UOW announces Illawarra Innovation Quest finalists

Three Illawarra businesses nominated for final pitch

UOW announces Illawarra Innovation Quest finalists

Three Illawarra-based businesses were announced as state finalists at the Illawarra Innovation Quest hosted by the University of Wollongong (UOW) on Wednesday 28 October 2020.

The Illawarra Innovation Quest is part of NSW Government’s COVID-19 recovery plan. The Innovation Districts Challenges are designed to accelerate the commercialisation of research products that enable businesses to address the impacts of COVID-19.

UOW invited Illawarra businesses to take part in the Illawarra Innovation Quest to confront the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The first challenge was focused on addressing health and wellbeing issues caused due to COVID-19.

Five businesses took part in the Illawarra Innovation Quest finals, presenting their innovative solutions to health and wellbeing problems in communities affected by COVID-19. Three businesses were then selected to take part in the state finals.

The three state finalists announced at the Illawarra Innovation Quest were:

  • Julian Spencer, Critical Arc;
  • Linda Simonsen, Kleu and;
  • Peter Jenkinson, ShoreCool

UOW Council Member and Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Ms Nieves Murray congratulated the participants and said the Illawarra community has resilience and innovation in its DNA.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a watershed event in the history of Australia and the entire world,” Ms Murray said.

“It’s challenging our public health systems and our experts. Beyond the public health crisis, it’s brought unprecedented shifts in our global economy, our society and how we live as families and individuals.

“Our community here in the Illawarra is incredibly resilient. It’s a community that survived and thrived through many challenges over the years. And it’s this resilience and capacity to adapt that has rested in part on the innovative business people that live here and work here.”

The finalists were chosen by a team of experts based on the innovativeness of their solution to address the health and wellbeing challenges, and their capability to deliver the solutions presented to the panel.

These finalists will now receive support from UOW in preparing for the final pitch where they will compete with other businesses at the pitch event hosted by the NSW Government. The Government is providing a funding pool of $500,000 for each challenge round.

Full pitch event video can be downloaded from dropbox link.

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