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Curtinnovation award winners announced – Startup News in WA, events, advice, podcasts and ecosystem


Over 400 people were at the Optus Stadium last Friday to see the announcement of this year’s Curtinnovaton Awards winners, who shared in a total prize pool of $100,000.

Established in 2007, the awards aim to encourage entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers to pursue innovations in their field.

Previous winners of the Curtinnovation Awards include VetChip, a smart health monitor enabling animals to live healthier, happier, longer lives; HyprFire, a revolutionary cybersecurity platform defending against state-based and criminal cyber attackers; and Climate Clever, a data-driven program helping businesses, schools, and households to reduce their carbon footprint. View previous winners here.

Congrats to this year’s winners, who are:

  • Trailblazer Prize Winners – iFluid, an automated drilling fluid system designed to help mining companies improve the efficiency, cost, environmental impact and safety of their drilling activities
  • International Prize Winners – Iron POCT-ID (Curtin Singapore)
  • Student Prize Winner – Orebody characterisation using machine learning and MWD data
  • Humanities Prize Winners – HerHelp (Alexis McDonald), Curtin Health Sciences student Alexis McDonald, HerHelp is a mental health mobile
  • application that enables women to access a range of on demand wellness resources and mental health professionals
  • Business & Law Prize Winner – Assuro (Leon Weston), world first digital bank guarantee product and management system, developed by Curtin graduate and financial analyst Leon Weston
  • Health Sciences Prize Winner – SWAMSMob (Prof Chris Lawrence), digital health platform designed specifically for the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) and their patients
  • Science and Engineering Prize Winners – Hydrogen export as a powder (A/Prof Mark Paskevicius and team), a chemical process and a catalyst that enables sodium borohydride to be cost-effectively recycled from sodium metaborate
  • Teaching and Learning Prize Winners – Online Suicide Prevention Tool for University Students (Prof Penelope Hasking and team), Curtin Health Sciences team has developed an online suicide prevention tool to identify university students who are at risk of suicide and offer referral and intervention before they are suicidal
  • Overall Prize Winners – A novel onset pathway for Alzheimer’s: A potential target for therapies (Prof John Mamo, Dr Rysuke Takechi, Dr Virginia Lam)
Winning team (centre): Prof John Mamo, Dr Virginia Lam and Dr Rysuke Takechi, with Curtin dignitaries including Rohan McDougall (far left) and Prof Chris Moran 2nd left.

The overall winning project, led by John Curtin Distinguished Professor John Mamo, Associate Professor Ryusuke Takechi and Dr Virginie Lam from the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), found in mouse models that Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent form of dementia globally, was caused by leakage from blood into the brain of fat-carrying particles transporting toxic proteins.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Chris Moran said the winning Alzheimer’s research project was an example of how high-quality research can benefit the wider community through commercialisation.

“The research by Professor Mamo and his team has significant implications for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. The ground-breaking discovery of the “blood-to-brain” pathway and the promising results of the cardiovascular drug probucol offers potential new prevention and treatment opportunities for patients,” Professor Moran said.

“The researchers are now conducting a clinical trial to test if probucol stabilises the cognitive performance in patients with early Alzheimer’s, and a provisional patent for the novel pro-drug formulation, developed by the Curtin team, has been filed.”

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Curtin University is a sponsor of Startup News



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