Grasslanz Technology Limited has been named a category winner of the 2010/2011 DuPont Australia and New Zealand Innovation Award, announced at the Presentation Ceremony on 13 May 2011 in Melbourne.
Judged across seven categories, the biennial awards recognise the commercialisation of outstanding science and technology solutions that are meeting the big challenges – in Australasia and around the globe, and this was the only award given to a New Zealand company.
The winning innovation is a natural fungus (endophyte) that lives in grass and produces chemicals that make birds feel sick when ingested, but does not harm them. This endophytic grass also reduces insect numbers, thus making the area less attractive to insect-feeding birds. The birds are deterred from flocking in those grassed areas, and it has been effective in reducing bird numbers at several New Zealand airports thus minimising the risk of bird collisions with aircraft. It has a potential for use in airports around the world, as well as orchards and golf courses, in temperate environments.
Grasslanz Technology’s successful business model has been to identify projects that will generate useful and tangible outputs (innovations), invest in their development, protect the resulting intellectual property, and then license to commercial companies who sell the innovations to end-users.
In accepting this award on behalf of Grasslanz Technology, Business Development Manager for the Southern Hemisphere Mr Bruce Belgrave, said “it is important to acknowledge that this innovation has been the result of a real team effort involving:
- Dr Chris Pennell, inventor and scientist with AgResearch Limited, as the inspiration behind the innovation;
- Christchurch International Airport, who invested in the development and allowed the first trials of the innovation on an airport;
- PGG Wrightson Seeds, who invested in the development and has been licensed the technology for production and sale; and
- Foundation for Arable Research, who also invested in its development.”
For further information contact:
Grasslanz Technology Ltd
+64 29 351 8001
+64 21 1367584