5 August 2008

The development of low-cost, synthetic vaccines; a system to efficiently mass-produce a form of Hyaluronic Acid for clinical uses; a clotting agent from Brown snake venom; and a synthetic implant for repairing knee cartilage pads were the wining projects in UniQuest’s annual $40,000 innovative ideas competition, Trailblazer.

With sponsorship from Davies Collison Cave Patent Attorneys, Southern Cross Venture Partners, and Fisher Adams Kelly Patent Attorneys, the competition attracted a high calibre of researchers whose ideas had commercial potential, said UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson.

“Now in its sixth year, Trailblazer has become a successful vehicle for encouraging and rewarding innovative ideas, technologies and research projects as well as giving researchers some experience with pitching their ideas to potential partners,” said Mr Henderson.

“As with previous Trailblazer competitions, we’re hoping to work with the winners to commercialise their work,” he said.

Open category winners:

Mr Esteban Marcellin, AIBN: A safer and cheaper form of Hyaluronic Acid for use in eye surgery.

Dr Paul Masci, HEALTH: Venom-derived serum samples for biochemical testing to improve the quality of pathology results

Dr Cedryck Vaquette, AIBN: A stronger implant to structurally and functionally mimic the meniscus in the knee.

Dr Joanne Blanchfield, BACS: Innovative synthetic vaccine construction.

Student category winners:

Ms Tarnya Cox, NRAVS: An animal repellent based on tiger poo that can be used to keep unwanted animals such as goats and kangaroos away from farming and forestry sites .

Ms Therese Seldon, BACS: a diagnostic test for early detection of organ rejection
in transplant patients.

Dr Helen Stallman, SBS: Triple P positive parenting program complement to support families following divorce.

Open Category – Highly Commended

Dr Michael Doran, AIBN: A tissue bandage to repair damaged heart muscle.

Dr Laurence Rossato, SMI: a process for detoxifying land and water contaminated with heavy metals.

Student Category – Highly Commended

Mr Yasharth Krishna, BEL: a digital advertising system for small businesses.

Ms Alison Mandrusiak, HEALTH: FitKit “exercise program in a bag” for treating children with cystic fibrosis.

Media: Leanne Wyvill (3365 4037, 0409 767 199)