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Innovators shine at the University of Auckland Blues Awards

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Blues Awards are a university tradition that originated from England. The blue colours of Oxford and Cambridge Universities came to symbolise sporting excellence and the tradition migrated to New Zealand where many universities have adopted the recognition and reward system. At the University of Auckland, Blues Awards have evolved to recognise excellence in other fields such as Arts and Culture and Service and Leadership. In 2019 an Innovation category was introduced. Awards were presented at a glamorous awards event held in the University’s graduation marquee, hosted by TV presenter Wendy Petrie. The recipient of the overall Innovation category award was handed a bespoke illuminated trophy made at the University’s innovation hub and maker space.

Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Wendy Kerr, says “Having innovation recognised as a pursuit in the same class as elite sports and leadership is a testament to the work of the University of Auckland in providing comprehensive support for these students”.

Innovation Blues Awards applications were reviewed by a panel. Finalists were chosen for an outstanding achievement in innovation that had created or enhanced a product, process or system which provides an effective solution to a challenging issue. This could have been in a social, environmental, technological or commercial context. Applications came from students of all study disciplines for an astonishing variety of achievements.

The overall winner for the Innovation category was Rebecca Jelley, a Science student who co-founded the Ultimate Bowls Championship as a way to revitalise the sport of lawn bowls. Rebecca introduced a new format that allowed scoring off every bowl and increased the speed of the game. She also made technological improvements through the use of LED screens, and tablets for umpires. The company’s first event this year attracted over 1 million television viewers from around the world.

Anne-Marie Parsons, Associate Director: Campus Life (Student Engagement and Wellbeing) says “The continual growth of the Centre for Innovation, and the opening of the Unleash Space in 2018, helped students to produce some truly exceptional and innovative work. Innovation is an increasingly important area of focus for the University, and it is important that we recognise student achievement in this space in a formal way. The new Innovation category at this year’s Blues Awards looked to do just this, by honouring individuals and groups who provided creative solutions to challenging issues in an innovative or commercial way.”

Innovation winners

Amaan Merchant – Global Microfinance Competition

Anzel Signh – Socius

Arash Tayebi – Kara Technologies

Arianna Bacic – Loyaltrees

Benjamin Jonathan Seto – EY Asia-Pacific Cyber Case Competition, Trans-Tasman Case Competition

Christopher Walker – Electroclear Ltd

Connor Talbot – ProsthetiX

Emma Kerr – Chulalongkorn International Case Competition

Henry Frear – Loyaltrees

Kendall Wu – National Strategy Consulting Competition

Matthew Canham – Geemo

Noel D’Souza – EY Asia-Pacific Cyber Case Competition

Patrin Illenberger – Electroclear Ltd

Rebecca Jelley – Ultimate Bowls

Sara Marseden – EY Asia-Pacific Cyber Case Competition

Sarah Mwashomah – Socius

Sulin Phee – EY Asia-Pacific Cyber Case Competition

Winnie Chau – Trans-Tasman Case Competition

Yan Li (Jenny) Liu – Global Microfinance Competition

Ziyi (Jacky) Zheng – Pataka Project

James Hutchinson

Innovation Blues winner Rebecca Jelley with Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Wendy Kerr

James Hutchinson

Innovation Blues winner Rebecca Jelley with Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Wendy Kerr

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Blues Awards are a university tradition that originated from England. The blue colours of Oxford and Cambridge Universities came to symbolise sporting excellence and the tradition migrated to New Zealand where many universities have adopted the recognition and reward system. At the University of Auckland, Blues Awards have evolved to recognise excellence in other fields such as Arts and Culture and Service and Leadership. In 2019 an Innovation category was introduced. Awards were presented at a glamorous awards event held in the University’s graduation marquee, hosted by TV presenter Wendy Petrie. The recipient of the overall Innovation category award was handed a bespoke illuminated trophy made at the University’s innovation hub and maker space.

Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Wendy Kerr, says “Having innovation recognised as a pursuit in the same class as elite sports and leadership is a testament to the work of the University of Auckland providing comprehensive support for these students”.

Innovation Blues Awards applications were reviewed by a panel. Finalists were chosen for an outstanding achievement in innovation that had created or enhanced a product, process or system which provides an effective solution to a challenging issue. This could have been in a social, environmental, technological or commercial context. Applications came from students of all study disciplines for an astonishing variety of achievements.

The overall winner for the Innovation category was Rebecca Jelley, a Science student who co-founded the Ultimate Bowls Championship as a way to revitalise the sport of lawn bowls. Rebecca introduced a new format that allowed scoring off every bowl and increased the speed of the game. She also made technological improvements through the use of LED screens, and tablets for umpires. The company’s first event this year attracted over 1 million television viewers from around the world.

Anne-Marie Parsons, Associate Director: Campus Life (Student Engagement and Wellbeing) says “The continual growth of the Centre for Innovation, and the opening of the Unleash Space in 2018, helped students to produce some truly exceptional and innovative work. Innovation is an increasingly important area of focus for the University, and it is important that we recognise student achievement in this space in a formal way. The new Innovation category at this year’s Blues Awards looked to do just this, by honouring individuals and groups who provided creative solutions to challenging issues in an innovative or commercial way.”

Innovation winners

Amaan Merchant – Global Microfinance Competition
Anzel Signh – Socius
Arash Tayebi – Kara Technologies
Arianna Bacic – Loyaltrees
Benjamin Jonathan Seto – EY Asia-Pacific Cyber Case Competition, Trans-Tasman Case Competition
Christopher Walker – Electroclear Ltd
Connor Talbot – ProsthetiX
Emma Kerr – Chulalongkorn International Case Competition
Henry Frear – Loyaltrees
Kendall Wu – National Strategy Consulting Competition
Matthew Canham – Geemo
Noel D’Souza – EY Asia-Pacific Cyber Case Competition
Patrin Illenberger – Electroclear Ltd
Rebecca Jelley – Ultimate Bowls
Sara Marseden – EY Asia-Pacific Cyber Case Competition
Sarah Mwashomah – Socius
Sulin Phee – EY Asia-Pacific Cyber Case Competition
Winnie Chau – Trans-Tasman Case Competition
Yan Li (Jenny) Liu – Global Microfinance Competition
Ziyi (Jacky) Zheng – Pataka Project


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