Two Otago Chemists named as finalist in finals of the 2016 KiwiNet Awards
Monday 16 May 2016
Congratulations to Dr Carla Melendandri and Associate Professor Stephen Moratti who are both finalists in the 2016 KiwiNet Awards.
Carla has been nominated for the Norman F. Barry Trust Emerging Innovator Award which recognises an entrepreneurial researcher who has made outstanding contributions to business innovation or has created innovative businesses in New Zealand through technology licencing, start-up creation or by providing expertise to support business innovation.
Carla received her PhD in Chemistry at Dublin City University in 2009 specialising in nano-materials. Since completing her PhD, Carla’s career has focused on pushing the frontiers of science to solve real world problems. The result is a rapid accumulation of commercial opportunities, including a technology licenced to a multinational dental company. Having achieved such great progress so early in her career, Carla is certainly an inspiration to other early career scientists and is well on the way to transforming her science into excellent economic outcomes for New Zealand.
Stephen has been nominated for the Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur Award which recognises an entrepreneurial researcher who has made outstanding contributions to business innovation or has created innovative businesses in New Zealand through technology licencing, start-up creation or by providing expertise to support business innovation.
Stephen is in charge of a team at the University of Otago that has developed and commercialized an exciting new gel material for post-surgical healing based on natural polymers, soon to be launched in the US. Using private capital a company has been formed and manufacturing has started in Wellington, with the product to be launched in the US later this year. This gel dramatically reduces complications such as adhesions, infection and bleeding in many types of surgeries and was developed entirely through government and university funding.
KiwiNet Awards 2016 finalists will deliver a final presentation to judges on 30 June in Auckland and winners will be announced at a reception that evening.