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WA Tech Innovators Celebrated and Acknowledged at 30th INCITE Awards

On Friday 23 July 2021, the INCITE Awards – the State’s longest running ICT Awards program – presented WA tech organisations, entrepreneurs, students and industry leaders with winning titles for their medical, AI, robotics and mining technology innovations, at a Gala Cocktail event, attended by over 450 people. 

Celia Jordaan – INCITE Awards’ Chief Judge – commented that the 2021 Awards entries showcase the WA Technology sector’s agility and capability to respond to local and global challenges and opportunities.

“Many of the 30th INCITE Awards winners have developed some first-of-its-kind medical tech innovations, in direct response to COVID-19 and need to further support the WA health system,” said Ms Jordaan. 

“This is evident with Avicena – a private WA company – who has taken out three award categories – Startup, Transformative Solutions and Research and Innovation, for their low-cost ultra-high-throughput molecular diagnostics and screening instruments to detect SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens.”

“Avicena’s Sentinel platform – which can screen up to 3,480 people per hour or 92,160 people per day – has recently received a $3M Federal funding to further their COVID-19 rapid screening system.”

In the Innovating Government award category, the INCITE Awards congratulated the East Metropolitan Health Services as a winner for their COVID-19 Digital Assessment App, which was integral to WA’s Covid response, especially quarantine management and managing surge testing efficiently.

WA technology’s support for better health access and support is further evident within the Social Impact awards category, with What the Doctor Said – a web-based solution to reduce misunderstandings of hospital discharge instructions – coming out as a winner. 

Ms Jordaan also observed that winners for this year’s Awards once again impressed the judging panel with their ability to build solutions and improve services across the public, private and social sectors.

“Community focussed innovations including Lyfe Languages – which translate medical terminology into Indigenous languages for our First Nations people  – MissionsConnect, an immersive technology to aid healing for the Stolen Generations, and Oqea – the first ever person centric app for mental wellness – have won Merits for the 30th INCITE Awards,” explained Ms Toohey. 

“Meanwhile, technology continues to help advance WA’s mining industry – with Rio Tinto’s AutoHaul – Driverless Trains, which also holds the Guinness World Record for the heaviest robot – winning Merit for Transformative Solutions and Research and Innovation categories.”

The mining tech focus was also evident with innovation from WA’s undergraduate students – with Curtin University’s Re-entry Sentry and North Metro TAFE’s Underground Mining VR App helping create a safer mine site environment. 

To close off the night, the INCITE Awards’ paid tribute – via its Honorary categories – to the sector’s inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, with Mr Charlie Gunningham winning the Pearcey WA Entrepreneur award, Vix Pulse for the Dr Mal Bryce Tech Company and Mr Peter Rossdeutscher as Achiever of the Year.

Niamh Toohey – Chair of the INCITE Awards – congratulated all finalists, winners and merits for the program’s 30th milestone year.

“Big congratulations to the 30th INCITE Awards winners and merit recipients, whose entries show us that technology, research and innovation is helping to expand our economy and connect our community to critical digital services,” said Ms Toohey.

“WA is leading in areas like MedTech and automation, and this year’s finalists demonstrate the potential to expand tech’s economic and social impact, at home and abroad.”

“COVID-19 proved to be challenging in every way, meaning we had to quickly innovate and leverage the collective strengths and support of the WATech sector, resulting in an awards program that exceeded everyone’s expectations with more entrants, finalists and sponsors rowing in behind us and demonstrating the WA is best place in the world to collaborate and innovate.”  

“To our volunteers, team of judges, ambassadors, the organising committee, sponsors and partners, we are very grateful for your support. Thank you.”

The INCITE Awards will now continue to work with the winners and merit recipients to further showcase their innovation through the National iAwards (by the Australian Information Industry Association), Digital Disruptor Awards (ACS), the National Pearcey Awards, and Asia-Pacific APICTA Awards. 

30th INCITE Award Winners 

Peter Fillery Undergraduate Tertiary Student Project of the Year

  • Winner: Alexander von Perger from Curtin University and Barminco – for their Re-entry Sentry, an innovative safety initiative that improves redundancy and operational decision making capabilities for underground post blast re-entry applications. 
  • Merit: Kale Griffiths, Tiernan Stevens, Joseph Dowden, Brett Mitchell and Shannon Smith from North Metro TAFE – for The Underground Mining VR Induction App, a virtual reality  induction training application giving new miners the experience of an underground mine site without the associated dangers.

Research and Innovation – Postgraduate Student Project of the Year

  • Winner: Sanjay Sharma and Auden Sehovic from Edith Cowan University, School of Science – for the REDSAT system, which places mobile deployable Honeynet traps into remote and regional agricultural areas to collect and assess data about outside attempts to attack information systems where sensor data requires can be acquired through long range and low power networks.

Research and Innovation – Industry Project of the Year

Transformative Solution

Social Impact

  • Winner: What the Doctor Said a web-based solution allowing patients to receive personalised, mobile-accessible discharge instructions so everyone knows exactly What the Doctor Said.
  • Merit: Lyfe Languagesfor their Lyfe Languages Project, delivering a youth/ community-driven, digitally enabled, nationally/ internationally connected platform to translate medical terminology into Indigenous languages.
  • Merit: Curtin University – for MissionsConnect – the first immersive technological tool of its kind in Australia that will aid in education, truth-telling and reconciliation. 

Innovating Government 

Startup of the Year

  • Winner: Avicena Systems Pty Ltd – for their Avicena Sentinel System – a revolutionary, low-cost and ultra-high throughput molecular screening and testing system, initially targeting the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Merit: Oqea for their first person-centric wellbeing digital platform to connect consumers, health providers, businesses, family and friends all in one private, safe and secure online place.

People’s Choice Awards

  • SpacetoCo for their web platform, booking community spaces by the hour. SpacetoCo connects community members with local community and government-owned spaces.
  • Pentanet – Using cutting edge technology, Pentanet will create an innovative wireless mesh for Perth which eliminates constraints of traditional wireless networks and delivers faster internet speeds with lower latency.

Pearcey WA Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Winner: Mr Charlie Gunningham – Managing Editor, The Property Tribune, and Startup News; and Director of Damburst.

Dr Mal Bryce Tech Company of the Year

Achiever of the Year

  • Winner: Mr Peter Rossdeutscher – Managing Partner, Atomic Sky Pty Ltd