridcognitionDigital twin for planning and optimising distributed energy projects 
Project Match Australia (MyPass Global)Digital worker skills passport (MyPass) 
Roofus Tools Pty LtdRoofus multi-purpose angle square
Terra15 Pty LtdInfrastructure monitoring for smart cities and mine sites

Rio Tinto Emerging Category

CompanyProject Title
Environmental Water Solutions (Complete Home Filtration)PFAS Filter – Attapure
UWAApricot – Advanced coronary artery assessment
Vision Pharma Pty LtdVP-001 and VP-002 to treat inherited retinal diseases
Whole Green FoodsNovel whole-food processing of plant-based ingredients and flavours

Business News ‘Great for the State’ – Platinum Award

CompanyProject Title
Avicena Systems LtdUltra-high throughput, accurate, rapid screening system for COVID
Environmental Water Solutions (Complete Home Filtration)PFAS Filter – Attapure
VeinTechVeinWave: Right vein, first time, every time
Vision Pharma Pty LtdVP-001 and VP-002 to treat inherited retinal diseases

Wesfarmers Wellbeing – Platinum Award

CompanyProject Title
Environmental Water Solutions (Complete Home Filtration) PFAS Filter – Attapure
UWAApricot – Advanced coronary artery assessment
VeinTechVeinWave: Right vein, first time, every time
VitalTrace A novel device for monitoring babies during child birth

Woodside Oil & Gas – Platinum Award

CompanyProject Title
9 Tech Solutions Pty LtdNETAS Altilium hydrogen battery energy storage system
iRPM Pty LtdInnovative Reservoir Petrophysical Modelling
Courses2Careers Pty Ltd t/a VooGlueVooGlue App
Sapien Cyber LtdBuilding Management Systems Cyber Security

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New Industries Fund is a sponsor of Startup News