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Innovators of the Year finalists revealed

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Anneke de Boer
// // WA Innovator of the Year and Curtinnovation Awards have both announced their finalists...

The finalists for the 18th WA Innovator of the Year have been announced: 17 finalists were selected over five categories with winners to share in a prize pool worth $220,000.

Those who have made it to the shortlist for the awards will now take part in a series of free training sessions, covering pitching, mentoring, digital and social media strategy. They will also receive legal, intellectual property and accountancy advice, as well as photography and video services as part of their finalists’ package.

The two main categories are Rio Tinto Innovation Category (for pre-revenue innovations) and Growth Category (for post-revenue), with 6 finalists in each.

Three other categories cover well-being solutions, energy innovation and ‘Great for the State’.

WA Innovation and Digital Economy Minister Stephen Dawson has extended his congratulations to the finalist.

“It is fantastic to see local companies coming up with solutions that will appeal to the global market,” Mr Dawson said.

Innovators of the Year finalists revealed

As well as all the PR of being an award-winner, there is $80,000 increase in the prize pool this year, with the overall winner taking home $100.000.

“The WA Innovator of the Year awards continue to showcase the State’s innovation talent and each nominee should be very proud of what they’ve achieved,” said Minister Dawson.

Last year’s overall WA Innovator of the Year was the medtech Neurotologix, in recognition of their remote patient monitoring device for dizziness and vertigo.

Three months after winning, Neurotologix received an Accelerating Commercialisation grant from the Federal Government worth over $780,000.

Winners for this year will be revealed at an awards ceremony on November 21.

Curtinnovation reveals its finalists

Meanwhile, the annual Curtinnovation Awards has also (for the first time) revealed its own finalists.

A deployable sensor system capable of flying under the radar to track aircraft and satellites, a chatbot designed to support mental health in young people and a leading national education platform that is improving access to school content are among the 19 finalists announced today.

“The judging panel and selection committee, made up of industry professionals, has unanimously agreed this year’s pool of applicants is among the highest quality we have seen in the award’s 16-year history,” said Curtin University Commercialisation Director Rohan McDougall.

“It’s clear from the outstanding field of finalists that WA’s innovation-driven ecosystem is growing from strength to strength.

“These awards recognise and celebrate individuals and teams developing new innovations through research, study or work at Curtin University that has the potential to significantly benefit society.”

For more information about the Curtinnovation Awards, visit here.

The finalists in this year’s Curtinnovation Awards are:

  • A new AI-driven model to predict pineapple quality based on the fruit’s skin colour
  • Tempo: a two-sided marketplace for health providers and health professionals working the gig economy to fill shifts and contracts.
  • A deployable space domain awareness sensor system
  • SpeedSig: a new way to understand how athletes run
  • An electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen from untreated-water
  • MYLO: a new mental health chatbot to support mental health of young Australians and beyond
  • A natural dye extract from the iconic southwest Western Australian Marri gum
  • Elucidate Education: a not-for-profit education platform providing students with free access to school content they need to succeed.
  • Curtin ANI Research: an automated self-service market research solution​ for SMEs
  • Hydrobe®: a scalable carbon elimination process for production of Bio-hydrogen and high value products
  • A new treatment for Human African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness)
  • The XIoT Health Tag: a new livestock health & wellbeing monitoring device
  • A decontamination process to remove toxic elements from mining-influenced water
  • Democratic Climate Bonds: a novel financial instrument that combines climate bonds and deliberative democracy to facilitate climate action
  • A valuation method for Asian options
  • MacroMop: a treatment option for cancer patients, that can remove diseased tissue
  • A decision support tool for the optimisation of drill and blast designs
  • A program to build positive school cultures, called System-Wide Foundation for Improvement.
  • A pelletisation technology to decarbonise iron and steel making


Curtin University is a sponsor of Startup News.

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Anneke de Boer

Anneke has an interest in the Western Australian startup community, is a contributor at Startup News and Reporter at The Property Tribune. She studies a Bachelor of Arts and Commerce, Journalism and Economics at Curtin University.
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