Published 5th August, 2011

Biologic bullets that target bacterial infections and an innovative method for sustainable ammonia production have won the Open and Student first prizes respectively in The University of Queensland (UQ) Final of UniQuest’s annual Trailblazer innovative ideas competition.
Runner Up prizes were awarded to a therapeutic approach to turning ‘angry fat cells’ in to ‘fit fat cells’ in the Open category, and to a new method for extracting gold in the Student category.
Run by UQ’s main research commercialisation company, the UniQuest Trailblazer competition rewards students and career academics who can demonstrate that their early-stage research ideas have commercial potential.
Staff and students from a wide range of UQ faculties, institutes and research centres submitted their innovative ideas and inventions to compete for a share of $10,000 in cash prizes. Winners were selected from a short-list of 20 finalists, who pitched their ideas to a panel of judges made up of commercialisation industry experts.
UQDI's Emmily Duggan won a highly Commended in the Open Category and the Pitching Excellence Award at the UQ Trailblazer Final. Emily will now go forward to compete at the Grand Final and will be competing against four other universities for $50,000 in prizes at the Trailblazer Grand Final at UQ on 15 August.
UniQuest’s Managing Director, David Henderson, said the judges were extremely impressed with the calibre of projects and pitches this year.
“The margin between the highest and lowest scores was narrow, so making the final decisions about who would be awarded the prizes was quite a challenge for the judges,” Mr Henderson said.
“We were very pleased with the range and quality of all the entries in this year’s competition, and we are already working with some of the entrants to investigate potential commercial pathways for their ideas.
“Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all the students and staff who supported Trailblazer this year.”
Winner: Open Category
Dr Trent Munro
Australian Institute for Bioengineering And Nanotechnology
Biologic Bullets for Beating Bacterial Infections
Winner: Student Category
Mr Callum Hickey
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
The Hickey Process
Runner Up: Open Category
Associate Professor Jon Whitehead, Ms Yu-Hee Kim And Ms Xiao Luo
Mater Medical Research Institute
Fit Fat Cells
Runner Up: Student Category
Mr William Hawker, Mr Patrick Littlejohn And Dr James Vaughan
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
Resin in a Basket
Highly Commended: Open Category
Ms Emily Duggan
UQ Diamantina Institute
Custom Databases for Lab/Clinical Management
Highly Commended: Student Category
Mr Sean Muir
Australian Institute for Bioengineering And Nanotechnology
Hydrofuel Vehicular Energy System
Pitching Excellence Award
Ms Emily Duggan
The UQ Trailblazer Final was sponsored by patent attorney firms Davies Collison Cave and Fisher Adams Kelly.

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