Australian Information Industry Association


Australian innovation shines at AIIA National iAwards 2017

Thursday, 31 Aug 2017

From robotic bricklaying systems to remote telehealth care, an impressive array of Australian technological innovation was on show at the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) National iAwards Gala last night at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The major award, the AIIA Innovation of the Year, was awarded to Balconi Telecommunications for the Balconi Smart Torch – Global Live, a handheld two-way video conference system primarily developed for remote telehealth care, giving the most remote and disadvantaged communities access to medical specialists globally.

Fastbrick Robotics, a robotic bricklaying system that will make construction easier, faster and safer, received the Inspiration of the Year Award, sponsored by The Victorian Government, while The Yield Technology Solutions, which has created end-to-end farm sensing, analytics and apps was recognised as Startup of the Year.

A total of 15 winners were recognised across four major categories including Special Recognition, Vertical Markets, Technology Infrastructure and Students. The winners were chosen from the pool of finalists which included the winners and merit recipients from the state iAwards previously held throughout Australia in June and July.

Rob Fitzpatrick, CEO, AIIA, said the 2017 National iAwards demonstrated that innovation is alive and well in Australia.

“Innovation, risk-taking and exploring new horizons are embedded in Australia’s DNA and the work of the finalists is an inspiration to us all. AIIA would like to congratulate the winners and merit recipients of the 2017 national iAwards,” he said.

“The iAwards show innovation is happening in all quarters of our economy, from start-ups, private enterprise, community services, academia, and even in the public sector. Some of our major winners are well positioned to transform traditional sectors such as construction, agriculture, and healthcare, which will be crucial if Australia is to remain globally competitive over the coming years,” he added.

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO delivered a keynote address at the awards ceremony, during which he said Australia’s technology companies and innovators are one of Australia’s key competitive advantages in securing our position on the global stage.

“From quantum computing through to machine learning and on to health, there are few sectors where we don’t shine,” said Minister Sinodinos.

“It is because of this we must showcase them at every opportunity and recognise the important contribution they make and I congratulate all winners in this year’s iAwards who are helping to shape Australia’s future industries,” he added.

The 2017 National iAwards are proudly supported by Major National iAward Partner, the Victorian Government.

The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MLC, Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, said, “Victoria is proud to host the 24th annual iAwards here in the nation’s digital technology capital as a centrepiece of the state’s Digital Innovation Festival.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s iAwards recipients who will represent Australia on the world stage at the APICTA (Asia Pacific ICT Alliance) Awards in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 6-9 December.”

The iAwards are also supported by National Program Sponsors Informed Solutions and AuDA, National Category Sponsors NDIS and KPMG, National and State Student Sponsor WiseTech Global, and PitchFfest sponsor Data 61/CSIRO.

The 2017 iAwards winners and merit recipients are:

Special Recognition

AIIA Innovation of the Year Award: Balconi Telecommunications for the Balconi Smart Torch – Global Live, a handheld two-way video conference system primarily developed for remote telehealth care, giving the most remote and disadvantaged communities access to medical specialists globally.

Victorian Government Inspiration of the Year Award: Fastbrick Robotics, a robotic bricklaying system that will make construction easier, faster and safer.

Startup of the Year

Winner: The Yield Technology Solutions, which has created end-to-end farm sensing, analytics and apps such as micro climate sensors and predictors for agriculture and aquaculture for faster, more-informed farming.

Merit: Life Whisperer, which applies non-invasive artificial intelligence driven image analysis to improve the selection of viable embryos for IVF.

Merit: SponServe, a cloud-based sponsorship management platform which both rights holders and brands use to gain complete oversight and management of their relationships.

Vertical Markets

Business Service

Winner: LiveHire enables employers to create live talent communities and shift from expensive and lengthy reactive recruitment to 100% proactive recruitment and positive candidate experiences.

Winner: Corona Compliance Management’s Norwood Systems allows organisations in finance, healthcare and government sectors to capture and retain SMS messages sent between their staff and customers, clients and patients.

Community Service

Winner: Balconi Telecommunications for the Balconi Smart Torch – Global Live.

Merit: Ionata Digital and Beacon Foundation for eBeacon, which facilitates online communication between teachers, industry experts and students in regions of high youth unemployment and disengagement to allow the Beacon Foundation to reach, connect and inspire young Australians.


Winner: Baja Board, a powerful off road, all-terrain electric powered skateboard.

Merit:Prezzee Digital Gift Cards, a gift card app so you can buy, send, store and redeem gift cards instantly.

Industrial & Primary Industries

Winner: Fastbrick Robotics bricklaying system.

Merit: SensaData and La Trobe's Centre for Technology Infusion for Smart-r-Tag, which can be used with food and other condition-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals, to provide complete information on a product’s journey and its environment from its origin to end-user.

Public Sector & Government

Winner:NSW Health ACI/Institute of Trauma & Injury Management’s NSW Trauma App provides clinicians with rapid, effective and efficient access to standards of trauma patient care and information.

Merit:SenSen Networks’ SenSIGN uses a world first automated platform to provide councils with a comprehensive and fully accurate report of all road signs and line marking assets.

Merit:University of Tasmania’s eResearch Ecosystem delivers both a high performance compute and secure research data storage platform for local, national and international research collaborations.


Big Data/ Machine Learning Innovation of the Year

Winner: The Yield Technology Solutions’ Sensing+ app.

Merit: Life Whisperer.

Infrastructure & Platforms Innovation of the Year

Winner: DST Group & Data61 for the Cross Domain Desktop Compositor, an appliance that allows isolated computer networks to be securely accessed and viewed through a single user interface.

Merit:Conduct for HMR Referrals a cloud-based national solution for timely and secure Home Medicine Review (HMR) referrals between clinic-based GPs and outreach healthcare practitioners.

Mobility Innovation of the Year

Winner: Prezzee a gift card app and aggregated platform so people can buy, send, store and redeem gift cards instantly.

Merit: Smileyscope, which uses virtual reality to keep kids still and calm, allowing clinicians to insert needles safely and successfully.

Merit: Balconi Telecommunications for the Balconi Smart Torch – Global Live.

Research & Development Project of the Year

Winner: DST Group & Data61’s Cross Domain Desktop Compositor.

Merit: Data61’s Vision Processing for the Bionic Eye takes images from a head-mounted sensor and converts these to stimulation patterns on a retinal implant, improving outcomes for implanted individuals.


Junior Students

Winner: PowerShot, developed by Elliot Bairstow, Cory Dent, Hamish Howieson and Jessica May, is an app that combines technology, sport and games to measure how fast you can kick, hit or throw a ball.

Merit: Table Talks, invented by Declan Predavec (previously an iAward Winner in 2016), is a versatile and effective tool that listens to a conversation, and displays what is being said to those who can’t normally hear it at the dinner table.

Merit: Reading Republic, developed by Claire Lau, Sophia Gianotti, Sabrina Stitt, Angelica Talevi and Isobel O’Brien, , an app that encourages kids to read in a child friendly environment where they can read and write book reviews.

Senior Students

Winner: An Aspie Life, developed by Bradley Hennessey, an interactive game that allows the general public to understand the challenges of those with living with autism.

Merit: The Mass Platform, invented by Rory Wade and Joseph Fergusson, solves the suspension issue faced by many 4 wheeled robots. The mechanism enables the robots to maintain 4 contact points with the ground when maneuvering over obstacles one third of the robot’s height.

Merit: Tolka, created by Eito Kito, Quincy Kusnady, Ahmed Al-Dulimi, TaeYoung Ham, Matthew Van Bueren and Raj Pandya, a web and mobile application which allows speakers of two or more languages to become an interpreter and to interpret for anyone.

Undergraduate Tertiary Students

Winner: RMIT University’s VICHyper Hyperloop Team have designed an innovative transportation system that offers travel speeds similar to aircraft speeds (560 km/hr), but maintains the benefits of rail transportation.

Merit: University of Tasmania’s Digitran team developed a unique mobile platform that digitises the capture, collection and collation of sustainable transportation survey data via two mobile applications, that feeds into an online database and portal.


About the AIIA’s iAwards

AIIA’s iAwards honours both companies at the cutting edge of technology innovation as well as leading professionals across the Digital Economy. Most importantly, the iAwards recognises the achievements of home-grown Australian innovators.

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About the AIIA

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978 AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favorable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. We do this by delivering outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant and interesting information.

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