The search is on for WA’s most innovative talent

The 2017 WA Innovator of the Year program, which showcases Western Australia’s brightest entrepreneurs, has been officially launched in Perth.

Now in its 11th year, the program, which is run by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, has celebrated some of WA’s most talented innovators who have gone on to commercialise new products and services, win new markets and disrupt old ones.

2017 finalists and semi-finalists in the program receive mentoring and pitch training. Finalists also receive a video showcasing their innovation. Finalists can use the prestigious Innovator of the Year 2017 logo recognising their achievement.

This year marks the introduction of the Young Innovator of the Year Award, which is a new collaboration between the Innovator of the Year and the Just Start It programs. Just Start It, which has been running in WA since 2014, is a program designed to harness bright ideas and talent and coach high school students on how to create a Technology Start Up. Participants in Just Start It will have the opportunity to apply for the Young Innovator of the Year Award.

The WA Innovator of the Year program also includes industry focused encouragement awards.  The District 32 Designing for Excellence Encouragement Award is awarded to a WA applicant who has developed an outstanding innovation in mining operations or metals production.  The Woodside Oil and Gas Encouragement Award is awarded to a WA applicant who has developed an outstanding innovative product, technology, process or service that is relevant to the Oil and Gas industry.

Mark Pullen, Principal, Watermark, has been involved as a member of the Advisory Committee and judge since the WA Innovator of the Year program’s inception in 2006. He joins a group of influential and progressive individuals who comprise the current Advisory Committee, including Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE, Patria Jafferies, The Honourable Dr Ken Michael AC, Former Governor of Western Australia, Dr Brad Pettit, Mayor of Fremantle, and Peter Millington, CEO of ChemCentre.

“It’s a privilege to be part of such a dynamic and continually evolving program and the addition of the Young Innovator of the Year category to this year’s awards is particularly exciting,” said Mark Pullen.

“WA Innovator of the Year continues to gather momentum and the support of major industry players has been instrumental to its success and longevity,” he said.

Award winners will share in close to $150,000 in prize money and all finalists and semi-finalists will participate in a mentoring program providing direct access to some of WA’s most savvy and commercially-minded industry leaders.

The overall winner receives $75,000 and each of the Emerging and Growth category winners receives $25,000.

Applications for the program are now open, and the application deadline is 12pm WST on 6 June 2017. Watermark can provide general advice on the program as well as the benefits of entering. Please contact m.pullen@watermark.com.au.

Alternatively, further information about the WA Innovator of the Year Program including Award categories and the application process can be found at https://www.innovation.wa.gov.au/opportunities/wa-ioty-2017.

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