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Australian Innovation Challenge Awards

December 08, 2011

PLAN to deliver vaccines to millions of the world's poor through biomedical patches the size of postage stamps was named the overall winner at The Australian Innovation Challenge awards in Brisbane.

Editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell said the inaugural Innovation Challenge had unearthed some of Australia's best new ideas, reinforcing The Australian's commitment to innovation. "We want to help ensure these ideas aren't left on a shelf but are given the support they need to become a commercial reality," he said.

Professor Kendall's nanopatches contain thousands of tiny projections and require only about one-hundredth the dose needed for a syringe.

"When the Nanopatch™ is applied to the skin, the projections breach our tough outer skin layer to reach our immune 'sweet spot' layers of skin abundantly rich in immune cells," he said.

It is about to undergo clinical trials, and Professor Kendall hopes to be market-ready within five to 10 years. Industry Minister Kim Carr said firms that innovate are twice as likely to boost their productivity and even more likely to increase their contribution to the community.

"The Australian Innovation Challenge showcased the kind of creative enterprise that is critical to our future as a dynamic, prosperous and outward looking nation," Mr Carr said.

Ann Pickard, country chair of Shell Australia, congratulated the winners. "We are delighted that our support of the Innovation Challenge will enable Australia's innovators to develop and commercialise new ways to meet the challenges that face us as a nation."

Mr Mitchell said The Australian had been interested in innovation since its first edition on July 15, 1964, which included a page of computing news "something unheard of in Australian newspapers at that time, nearly 50 years ago".