Biomimicry research wins Vice-Chancellor's Commercialisation Medal

11 May 2016
Celebrating Research Excellence
Left to Right: Dr Andy Shenk (CEO Uniservices) Hon Stephen Joyce, and award winners Assoc. Prof. Nikki Turner and Assoc. Prof. Iain Anderson

Engineering Science Associate Professor Iain Anderson was one of two researchers presented with the Vice-Chancellor’s Commercialisation Medal at the University's Celebrating Research Excellence Awards. 

The award recognises the significant contribution over a period of time to commercialisation of research in its broadest sense, including commercial and societal contributions to the application of research to the community, whether this is the business, education, health or other societal benefit.

Assoc. Prof. Anderson's research work on the creation of new technology through biomimicry –  the imitation of natural systems to solve problems – has led to the development of significant work in the Auckland Bioengineering Institute's Biomimetics laboratory: electric polymers that can act as artificial muscle, sensors, actuators and switches. 

Along with two former students, he commercialised soft stretch sensor technology in November 2012, leading to the formation of the lab's spin-out StretchSense Ltd, dedicated to making stretchable capacitive sensors perfectly suited for measuring human body motion. Their equipment and research have been sold to Fortune 100 companies and research organisations worldwide. The research also garnered ample publicity by being featured on the New York Fashion Week catwalk.

The Biomimetics laboratory's ongoing relationship with StretchSense allows new applications for commercialisation to be consistently discovered and developed. Learn more about Assoc Prof. Anderson's research in the video below: