InnovationAus Awards recognise climate tech, quantum and space


Sea Forest’s Sam Elsom with Squiz chief executive John-Paul Syriatowicz. Image: InnovationAus.

Tasmanian climate change tech company, Sea Forest Limited, took home three trophies at InnovationAus’ inaugural Awards for Excellence on 1 December, including the People’s Choice and Australian Hero that was shared with quantum computing company, Q-CTRL. Gilmour Space Technologies was awarded the eagerly anticipated Space & Remote Automation category. 

“Australia is globally recognised for the quality of its research and world-class university sector. With the focus now turning to commercialisation, these awards bring a lens on the ambition and energy of our entrepreneurs at a critical point in time,” InnovationAus publisher Corrie McLeod said. 

“The winners have demonstrated success in key sectors that have been recognised by our government as priorities for our future. InnovationAus prides itself in shining a bright light on the people and the companies that are building Australia’s future industries.” 

The finalists represent the nation’s most innovative and resourceful start-ups and scale-ups, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with giants of industry, McLeod said. 

Held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at The Rocks in Sydney and streamed online, the awards featured a keynote address from Robyn Denholm, the chair of global car and renewable energy company Tesla, as well as chair of the Technology Council of Australia. 

With 400 guests at the event and more online, the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence recognised the depth and breadth of talent that Australia produces across a broad swathe of sectors. It also featured ministerial addresses from Australian minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor and shadow minister for Industry and Innovation Ed Husic, as well as NSW minister for Customer Service and minister for Digital Victor Dominello. 

“Australia has always been a nation that has punched above its weight when it comes to innovation,” Denholm said. “Our latest generation of talent have excelled in new areas of crucial technologies, such as software as a service for both enterprise and consumer applications, artificial intelligence for medical imaging, food processing, employee safety, cybersecurity, quantum computing and even producing the new generation of WiFi Halo chips. 

“These awards celebrate the achievements of some of our country’s best innovators. I hope that these stories of InnovationAus’ award recipients, will be passed along in the houses of Parliament, in the board room, and also at your own kitchen table, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of smart young Australians, to get into tech.” 

InnovationAus thanked everybody who supported them to bring the program together, including the Awards for Excellence advisors and judges, and honoured Patrons, Australia’s chief scientist Dr Cathy Foley and business leader David Thodey. 

“We are absolutely delighted to bring together the best of the best in the technology sector and celebrate the enormous talent within this truly innovation ecosystem,” InnovationAus editorial director James Riley said. 

“Today’s winners and finalists have shown us that if we are ambitious and smart about the way that we do things there are tremendous opportunities in front of us.” 

The InnovationAus Awards for Excellence winners include: 

  • Australian Hero Award
    Winner: Sea Forest Limited and Q-CTRL
    Highly-commended finalists are 

    • eSafety Commissioner   
    • UNSW Smart Centre   
  • People’s Choice Award 
    Winner: Sea Forest Limited   
    Highly-commended finalists are  

    • CSIRO – Coviu   
    • Avertro 
  • Wildcard Award 
    Winner: Nuheara
    Highly-commended finalists are  

    • Baraja   
    • Advanced Mobility Analytics   
  • Award for Space & Remote Automation 
    Winner: Gilmour Space Technologies 
  • Award for Advanced Manufacturing 
    Winner: Baraja
    Highly-commended finalists are 

    • Marinova Pty Ltd  
    • SPEE3D  
  • Award for Cybersecurity 
    Winner: Haventec  
    Highly-commended finalists are  

    • eSafety Commissioner   
    • BRYK Group  
  • Award for Defence Industry 
    Winner: DroneShield  
  • Award for Energy & Renewables 
    Winner: eleXsys Energy
    Highly-commended finalists are 

    • Vast Solar  
    • NOJA Power  
  • Award for Food & Agritech 
    Winner: Sea Forest Limited  
  • Award for Medtech & Biotechnology 
    Winner: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute 
    Highly-commended finalists are 

    • CSIRO & Coviu  
    • SleepTite  
  • Award for Mining Equipment, Technology & Services 
    Winner: Presien  
    Highly-commended finalists are  

    • Pitcrew AI  
    • Dash Tools, by BHP 
  • Award for Research Translation 
    Winner: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute 
    Highly-commended finalists are  

    • UNSW SMaRT Centre  
    • Advanced Mobility Analytics 
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