Seven outstanding new business ideas - selected from a strong field of entries - will compete for the $100,000 prize in UQ Business School's Enterprize competition.
The bright ideas that will be showcased at Enterprize Pitch Day on Thursday 16 October promise:
Peace of mind when we lose our mobile phones or electronic diaries
A safer and cheaper way to string overhead power cables
Innovative ways to produce clean water cheaply and efficiently
Novel drug delivery and functional food technologies
A way to make large format digital advertising available to advertisers worldwide.
Head of UQ Business School Professor Tim Brailsford said the competition was one way the School communicated new knowledge to the business community.
He said, "Some of these ideas will go on to be worldwide success stories - it may take 5, 10, or even 20 years but these are ideas whose time will come."
"UQ Business School awards the $100,000 prize with no strings attached. The funds are awarded solely for the purpose of commercialising the winning idea."
Brailsford said all the Enterprize finalists would also receive an entrepreneur's pack from i.lab, the Queensland Government's technology incubator and long-time sponsor of Enterprize.
He said, "I congratulate the 2008 finalists: Bilexys, Ceramipore, DendriMed, LAADtech, Mack Pull, ProGel, and Zebras."
For more information about Enterprize see www.enterprize.uq.edu.au. To enquire about Pitch Day please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the finalists:
Two of the teams are looking to commercialise innovative water treatment technologies:
Bilexys have an innovative and cost effective way of removing dissolved organic compounds from wastewater, producing clean water and creating energy as a side product.
Ceramipore has come up with a way to reduce the overall cost of desalinating salt water by up to 40% - making desalination a much more viable option in many contexts.
One team has already had its technology market tested:
Mack Pull is an innovative system for stringing large overhead power cables. The machine is mounted to the side of a helicopter and has been tested by some of Australia's biggest players in the construction and maintenance of powerlines.
Two teams are hoping their therapeutic innovations will win the hearts and minds of the judges and venture capital and investment community at Enterprize Pitch Day in October:
DendriMed is a novel drug-delivery platform which promises reduced side effects, increased efficacy, improved stability of drug molecules, and the capacity to test more of the promising drug candidates identified by researchers.
The ProGel team has found a low cost way to produce micro-capsules so small they are undetectable to humans. The technology has been used to encapsulate and protect a range of food and pharmaceutical products such as probiotics, drugs (eg ibuprofen), and health supplements (eg Omega-3). This technology makes it possible create foods with Omega-3 without the fishy taste and protect drugs and probiotics in the acidic stomach environment.
A further two teams are innovating in the electronics arena:
The LAADtech team has developed a lightweight LED screen for digital outdoor advertising. Until now, digital LED screens have been heavy and cumbersome, requiring new structural support systems. This new technology provides the opportunity to retro fit screens to existing structures, or onto structures that currently cannot support the existing heavy modular LED technology.
The Zebras team has found a way to protect the items we most dread losing - mobile phones and other portable information storage devices. The technology incorporates a tracking-and-return system to protect not only devices themselves but also their precious contents.