Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said a total of $150,000 was on offer to the State’s brightest minds to put forward their inventions and ideas.
“Now in its eighth year, the awards have showcased the creative talents, research genius and business expertise of hundreds of inventors, innovators and scientists,” Mr Mischin said.
“In addition to the prize money, winners and finalists are provided with business skills and investment-ready training, marketing and networking opportunities and exposure.”
Last year’s overall winner, Professor Gordon Parkinson and his team from Curtin University developed a new process for making improved membranes for increased production of oxygen.
Since winning the award, Professor Parkinson’s team has made significant progress in developing and commercialising this process and signing contracts with companies in the United States of America, China and Russia.
BHP Billiton Iron Ore recently entered into a multi-million dollar contract with 2012 Finalist ICM Technologies for the supply and service of their innovative REMSAFE isolation system.
The system, for conveyors and related equipment, avoids hours of unplanned production downtime on mine sites, ports and materials handling facilities.
“These are significant results, which with other equally-outstanding local innovations, bring valuable health, education, employment and financial returns to our whole community,” the Minister said.
Mr Mischin also announced internationally-renowned burns experts and inventor of spray-on skin cell technology Professor Fiona Wood as the new patron of the Innovator of the Year program.