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07-Sep-2017 00:05

Following the signing of a mountain of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with companies keen to protect their intellectual property, the two CREs are working on proofs of concept to solve problems for seven companies they’ve matched to various scientists.

The scientists are now starting to produce some solutions the companies can use as a competitive advantage, and in some cases may even lead to new intellectual property.

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Justin Hodgkiss, Mac Diarmid’s deputy director for commercialisation and industry engagement, says what they didn’t realise in the inaugural challenge was the legal hassles the NDAs would cause.

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Asking industry to set problems for the Dodd-Walls Centre and the Mac Diarmid Institute has really got everybody excited. Mac Diarmid Deputy Director Justin Hodgkiss on Radio NZ Business News on 10 May Mac Diarmid Deputy Director Justin Hodgkiss on Nine to Noon this morning 23 May The NBR interviewed one of our industry partners, Dr Andrew West, about the Interface Industry Challenge – the podcast is on the NBR site (Transcript from NBR site) “ Two Crown research institutes, the Mac Diarmid Institute and the Dodd-Walls Centre, wanted to connect their top scientists with some of New Zealand’s most innovative companies and showcase what they could do for them.

The companies are excited about tapping into top research minds, and the scientists are excited about working with and making a contribution to these companies.” Under the ‘Interface Industry Challenge’, the Dodd-Walls Centre and the Mac Diarmid Institute put out a call to New Zealand companies to come up with problems needing a hi-tech science solution. So they launched an Interface Industry Challenge late last year asking companies to come up with commercial problems they couldn’t solve within their own technological capability, which the CREs will help solve for free.

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Everyone has a friend or two who takes that much longer to respond to emails because they just don’t ever check their accounts, who don’t want to join social networks and who never pop up on IM and gmail-chat. The seven companies involved range from larger companies such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Buckley Systems to startups Avertana, Lanaco, Aquafortus Technologies and Invisi Shield.