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Otago scientist makes commercialisation awards finals

Monday 4 May 2015 11:23am

Dr Stephen Sowerby has made the finals of the KiwiNet Research Commercialisations Awards.

Otago’s Applied Sciences Programme Director Dr Stephen Sowerby has been named as a finalist in the third annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards.

The KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards are designed to celebrate commercialisation success within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes. Dr Sowerby is one of four scientists nationally chosen as finalists in the Researcher Entrepreneur Award category.

His Awards profile notes that the importance of leading the University’s Applied Science Programme by example is something he is acutely aware of and a firm believer in.

It continues: “An entrepreneurial researcher himself, Dr Sowerby strives to impart the value of commercially-focused research to his Applied Science students and other academic staff members. In order to do this he draws on his experiences in science innovation and enterprise and in particular from the two companies he co-founded around his most recent inventions.

“The first had research and industrial applications in nanoparticle analysis, while the second in New Zealand’s vitally important agricultural sector. Not limited to New Zealand though, the owners of these technologies are taking them to the world.

“As evidenced through his achievements to date, Dr Sowerby’s research ethos aligns strongly with government signals that seek commercially applicable outcomes from publicly funded research. While he is very comfortable striving to solve industrial problems through science, this focus also extends to his primary research curiosity in new ways of analysing single molecules of DNA and in the chemical origins of life as a route to novel nanotechnologies.”

All finalists will deliver a presentation in the final stage of judging on 17 June in Auckland. Winners will be announced at a reception that evening. The BNZ Supreme Award will be presented to the entry which demonstrates overall excellence in all core areas of research commercialisation. A People’s Choice Award will also be presented.