The achievements of five University of Newcastle researchers in translating knowledge, technology and scientific endeavour into successful commercial ventures will be celebrated today at the annual Newcastle Innovation awards.

Three Excellence in Innovation awards will be presented in recognition of long-standing research careers that have a major focus on transferring expertise into practical solutions for industry and the community. The frontier discoveries of early career researchers will be acknowledged through the presentation of two Rising Star awards.

The 2012 winners are:

  • Professor Adam McCluskey has won an Excellence in Innovation award for his leading efforts in the scientific discipline of kinomics and work in novel drug design. Professor McCluskey is also a prolific inventor with strong industry interactions via contract research and consulting.

  • Professor Clare Collins has won an Excellence in Innovation award for her work in the field of nutrition and dietetics, and her focus on optimising food intake by helping people make healthy food choices. Professor Collins is also one of only seven professionals appointed a Fellow of the Dieticians Association of Australia.

  • Professor Scott Holmes has won an Excellence in Innovation award for translating his expertise in business management and health economics into an active portfolio of industry and government consultancies. Professor Holmes is known as one of Australia’s most respected strategic thinkers in business and economic investment and reform.

  • Dr Nikki Verrills has won a Rising Star award for her successful career at the cutting edge of blood cancer research. Dr Verrills’ has discovered novel protein alterations that confer chemotherapy resistance in childhood leukaemia and is contributing to new approaches to the treatment of blood cancers.
  • Dr Andrew Fleming has won a Rising Star award for his extensive contributions to the dynamics, control and analysis of scanning probe systems. Dr Fleming is recognised for his contribution to nano-positioning systems and his track record of technology transfer and academic outputs.

The awards are an initiative of Newcastle Innovation, the technology transfer office of the University tasked with linking research to commercial partners.

“These awards are testament to the talent and hard work of researchers at the University, and the importance of linking expertise to industry as we commercialise the innovative technology developed within the institution,” said Dr Brent Jenkins, CEO of Newcastle Innovation.

The awards will be presented at Fort Scratchley Multipurpose Centre today at 12pm.