Massey students and start-ups recognised at the 2022 KiwiNet Awards
10 October 2022
Massey innovations including cauliflower ice-cream and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance technologies were celebrated as winners of the 10th annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards. The Awards celebrate the scientific discoveries being successfully developed and launched into the market from New Zealand’s universities, Crown Research Institutes, and other research organisations and their impact on Aotearoa and beyond.
Among the winners was Mrinali Kumar, a Massey University student set to launch Kinda; a cauliflower-based ice cream. Kinda makes animal-free foods taste better using science, technology, and kiwi ingenuity. The first product range to market is ice cream, which uses a key ingredient utilising 93% less land, 81% less water, produces 84% less greenhouse gasses and 53% less nutrient runoff into the environment, compared to dairy milk. Kinda ice cream has been created with an innovative formulation using cauliflower - this makes a creamier, dairy-like texture with higher melting stability than competitor products. Kinda doesn’t like food waste, so they have partnered with Social Enterprise - Perfectly Imperfect to utilise ‘cosmetically imperfect’ cauliflower and to add value to New Zealand growers.
Mrinali Kumar was the winner in the Momentum Student Entrepreneur category. The award recognises a highly motivated university student who is making outstanding contributions to business innovation or who has created an innovative business in New Zealand. Check out Mrinali Kumar’s finalist video here.
Mrinali Kumar – 2022 Momentum Student Entrepreneur of the Year and co-founder of Kinda. Credit: Sciencelens
Joining Kumar in the winners’ circle was Magritek, a hugely successful business which grew out of decades of world-class research at Massey University – Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa and Victoria University of Wellington – Te Herenga Waka. Magritek was founded by the late Sir Paul Callaghan and today produces the Spinsolve Benchtop NMR Spectrometer, a global leading product which measures the chemical structure of molecules. Magritek continues to follow a strong growth trajectory, successfully outcompeting several large listed scientific instrumentation companies in this field. Meanwhile, Massey has sold some of their shares in the company and reinvested the proceeds in building the next generation of university-derived start-up companies.
Magritek was the winner in the Commercialisation Impact category. The category celebrates a project delivering outstanding innovation performance and generating significant impact for New Zealand. Check out Magritek’s finalist video here.
Andrew Coy from Magritek accepts the 2022 Commercialisation Impact Award. Credit: Sciencelens
Also recognised at the KiwiNet Awards were two other Massey finalists. Massey student, Muhammad Rehan is developing an ingestible robot for gut sampling and was a finalist in the Momentum Student Entrepreneur category. Check out Muhammad Rehan’s finalist video here.
Muhammad Rehan – Finalist in the Momentum Student Entrepreneur Category.
Dr Richard Winkworth is the Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Technologies Ltd, a start-up creating the next generation of anywhere, anytime genetic diagnostics for applications in horticulture, agriculture, and environmental monitoring. Dr Winkworth is a finalist in the Breakthrough Innovator category, check out his finalist video here.
Dr Richard Winkworth – Finalist in the Breakthrough Innovator category.
Alongside the finalists, were a delegation from Massey Ventures Ltd, the commercialisation arm of the University. Commercialisation manager Dan Carlisle says that the awards recognise the incredible mahi and innovation that Massey produces.
“The KiwiNet awards represent the pinnacle in New Zealand research commercialisation excellence and Massey has once again cemented itself as leaders in the space.”
The success at the KiwiNet Awards follow earlier achievements at the 2022 KCA Australasian Research Commercialisation awards where Massey Ventures were awarded Best Licensing Deal in Australasia.
KiwiNet CEO Dr James Hutchinson says the outstanding quality of finalists and winners in the 10th annual KiwiNet Awards represent how the collective skillset across the research commercialisation ecosystem has stepped up over the past decade, a positive sign of things to come.
“The finalist presentations were fantastic, with high-quality technology, deals, investors, and expertise combining to turn research discoveries into high-impact new technologies and services. We also celebrated the thousands of research discoveries universities and research institutes have worked on over the past ten years to bring them to market. We’re now at an inflexion point – with the sophistication and maturity of the ecosystem delivering enormous environmental, social, and economic impact in Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond.”