Highlighting Australia’s reputation for ingenuity and research excellence, seven Australians were last night honoured with ‘Innovation Hero’ Awards for their contribution to the nation.
The award winners all have been recognised for their pioneering research leading to innovative technology that has become commercially successful around the world.
“The seven winners were announced at last night’s Innovation Lecture, presented annually by the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering,” said Peter North, Chairman of The Warren Centre.
“These Awards are a celebration of Australian ingenuity. They recognise formally and publicly individuals who have made a significant achievement in commercialising a new technology by developing a technology-driven product or service, raising capital and undertaking commercial marketing.”
Two of this year’s Innovation Hero Award winners are Elizabeth Lewis-Gray and Sandy Gray of Ballarat-based Gekko Systems, a company highly regarded for its mineral processing systems used for the recovery of gold, diamonds and other valuable heavy minerals.
“Our experience is that mine sites recognise that with new technology comes an increase in production and profits due to greater recovery and lower capital costs,” says Ms Lewis-Gray.
“Our focus has always been and continues to be developing innovative solutions for the mining industry.”
Gekko’s current R and D project, which is nearing completion, is to develop a process to treat ore underground. It promises to be a revolutionary technology poised to change the face of underground processing globally.
The other five Innovation Hero Award winners are:
Dr David Noon and Lyle Bruce: for pioneering the application of slope stability radar technology in monitoring the stability of rock walls in open-cut mines, and, through GroundProbe, achieving commercial success through deployment of the technology in mines world-wide.
Dr Julie Vonwiller and Chris Vonwiller: for development of a range of innovative language processing products, speech data bases and related services, and achieving an international reputation and commercial success through Appen.