Finalists in the 2007 Western Australian Inventor of the Year Award have produced some of the most exceptional inventions ever seen in Western Australia.

Announcing the six finalists today, Science and Innovation Minister and Premier Alan Carpenter said the calibre of entries was testament to Western Australia’s reputation as an innovation powerhouse.

Finalists’ inventions this year ranged from a vaccine bio-marker to help control the bird flu epidemic, a computer chip that increased the speed of home computers and a cost-effective video surveillance technique to increase community safety.

“The Inventor of the Year Award has reached a whole new level, with the standard of applications received this year being incredibly high,” Mr Carpenter said.

“Innovation is underpinning all industry sectors and the winning finalists have been selected because their outstanding inventions will provide significant benefits to a diverse range of industries.

“I know judges found it very hard to choose only six finalists, and this reflects the expertise that currently exists within the science and innovation industry in Western Australia and our growing global status.

“Last year’s inaugural awards saw many finalists take their inventions to the next level, which in some cases was commercialisation, which is what all inventors aim to achieve.

“This year’s winning inventions cover a broad spectrum of sectors, including biotechnology, clean technology, resources and information and communications technology (ICT). It will help these sectors become more efficient, even saving lives in some cases.”

The award was administered by the Department of Industry and Resources through the Western Australia Innovation Centre at Bentley Technology Park.

The Inventor of the Year Award helped public, private and tertiary sectors to commercialise new products and services.

“Award winners will receive significant financial assistance and in-kind support, such as access to professional services and resources appropriate to their stage of development and commercialisation,” the Premier said.

”The six finalists have already received more than $9,000 worth of prizes each, whilst the overall Western Australia Inventor of the Year winner will receive prizes valued at more than $100,000.”

Winners will be announced on Friday, October 19.

The finalists include:

Early Stage Category:

Professor Svetha Venkatesh - Virtual Observer - Solves the problem of providing video surveillance cheaply and efficiently to an entire city. The technology uses cameras mounted on buses and other public sector vehicles as mobile agents to capture images over large areas. The images can then be constructed into a variety of camera views of any location at any given time; and

Professor Kamal Alameh - High-speed Inter-chip Optical Interconnect - This invention uses micro-lenses in a novel way to substantially increase the speed and performance of home and office computers. It facilitates higher rates of data transfer at lower cost and reduced energy consumption.
Development Category

Nanne van’t Riet - Core Level Indicator System - Time is money and this invention will save both for the oil and gas industry. The first step in exploring a potential reserve is drilling for a core sample, however there is currently no way of knowing whether the sample is being drilled correctly. This device provides operators with real-time measurement of the amount of coring material being captured relative to the rate of penetration, affording greater operational efficiency; and

Cassandra James - Avian Influenza Vaccine Marker - Controlling outbreaks of Avian Influenza at the source is the first line of defence in lowering the risk of a human pandemic. By incorporating a specific biomarker into avian vaccines, this innovation can differentiate infected from vaccinated animals - eliminating the need to destroy an entire stock.
Ready for Market Category

Peter Clarke - MillMapper - This innovation will dramatically cut costs and improve safety on mine sites. MillMapper uses a 3D laser scanner to obtain fast and accurate wear rate data on the internal liners of ore grinding mills. The technology cuts mill downtime and ensures maximum life is obtained from a set of liners without risking safety or damage from breakages; and

Jessie Inman - Cool Energy - This new cryogenic carbon dioxide removal technology extracts CO2 from natural gas in a liquid form, suitable for geosequestration (underground carbon storage) at much lower cost than competing technologies and with zero greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information about the award, please visit