Carla Meledandri shortlisted as a finalist in the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards 2016
MacDiarmid Investigator finalist in KiwiNet Awards, 21 May 2016
Listen to Carla’s interview with Simon Morton on This Way Up at Radio NZ:
The MacDiarmid Institute congratulated MacDiarmid Principal Investigator Dr Carla Meledandri on being shortlisted as a finalist in the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards 2016. The KiwiNet ‘Norman F. Barry Trust Emerging Innovator Award’ recognises an entrepreneurial researcher who has made outstanding contributions to business innovation or has created innovative businesses in New Zealand through technology licencing, start-up creation or by providing expertise to support business innovation.
Welcoming the announcement, MacDiarmid Institute Director Professor Thomas Nann said that Dr Meledandri was an outstanding scientist who truly sought to take her research into practical applications.
“The MacDiarmid Institute was set up 14 years ago by Sir Paul Callaghan whose vision was to see science connect with industry to grow the prosperity of New Zealand. Dr Meledandri’s work fits precisely into Sir Paul’s vision. She has developed nanoscience-based technologies for practical applications in dentistry, harnessing silver nanoparticles to treat and prevent dental disease. This is a is a new area within New Zealand science and one in which there is huge commercial opportunity.”
Professor Nann said the MacDiarmid Institute had recently promoted Dr Meledandri to Principal Investigator.
Dr Meledandri said she was excited about being named a finalist for the KiwiNet award.
“I’ve had innovation awards from the university before but nothing at this level. I am keen to see my research used for a practical application that will benefit people. I like starting with a problem and using nanoscience and materials technology to work up a solution.”
Dr Meledandri also said she appreciated the support of the MacDiarmid Institute in helping her achieve this.
“The MacDiarmid Institute put me forward for ‘Pitch on a Peak’ where I was one of only 15 researchers to present to 150 angel investors in Queenstown last year. And MacDiarmid Institute Chair Ray Thomson has been very active in connecting me with potential investors and encouraging discussions on a potential start-up company.”
Professor Nann noted that Dr Meledandri had been jointly nominated for the Award by the MacDiarmid Institute and the University of Otago, and he emphasised the considerable support that Dr Meledandri had received from the University of Otago.
“University of Otago has always backed Dr Meledandri’s work and supported her to continue her research into the development of functional nanoscale materials for biomedicine. Their support has enabled her to establish a productive collaboration with the Faculty of Dentistry there and to pursue commercial outcomes for her research.”
Dr Carla Meledandri
Based at the University of Otago, Dr Meledandri has a technology licenced to a multinational dental company and a second technology is close to attracting investment to form a start-up company.
As well as her expertise as a research scientist, Dr Meledandri has already one granted patent and two patent applications in her name. She has technology licenced to a multinational dental company and a second technology that has attracted investment to form a start-up company. She received her PhD in Chemistry at Dublin City University in 2009 specialising in nano-materials.
For more information please contact:
Professor Thomas Nann (MacDiarmid Institute)
Vanessa Young (MacDiarmid Institute)