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  • 31 August 2018 08:52

AIIA National iAwards 2018 showcases excellence in Australian technology innovation

From the world’s first modular self-fit hearing aid to a virtual reality treatment platform for spider phobia, unique inventions demonstrate thriving innovation in Australia

Melbourne, Australia – 30 August 2018 -- The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak industry body for the technology sector, has tonight announced the National iAwards and PitchFest winners for 2018. AIIA’s iAwards, now celebrating 25 years, is Australia’s leading awards program for technology innovation. PitchFest is an opportunity for iAwards finalists to showcase their innovations to an expert panel of industry judges.

Over a period of six months, entrants from ACT, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia have competed for the State titles. Winners from each state and territory then came head to head for the national title in their respective categories.

The award categories included Business Service Markets, Community Service Markets, Consumer Markets, Industrial & Primary Industries, Infrastructure & Platforms, Students, Research & Development Project, Public Sector & Government, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning, Big Data, Startup, Innovation of the Year and the Victoria State Government Inspiration of the Year.

At a gala event held this evening at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MLC, Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, presented Blamey Saunders Hears with the Victoria State Government Inspiration of the Year Award.

“The Victorian Government is proud to support AIIA’s iAwards which showcase the incredible innovation and expertise we have in our tech sector. The talent on show at AIIA’s iAwards will play a crucial role in Australia’s future, not only by making our lives better but by growing the digital economy and creating new jobs,” said Mr Dalidakis.

Rob Fitzpatrick, AIIA CEO, said the passion and dedication shown by the 2018 finalists will inspire other Australians to continue to develop ideas and further technological innovation in Australia.

“What we’ve seen tonight from our finalists is awe-inspiring. It’s real proof of the power of innovation to change our world. A modular, self-fitting hearing aid is nothing less than life-changing. Using VR to treat phobias is truly inspired thinking. We’ve got robots that write their own code and a world first automatic, real-time, artificial intelligence shark detection system. These are creative, clever, and all home-grown innovations.

“We’re especially proud tonight, as for 25 years AIIA’s iAwards has been bringing inventive minds together from all Australian states and territories. AIIA congratulates 2018 iAwards winners and finalists. The inspiration behind this year’s iAwards program has been truly staggering. We look forward to the next 25 years of celebrating innovation.”


AIIA Innovation of the Year Award  Complexica – Larry, the Digital Analyst®

Victoria State Government Inspiration of the Year Award  Blamey Saunders Hears – Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System (winner)

Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning Innovation of the Year  The Ripper Group & UTS – SharkSpotter© (winner)  Boundlss – Boundlss (merit)  Complexica – Larry, the Digital Analyst® (merit)

Big Data Innovation of the Year  Staybil – Staybil (winner)  Agile Digital, Vault Systems, Gulanga & Department of Health – Secure Health Data Research & Analytics Platform (merit)  CHOICE – Transformer (merit)

Business Service Markets  Complexica – Larry, the Digital Analyst® (winner)  Codebots – Codebots Platform (merit)  SalesPreso – SalesPreso: A Sales Enablement Platform (merit)

Community Service Markets  Blamey Saunders Hears – Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System (winner)  CSIRO Australian e-Health Research Centre – AEye Screening System for Patients with Diabetes (merit)

Consumer Markets  Voxon Photonics – VX1 3D Volumetric Display (winner)  Australia Post – Digital iD (merit)

Industrial & Primary Industries  CSIRO's Data61 – Hovermap (winner)

Infrastructure & Platforms Innovation of the Year  Penten – AltoCrypt Stik (winner)  Blamey Saunders Hears – Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System (merit)  Augment Space – Self Serve 360° Virtual Tour Creation Platform (merit)

Junior Students  St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Como – HappyNess App: Helping Girls Return to Happiness (winner)  Sacred Heart College – Passion your Purpose (merit)

Public Sector & Government  Thales – Stingrae Enhanced Boarding Party Capability (winner)  Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Biosecurity Reporting for Northern Australia (merit)

Research & Development Project of the Year  Blamey Saunders Hears – Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System (winner)  Data to Decisions CRC – Narrative Visualisation Project (merit)  V2i Group – V2i Realtime (merit)

Senior Students  Kooringal High School – The Amazing Annoyatron (winner)  John Monash Science School – Movement Impeding Device: A Biomedical Apparatus (merit)  Rosny College & Launceston College – aWear: Aged Care Watch (merit)

Startup of the Year  CancerAid – CancerAid (winner)  HUMM Technologies – HUMM Technologies (merit)

Undergraduate Tertiary Students  The University of Adelaide – Automated Hip Fracture Detection (winner)  Edith Cowan University – Social Circles VR - Virtual reality learning tool for students with special needs (merit)  Victoria University – The Advanced Fire Sensor (merit)


AIIA’s 2018 PitchFest and Innovation Showcase, sponsored by CSIRO’s DATA61 and hosted by RMIT, continues to be an exciting feature event in AIIA’s iAwards program. Prior to the iAwards ceremony it provided a day-long opportunity for the community to hear from a range of this year's finalists, as they pitch their innovations to our esteemed panel and live audience. See notes below for details on expert panel members.

“The Victorian Department of Economic Development has been a long-time supporter of AIIA’s iAwards Program, recognising it as a fantastic showcase and celebration of Australian tech innovation, and a key part of our Digital Innovation Festival. It has been so inspiring this year to see such a broad range of innovations,” said Kathy Coultas, Director, Strategic Innovation Investment at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria.

2018 PitchFest is structured around the three student categories and the five core organisation categories.


Junior Students  Sacred Heart College – Passion your Purpose

Senior Students  Rosny College & Launceston College – aWear: Aged Care Watch

Undergraduate Tertiary Students  University of Wollongong – GenSpeak - A Language Program for Everyone

Public Sector & Government  CSIRO & Western Health – CALD Assist

Consumer Markets  Voxon Photonics – VX1 3D Volumetric Display

Community Service Markets  Blamey Saunders Hears – Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System

Industrial & Primary Industries  CSIRO's Data61 – Hovermap

Business Service Markets  Boundlss – Boundlss

The 2018 iAwards is proudly supported by Major National iAwards Partner the Victorian Government, National Program Sponsors Informed Solutions and AuDA, and Platinum Table Sponsors NGS Global, Launchvic, Edith Cowan University, Optus, Dialog, University of Technology Sydney, Oakton, CSIRO’s DATA61, The University of Melbourne, Cisco, Holding Redlich, Salesforce and Wipro.


About the AIIA’s iAwards AIIA’s iAwards honours both companies at the cutting edge of technology innovation and leading professionals across the digital economy. Most importantly, AIIA’s iAwards recognises the achievements of home-grown Australian innovators.

Join the conversation AIIA’s iAwards gets people talking about digital innovation. Take advantage of the buzz by joining the conversation with #iAwards and connecting with the iAwards on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About the AIIA The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978, AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favourable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. AIIA delivers outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant, interesting information.

Media Contact Jeffrey Coote Tel: (02) 8355 3130


PitchFest Expert panel members

Adam Reid (Executive Director of Industry, Innovation, Science and Small Business Department for Industry and Skills, Government of South Australia); Adrian Turner (CEO CSIRO’s Data61); Bambi Price (Director Tron Systems); Bettina Konti (Chief Digital Officer ACT Government); Cameron Boardman (CEO .au Domain Administration (auDA)); Craig Baty (Craig Baty & Associates); Elizabeth Vega (Global CEO Informed Solutions); George Li (Co-founder and CEO BajaBoard); John Ieraci (Chief Customer Officer of Segment Sales Telstra); Kathryn Duncan (Technologies Curriculum Leader Villanova College); Kathy Coultas (Director, Strategic Innovation Investment Victoria Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources); Kristina Kipper (National Sector Leader, Technology, Media and Telecommunications KPMG Australia); Lochlann Dwyer (Lead Digital Technologies Teacher, Murray Bridge High School); Marleese Attilakos (Senior Client Executive, Public Sector Cisco); Martin Hoffmam (Secretary NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation); Matt Allen (Venture Capital Business Development, Amazon Web Services); Professor Michael Brünig (Head of the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland); Murray Hurps (Director of Entrepreneurship University of Technology Sydney); Paul Cooper (Associate Professor Health Informatics); Peggy Renders (Regional Vice-President of PreSales and Customer Solutions SAP Asia Pacific Japan), Rebecca Campbell-Burns (Managing Director Victoria Escient); Sam Hannah-Rankin (Director of Public Sector Innovation Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria); Sara Caplan (Partner PwC); Dr Selvi Kannan (Academic Advisor, Victoria University); and Wayne Fitzsimmons (Chairman of the Pearcey Foundation).

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