Category Archives: Research & Innovation

HIT Lab Open Day – Let’s Get Connected!

 

The HIT Lab NZ is holding an Open Day

You’ll have a chance to:
  • communicate with robots
  • run, jump and walk through virtual worlds
  • visit Antarctica without leaving your seat – it’s like you are there
Human Interface Technology Lab is a research lab within the College of Engineering. Human Interface Technology aims to improve interactive technology to meet users’ needs. This tech can enhance countless parts of our lives. Current project topics include: medicine, education and training, entertainment, psychology, arts, and business.
 
We want to explore collaboration options, and show you our innovative projects.
 
  • Can we improve your research?
  • Do you want to get involved?
  • Are you curious?

All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday 21 November, 2018
Visit any time between 2.00pm and 7.00pm
Level 2, John Britten Building
69 Creyke Road, Ilam, Christchurch
https://www.hitlabnz.org/

 

The Jumpstart 2018 winners have been announced

An innovative biological treatment to overcome antibiotic resistance, a pioneering technique to create environmentally friendly, near-zero waste processes in the galvanising industry, and a diagnostic test to save mother and baby from life-threatening pre-eclampsia are among the winners in this year’s University of Canterbury (UC) Innovation Jumpstart competition.

Five prizes of $20,000 were awarded funding from KiwiNet. Additionally, technology incubators WNT Ventures and Astrolab chose two projects to receive $35,000 worth of practical services.

Innovation Jumpstart gives UC researchers from all disciplines, including arts, science, education, engineering, business and law, the opportunity to transform their ideas and research into commercial reality.

The Jumpstart competition is in its ninth year with researchers from across the university encouraged to consider how their ideas and research may hold the potential to transform into a commercial reality.

The competition was judged by a panel of entrepreneurs and industry leaders, including representatives from Callaghan Innovation, technology incubators WNT Ventures and Astrolab, UC alumni and staff.

The judges included award-winning entrepreneur and UC alumnus Dennis Chapman, entrepreneur Paul Davis, Ara Deputy Chair Elizabeth Hopkins, tech investor Greg Sitters who is a Managing Partner of Matū, a venture fund specialising in early stage science and technology startups. 

Innovation Jumpstart winners:

WNT Ventures prize:

Recovery of feedstock chemicals from dilute solution

Dr Matthew Cowan (Chemical and Process Engineering)

A novel technology for recovering unused materials from machine or industrial processes. Dr Matthew Cowan proposes creating a technology which will make producing speciality plastics and chemicals more efficient and create less waste. The recycling of waste products from these chemical reactions will create economic benefits for an international market with potential for engineering and operational jobs.

Astrolab prize:

Enzymes for controlling Gram-negative pathogenic microbes in food, medicine, and veterinary industries

Associate Professor Renwick Dobson (Biomolecular Interactions Centre, School of Biological Sciences), doctoral candidate Michael Love and Dr Craig Billington (ESR)

Innovative resistance-proof bacteria-killing enzymes that are safe to treat both humans and animals. This treatment will save lives, reduce healthcare costs and be an alternative to antibiotics as a safer and cheaper option. The application of this research will have many implications across multiple industries, creating new treatment options for infections in the medical industry, becoming a low-cost solution to untreatable on-farm bacterial disease, and being a biosecurity treatment for cross-contamination for food that is vulnerable to microbial pathogens.

New diagnostic test for life-threatening condition in pregnancy for mother and child

Dr Jennifer Crowther (Biomolecular Interactions Centre, School of Biological Sciences), Professor Mark Hampton (University of Otago), Dr Neil Pattinson (ChristchurchNZ), Associate Professor Renwick Dobson

Pre-eclampsia is a life-threatening condition for both mother and child that occurs in around 5% of all pregnancies. This diagnostic test uses a biomarker of patients presenting with altered levels of a particular protein to diagnose early in order to closely monitor symptoms and prolong the duration of the pregnancy. This illness currently has no consistent predictive testing method to identify the presence of the illness at an early-stage.

Innovative spin coating to create environmentally friendly materials

Associate Professor Mathieu Sellier (Mechanical Engineering), Dr Volker Nock and Associate Professor Shayne Gooch

A pioneering technology using a new multi-axis spin to coat items in the micro-electronics and optic industry. Associate Professor Sellier proposes a reliable and easy to use process to thin coating of curved surfaces with thin filament creating consistent results every time. This unique technology could disrupt multiple industries.

An eco-friendly solution to reuse acid waste from galvanising plants

Dr Aaron Marshall (Chemical and Process Engineering)

This innovative method recycles iron and zinc from the process of galvanising steel to protect it from corrosion, in order to save resources and recycle waste. Developed from an industry problem, this tech promises to save the industry by up to 70% of its pre-galvanising cleaning costs which could save companies hundreds of thousands each year.

Workshop on Reproducibility and Integrity in Scientific Research  

There is more and more evidence that findings from many scientific studies cannot be reproduced, casting doubt on the reliability of these studies. 

On October 26, 2018,  at the ‘Reproducibility and Integrity in Scientific Research’ workshop,  we will discuss the extent of this replication crisis, explore various methods that can be used to check whether a study can be replicated, and present tools that can be used to make one’s own research more reproducible and trustworthy.

  • Date: Friday 26 October, 9:00am – 17:00pm
  • Place: UC Business School, Meremere, Room 236
  • Registration (important for catering purposes): email tom.coupe@canterbury.ac.nz

 Speakers and titles of the presentations

[you can find abstracts here]

  • Anton Angelo (UC Library): Transparency and reproducibility – It’s all about layers.
  • Arin Basu (UC Health Sciences): What about Why?
  • Annette N. Brown (FHI 360, Chief Science Office): Which tests not witch hunts: A diagnostic approach to conducting replication research
  • Brian Haig (UC Psychology): Understanding replication in a way that is true to science.
  • Jeff Miller (University of Otago, Psychology): The statistical fundamentals of (non)-replicability
  • Thomas Pfeiffer (Massey University, Computational Biology/Biochemistry): Betting on your peers’ results: A tale of three markets
  • Robert Reed (UC Business School): An update on the progress of replications in economics
  • Philip Schluter (UC Health Sciences): A Bayesian alternative to hypothesis testing
  • Eric Vanman (University of Queensland, Psychology). How pre-registrations can improve science: Tales from the front-line
  • Ben Wood (Integra LLC): Lessons learned from running a social science replication program

PROGRAM

Time Activity
9:00-9:30 Registration
9:30-9:35 Introduction
9:35-11:05 SESSION: Replication – Theory and Current Status
11:05-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-12:30 SESSION: How to Detect the Truth
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-15:00 SESSION: Making Research More Reproducible
15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
15:30-16:30 SESSION: Observations from the Front Lines
16:30-17:00 Closing

More information on the replication crisis can be found on the Replication Network Website

This workshop is supported by the University of Canterbury Business School Research Committee.

Innovation Jumpstart momentum builds as all colleges jump in

At a time when the Innovation Jumpstart Competition is branching out into exciting new territory, UC Research & Innovation were thrilled to received 20 entries the second highest number of entries in six years of running the competition. 

This comes at a time when the competition branches out into brave new territory.  Formerly Tech Jumpstart, the new name refocuses the concept of innovation across all of UC’s disciplines and colleges.

Applications came from every college 

ENGINEERING                          11  = 55%

SCIENCE                                         6 = 30%

ARTS                                                  1 = 5%

BUSINESS and LAW                  1 = 5%

EDUCATION, HEALTH
and
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT    1 = 5%                                                                                                          

Digging deeper:

  • 10 submissions (50%) were from individual researchers
  • 10 submissions (50%) were contributed by two or more researchers as a team
  • 36 academic staff in total
  • 7 staff (19%) had submitted in the previous 2017 Tech Jumpstart Competition
  • 29 staff (81%) were submitting for the first time.

What’s next?

Shortlisting is happening Tuesday  21 August by a group of external and internal judges followed by the top entries presenting their proposals on Thursday 13 September.

The top five projects will receive $20,000 funding each to help with innovation and technology development, as well as commercialisation support from Research & Innovation (R&I) and possible access to additional funding sources for continued development.

Awards ceremony – reminder that the Innovation Jumpstart Competition 2018 Awards Ceremony will be held on 3 October, 6:00pm – 7:30pm in the UC Council Chambers, Matariki Building.
Applicants and others interested are invited to attend. RSVP information will be provided closer to the time.

Prime Minister’s Science Prizes – applications close on 5 September

Aotearoa New Zealand’s most talented established and emerging scientists, science teachers and science communicators able to apply for awards worth a combined value of $1 million across five categories.

The major prize, worth $500,000, is presented to an individual or team whose research has had significant impact in New Zealand or internationally. Previous winners have been recognised for research in areas ranging from health to climate change to new energy technologies.

The Prime Minister’s Science Prize categories are:

The Prime Minister’s Science Prize, $500,000

This will be awarded to an individual or team for a transformative scientific discovery or achievement, which has had a significant economic, health, social and/or environmental impact in the last five years on New Zealand or internationally

The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize, $200,000

This will be awarded to an outstanding emerging scientist who has had their PhD conferred, within the past eight years (i.e. from 1 January 2010 onwards)

The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize, $150,000

This will be awarded to a registered teacher who has been teaching science, mathematics, technology, pūtaiao, hangarau or pāngarau learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum to school-age children in a primary, intermediate or secondary New Zealand registered school.

The Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize, $100,000

This will be awarded to a practising scientist who can demonstrate an interest, passion and aptitude for science communication and public engagement, or to a person who has developed expertise in public engagement with, or communication of, complex scientific or technological information to the public or science community.

The Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize, $50,000 tertiary scholarship

This will be awarded to a Year 12 or Year 13 student for outstanding achievement in carrying out a practical and innovative science, mathematics, technology or engineering project.

To find out more and to lodge entries visit:

www.pmscienceprizes.org.nz