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World-leading tech experts in NZ for premier innovation challenge

open this image in new window: C-Prize 2017

This article was published on 8 June 2017

Three international experts are travelling to New Zealand next week to share their expertise in wearable technology with entrants in NZ’s premier innovation challenge.

Kiwi innovators and entrepreneurs are being are invited to create the next generation of wearable technology as part of business innovation agency Callaghan Innovation’s C-Prize Challenge. The biennial event is designed to push the boundaries of what’s possible through technology and offers a NZ$100,000 grand prize package.

Mikko Malmivaara is based in the US and has been in the business of wearable technology for almost 20 years. Professor Robert Reiner is based in Switzerland and his development of the ARMin arm therapy robot has won several prizes. Professor Paul Lukowicz is based in Germany and heads the Embedded Intelligence group at DFKI and Kaiserslautern University.

Free seminars are being held in Christchurch (June 12), Wellington (June 13) and Auckland (June 14) where students, entrepreneurs, innovators and inspired minds can meet the expert trio and find out more about the challenge - which calls for innovation in three important areas for New Zealand: living healthier, working safer and playing smarter. 

“It is a huge privilege for the Challenge to have the support of global experts of this calibre,” says Callaghan Innovation Chief Technology Officer Chris Harsthorn. “Their international experience will allow everyone from start-ups to established business the opportunity to take away valuable insights with practical application for wearables.

“We’re really excited about the C-Prize this year – it’s focused on wearables for health, wearables for play, and wearables for the workplace. They are three very diverse areas, but they are areas in tremendous need of innovation, and in tremendous need of solutions.

“Wearable device use has increased dramatically in New Zealand - in the past 12 months, the number of wearable technology owners has almost doubled and now represents 9% of people aged over 15, offering limitless opportunity for innovators.

“We know it takes a lot of courage to make the leap into innovation. An opportunity like C-Prize can be just the nudge that people with ideas and ambition need to create a tangible concept.”

Entrants will have their innovations reviewed and recognised by a panel of industry professionals, prominent investors, and entrepreneurs with the best becoming viable businesses.

The 2017 C-Prize grand-prize winner will be awarded a NZ$100,000 prize package and up to 10 finalist teams will each be awarded a NZ$35,000 prize package.

Entries close on July 2. 

For more information see the C-Prize 2017 website

Interview requests are welcomed for Mikko Malmivaara, Professor Robert Reiner, Professor Paul Lukowicz, and Chris Hartshorn. Contact: Tina Smith 027 550 8268 

Mikko Malmivaara

Mikko Malmivaara  

Mikko is based in Florida where he works between the textile and electronics industries in Jabil's Nypro division, Consumer Health: Wearables & Wellness department. He has been in the business of wearable technology for almost 20 years. His real-world experience includes from concept to design to supply chain to manufacturing.

Robert Reiner 

Robert Reiner

Robert is a Full Professor for Sensory-Motor Systems at the Department of Health Sciences in Technology in Zurich. His development of the ARMin arm therapy robot has won several prizes. Robert’s current research interests involve human motion synthesis, biomechanics, virtual reality, man-machine interaction, and rehabilitation robotics.

Paul Lukowicz

Paul Lukowicz

Paul is Professor of AI at DFKI and Kaiserslautern University where he heads the Embedded Intelligence group. He has a long history of wearable computing and issues related to on-body and worn mobile technologies. His current fields of research include pervasive computing, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, and wearable computing.

Chris Hartshorn 

Chris Hartshorn

Chris is Chief Technology Officer at Callaghan Innovation. His experience includes providing emerging technology intelligence and strategic advice for the world's leading technology companies, and as a Senior Scientist to the US Naval Research Laboratory's Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering.