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Avalon 2023 – nominations open for boosted $100,000 Innovation Awards

With entries opening today for the AVALON 2023 Innovation Awards, organiser AMDA Foundation has announced that the cash prizes for its SME Innovation Award and Young Innovator Award will more than triple for this event, to $50,000 each.

The AVALON 2023 Innovation Awards are open to Australian companies or the Australian subsidiaries of overseas parent companies. The innovation could be a new product or service, or a new approach to business. Entries will be judged on originality and understanding of user needs.

Contenders have until 28 November to submit an entry. The Awards will be presented at Avalon 2023, the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition, at Avalon Airport, Geelong, near Melbourne (Tuesday 28 February to Sunday 5 March).

Awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • AVALON 2023 National Innovation Award
  • AVALON 2023 SME Innovation Award, including a $50,000 cash award (previously $15,000)
  • AVALON 2023 Young Innovator Award, including a $50,000 cash award (previously $15,000)

AMDA Foundation CEO Justin Giddings said the AMDA Foundation Board had moved to increase the award cash prizes to encourage local innovation at a critical time in Australia’s industrial and strategic development.

“Since we launched the Innovation Awards in 2012, we have presented SME Innovation Grants and Young Innovator Awards to a value of $485,000 through our AVALON, INDO PACIFIC and LAND FORCES events,” Mr Giddings said. “The awards are designed to encourage, highlight and reward excellence by Australian small companies and emerging engineers and scientists.

“The AMDA Foundation board believes that now, more than ever, Australia needs a strong, resilient industry sector to support the Australian Defence Force and to be a pillar of a smarter, stronger national economy. That sector needs to be innovative and export-minded as well as efficient.

“In addition, establishment of the Australian Space Agency and the emergence of Space 2.0 have resulted in massive growth in Australia’s space industry and research ecosystem. A competitive space sector is an innovative one.

“And the emergence of new civil aviation and aerospace technologies such as Urban Air Mobility and new types of Air Traffic Management have created opportunities for Australian aviation companies, both big and small.”

Mr Giddings said the $50,000 prizes were aimed at making a significant impact on a company’s operations or the professional development of a young innovator.

“A sum like $50,000 can lever as much again in grants and project funding to help a project across the so-called ‘valley of death’ and turn a smart idea in to a proven reality,” he said. “It can help a young innovator undertake a Masters or a Ph.D, to study overseas or undertake an internship focussed on mastering a new technology.”

The AVALON Innovation Awards program stands alongside the Innovation Awards presented biennially at the LAND FORCES International Land Defence Exposition and INDO PACIFIC International Maritime Exposition.  These are still the only Awards specifically to recognise and reward innovative Australians in these critical sectors of our national economy.

To find out further information about the eligibility criteria or to submit an entry for the Avalon 2023 Industry Innovation Awards go to:

Avalon 2023 will be held at Avalon International Airport, Geelong, from February 28 to March 5, 2023.

Past winners of AVALON Innovation Awards have included:

  • CryoClock (SA) for developing the “Sapphire Clock” product range, providing a clock so precise that it gains or loses only one second over 40 million years.
  • Quickstep Systems Pty Ltd (NSW) for its rapid manufacturing process for composite materials.
  • Inovor Technologies of Adelaide, (SA) for developing a novel nanosatellite platform and a unique Space Situational Awareness (SSA) application.
  • Dr Graham Bell of Monash University, whose startup company, NextAero Pty Limited, has developed an innovative rocket nozzle with a more efficient design made possible by additive manufacture.

AVALON 2023 will be held from 28 February to 5 March at Avalon International Airport, near Melbourne. The 2019 event included 698 companies from 25 countries, 161 delegations and more than 38,000 accredited trade attendances, with a total event attendance of 210,664.

The event is supported by the Government of Victoria, AirServices Australia, the Royal Australian Air Force and national aviation, aerospace, maritime and defence industries and industry associations.

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