Callaghan Innovation, a New Zealand government agency supporting hi-tech businesses in New Zealand, is inviting the nation’s innovators and entrepreneurs to create the next generation of wearable technology as part of its C-Prize Business Challenge, a biennial event that offers a $NZ100,000 prize package to the winner, and up to $NZ350,000 to finalists.
It says the challenges calls for innovation in three important areas for New Zealand: living healthier, working safer and playing smarter, describing these as “three very diverse areas … in tremendous need of innovation, and in tremendous need of solutions.”
As part of the contest it is bringing to New Zealand three international experts to share their expertise in wearable technology with entrants.
Mikko Malmivaara who is based in the US and has been in the business of wearable technology for almost 20 years.
Professor Robert Reiner, developer of the ARMin arm therapy robot has won several prizes. He is based in Switzerland.
Professor Paul Lukowicz who heads the Embedded Intelligence group at DFKI and Kaiserslautern University in Germany.
Callaghan Innovation CTO, Chris Harsthorn said their international experience would allow everyone from start-ups to established business the opportunity to take away valuable insights with practical application for wearables.
“Wearable device use has increased dramatically in New Zealand – in the past 12 months, the number of wearable technology owners has almost doubled and now represents nine percent of people aged over 15, offering limitless opportunity for innovators,” he said.
“We know it takes a lot of courage to make the leap into innovation. An opportunity like C-Prize can be just the nudge that people with ideas and ambition need to create a tangible concept.”
Callaghan Innovation is holding three seminars: in Christchurch (June 12), Wellington (June 13) and Auckland (June 14) where students, entrepreneurs, innovators and inspired minds can meet the expert trio and find out more about the challenge.
It says: “Entrants will have their innovations reviewed and recognised by a panel of industry professionals, prominent investors, and entrepreneurs with the best becoming viable businesses.”
The 2017 C-Prize grand-prize winner will be awarded a $NZ100,000 prize package and up to 10 finalist teams will each be awarded a $ NZ 35,000 prize package. Entries close on July 2. Details here.