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WA takes out 3 of 9 national iAwards

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Charlie Gunningham
National iAwards 2021
// // Local tech businesses and startups did WA proud in the national tech awards

Three state winners from this year’s Incite Awards won awards in last night’s National iAwards categories.

WA tech companies also walked with five merit awards, capping off a fantastic night showcasing local startups and tech businesses on the national stage.

They will be off to compete in the international awards through the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA).

WA’s 3 national category winners

  • Chief Judge Award Winner: What The Doctor Said (Sarah Doyle)
  • Startup of the Year Winner: Avicena Systems (Paul Ostergaard, Paul Watt)
  • Government and Public Sector Solution Winner: SpacetoCo (Jeremy Hurst)

WA’s 5 merit awards winners

  • Business and Industry Solutions Merits: Avicena Systems and Rio Tinto (Lido Costa)
  • Not for Profit and Community Solutions of the Year Merits: What the Doctor Said and Missions Connect (Curtin University, Reena Tiwari)
  • Technology Solutions Platform of the Year Merit: Avicena Systems

Australian Startup of the Year is from WA

Avicena Systems CEO Tony Fitzgerald said the awards were well-deserved recognition for the outstanding technological innovation of the Avicena team, including co-founders Paul Ostergaard and Paul Watt.

I’m incredibly proud that Avicena represents home-grown West Australian innovation that potentially will help millions of people around the world by contributing towards a faster, easier and more comfortable global COVID-19 screening solution.

Tony Fitzgerald

“As the world begins to learn to live with COVID-19, Avicena’s technology is stepping up to facilitate, in particular, the return of large-scale air travel while protecting the health of passengers and airline staff.”

Avicena’s nationally award-winning technology is built around state-of-the-art LAMP chemistry and robotics to deliver an end-to-end screening solution. The platform is cloud-linked to support automatic secure tracking of sample processing, delivering results in a variety of high throughput settings.

WA takes out 3 of 9 national iAwards
Paul Ostergaard accepting the national win last night at the online 2021 iAwards

The system involves taking saliva samples (rather than swabs from the nose or throat), with a rapid turnaround time, at a fraction of the cost of PCR tests, and delivering comparable results for infectious individuals. The Avicena Sentinel system can be adapted to large scale screening for other infectious diseases including SARS, Malaria, Zika, Dengue fever, Hepatitis-B, and Tuberculosis.

In July 2021, Avicena achieved Australian Federal Government recognition, with a $3 million Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) grant to enable Avicena to significantly expand its manufacturing capabilities and to accelerate global roll-out for its ultra-high throughput COVID-19 screening solution.

Congratulations again to all these WA finalists, winners and merits, and to all of tech innovators across the nation.

As the iAwards Chief Judge – Collins Rex – reiterated: “Innovation is truly alive in Australia.” and maybe we add … Western Australia.

Congrats to all the organisers of the 30th WAITTA Incite Awards this year, judges and sponsors, nominees, finalists and winners. A great show, and now nationally recognised too.

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Charlie Gunningham

Former co-founder, GM, CEO Business News and Accelerating Commercialisation adviser. Charlie has spent 20+ years in Perth's startup scene, as founder, mentor, adviser, writer and investor. There's nothing he likes more than helping early stage tech startups ... and drinking coffee, shiraz or playing in a blues band. Email Charlie here.
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