PARTNER RELEASE - CSIRO has scooped the pool at the prestigious KCA Awards, for creating and commercialising a special X-ray to find gold and a varnish to preserve priceless artworks.

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The Awards celebrate world-class research commercialisation that turns brilliant ideas into products and services to help humanity. They have the potential to save millions of lives and create thousands of jobs in our knowledge industries.

"Australian research is among the best in the world, but it takes skilled commercialisation professionals to translate it into valuable products to benefit society," Chair of Knowledge Commercialisation Australia, Dr Erin Rayment, says. "The KCA Awards recognise those who bridge the gap between research and industry."

Among the finalists were The University of Queensland's vaccine candidate and a high tech app for patients in pain, developed by Curtin University.

KCA Award for Best Research Commercialisation:

  • PhotonAssay, which quickly and accurately X-rays ore to see how much gold is inside. This increases gold recovery by 1-3%, worth $2 billion a year to this industry alone. There are no hazardous substances in this process, improving environmental impact and worker safety. Commercialised by Chrysos Corporation, this technology is returning equity to its creators at CSIRO to invest in more breakthrough science.

KCA Award for Best Research Contract/Collaboration:

  • MS3, an Australian varnish created through 'flow chemistry', being used to preserve priceless masterpieces in art galleries around the world. Six years ago the world's best varnish - developed in the UK in 1959 - went out of production. No one knew how to recreate it. The National Gallery of Victoria approached CSIRO, which used its expertise in chemical synthesis to make a new and improved varnish: MS3. Melbourne company Boron Molecular bought the licence and exported MS3 to the world.

"Although a small proportion of the staff, technology transfer professionals are key to industry engagement and real-world impact," Dr Rayment says. "They facilitate the arduous journey from idea to reality, maximising social and economic benefits that result from billions of public dollars spent each year on research."

Sponsored by Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, the Awards were judged by commercial leaders of innovation:

  • Ross McFarlane (Partner, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick)
  • Dr Tim Boyle (Director, Innovation and Commercialisation, ANSTO)
  • Natalie Chapman (MD, gemaker)
  • Dr Peter Devine (CEO, Uniseed)
  • Sally-Ann Williams (CEO, Cicada Innovations)

"As the world recovers from the damage of COVID-19, the role of KCA in helping deliver the benefits of public sector research to our economy, and more broadly to our society, is more important than ever," Ross McFarlane says.

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Images

  • Inside a laboratory

    Chrysos PhotonAssay delivers faster, more accurate gold analysis

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  • Inside a laboratory

    Chrysos PhotonAssay is applicable for miners and laboratories

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  • Hands holding a container with gravel in it

    Chrysos PhotonAssay is a chemistry-free replacement for fire assay  ©Â©copyright Tony McDonough

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  • Pile of white powder used to form the resin.

    Researchers at CSIRO's world-class FloWorks lab used an emerging technology called flow chemistry to develop the resin with improved colour, chemical stability, and consistency between batches. Credit: Selina Ou and Narelle Wilson.  ©Selina Ou and Narelle WIlson, National Gallery of Victoria

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  • Multiple piles of resin powder.

    Synthetic and natural resins. Credit Selina Ou and Narelle Wilson.  ©National Gallery of Victoria

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  • Resin is painted onto a masterpiece

    The resin has been designed specifically for conservation and cultural heritage applications, like the The repentance of Saint Peter by Guido Reni, housed at the NGV. Credit: Selina Ou and Narelle Wilson.  ©Selina Ou and Narelle Wilson, National Gallery of Victoria

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  • Paintbrush applying resin to masterpiece.

    The resin has been designed specifically for conservation and cultural heritage applications, like the The repentance of Saint Peter by Guido Reni, housed at the NGV. Credit: Selina Ou and Narelle Wilson.  ©Selina Ou and Narelle Wilson, National Gallery of Victoria

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Bernice Nolan

Communication Manager - Mineral Resources Comms

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