The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and its research commercialisation partner, UniQuest, have launched the 2012 Trailblazer (opens an external site) entrepreneurial ideas and innovations competition, with a share of $100,000 worth of cash prizes on offer.
UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said Trailblazer was a popular and successful program for stimulating and rewarding entrepreneurial thinking among Australian researchers.
“Trailblazer is a unique opportunity for students and researchers to bring to light brilliant ideas that have the potential to change the way lives are lived, products are made or how businesses are run in the future,” said Mr Henderson.
“Trailblazer was started at The University of Queensland in 2003 and first run at UTS in 2008. UniQuest has since worked with various UTS Trailblazer finalists to attract wider interest in their work,” he said.
“Over the past decade, former Trailblazer finalists, including from UTS, have, collectively, attracted more than $20 million in grants and commercial investment to further their research. This demonstrates the calibre of the ideas entered in Trailblazer and the potential of those ideas to better our lives - just imagine the difference if water purification had never been discovered, or the electric light, or even psychoanalysis.”
In 2011, Dr Andrew Hutchinson from the School of Medical and Molecular Sciences collected $19,000 in Trailblazer prize money for his novel multiple myeloma therapy. Dr Hutchinson won the staff awards at both the UTS Final and the Grand Final.
Trailblazer is open to staff and students from all UTS faculties, institutes and research centres. Entries can relate to businesses, products, services, technologies or other innovations but must have the potential to ‘spark’ something bigger and brighter and beneficial for many people.
Up to 20 finalists will be selected for the 2012 UTS Final on 22 August. Finalists must pitch their ideas to a judging panel that includes experts in intellectual property management, business development, research commercialisation and industry engagement.
Over $12,000 in cash prizes will be awarded at a special presentation ceremony at the end of the Final. Winners from the University Final will go on to compete for two $25,000 cash prizes at a Grand Final to be held in Brisbane on 4 September. Grand Finalists will also be drawn from The University of Queensland, University of Tasmania, and James Cook University.
All entrants will have a chance to win an iPad, with one prize drawn at University Final Awards Ceremony and another at the Grand Final.
Finalists also will have the opportunity to develop their pitching skills by attending professional presentation training sessions and working closely with UniQuest’s UTS-based Managers of Innovation and Commercial Development.
This year’s Trailblazer Series is sponsored by patent and trade mark attorneys Davies Collison Cave and Fisher Adams Kelly. Other sponsors include Campus Travel; corporate training company NRG Solutions; patent and trade mark attorneys and IP lawyers Griffith Hack; law firm DibbsBarker; and broadcast events facilitator Redback Conferencing.
Entries close on Friday 13 July. Finalists will be announced on Wednesday 1 August. For more information about the event, past winners, and entry details, visit the Trailblazer website (opens an external site).