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Kiwi innovators from research labs to garden sheds and everywhere in-between encouraged to apply for WWF’s conservation innovation awards

Submitted by on September 8, 2015 – 4:00 am
 Heidy Kikillus won a 2014 conservation innovation award for her Cat Tracker research project (c) WWF 2015

Heidy Kikillus won a 2014 conservation innovation award for her Cat Tracker research project (c) WWF 2015


The search is on for new ideas that will enhance the conservation effort in New Zealand.

With WWF’s Conservation Innovation Awards now open for a second year, the nationwide quest for the next big thing in environmental protection runs until Friday 2nd October 2015.
Kiwi innovators from all walks of life—from research labs to garden sheds and everywhere in-between—are encouraged to apply their creativity and come up with new tools, gadgets and concepts to aid the work of frontline conservation volunteers throughout the country.
Designed to help innovators fast-track their ideas to development, the awards fall into three categories—product, community project and research—and offer $25,000 prize money to each category winner.
Entry this year is via a new crowdsourcing website. To take advantage of this, entrants need to submit their ideas as soon as they can at wwf.org.nz/innovation.
Lee Barry, WWF’s Conservation Innovation Awards Coordinator, explains: “Entries are posted onto the crowdsourcing platform, registered site users then comment and feedback on the ideas. Entrants can then take these comments on board and refine their submissions.
“The power of the crowd is gaining momentum and for the Conservation Innovation Awards this collective approach means that ideas for furthering conservation work, which will ultimately benefit all New Zealanders, can be fine-tuned to their full potential.”
Entries will be judged by an independent panel which will look for entries that have practical application and clear benefit for grass roots conservation groups. Judges include Silicon Valley entrepreneur Matthew Monahan and conservation visionary Devon McLean.
Last year’s award winning ideas included: Trap Minder – a mobile phone predator alert; Cat Tracker– a research tool enabling owners to monitor their behaviour and impact on wildlife; Energise Otaki – a community-wide initiative to reduce the town’s emissions and promote renewable energy.
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