BridgePoint Group’s Innovation Awards 2020 – The judges have their say. 

The 2020 BridgePoint Group Innovation Awards have been run and won. As we have announced here, the winners were from a variety of industries and various business life-stages.  

We thought it would be good to dive into the judges’ insights regarding the winners. What were the key points which separated the winning businesses from others nominated in the BridgePoint Group’s 2020 Innovation Awards? Read on to find out more…

Firstly, let’s review the judging criteria.

The judging criteria are based on technical merit, social good and commercial potential. 

  • Technical Merit: What is under development and how it differs from existing solutions?
  • Commercial Potential: What is the growth potential and target market for the company’s innovation?
  • Social Good: How does the solution make a positive impact on society?

Other considerations are the extent that each nominee stretches the traditional thinking and applies innovation to solve or meet an unmet demand or problem. The development, implementation and use of new systems, technology, processes and the ‘smarts’ behind them. This covers clever, imaginative and original thinking.

Who was on the judging panel? 

For the second year running, the judging panel for BridgePoint Group’s Innovation Awards consisted of:

The winners and what set them apart.

Tarkine took out the coveted Best Innovation from a Start-Up Award.

Let’s see what the judges thought.

  • Alan – What tipped Tarkine over the line for me was that they thought of the process from start to finish. They’ve even thought of having compostable return envelope bags so once people have finished with their runners they can send them back. Tarkine takes care of dismantling and recycling the runners. A great innovation in the highly competitive runner market. 
  • Tony – Tarkine is the ultimate environmentally friendly running shoe company, offering to recycle each pair of their shoes at the end of their life. In a market dominated by global brands, Tarkine brings social responsibility to the running shoe market.
  • Marco – Tarkine – interesting as they have a different spin to sustainably repurpose old products. Given that textiles contribute substantially to landfill, Tarkine adopted a product stewardship program, which is a great initiative. Similarly to how Nespresso has adopted a pod recycling scheme to return used pods for recycling. In the huge shoe market, Tarkine’s approach is a very positive point of difference. Manufacturing in a non-traditional way with the end-of-life of the product firmly in their business strategy.

Moving to the Best Innovation from a Small Business, Nuggett & Charlie’s long term approach to producing skincare products that are produced from vegan and organic ingredients.

  • Alan – For Nuggett & Charlie it was the vegan skincare range and how all materials are “raw”. The ability to produce competitive a skincare range that has the same shelf life as brands that use artificial ingredients is truly innovative.
  • Tony – Nuggett & Charlie impressed by capitalising on the trend towards a cruelty-free lifestyle and locally sourced goods to produce and sell a range of vegan cosmetics and skincare products.
  • Marco – Nuggett & Charlie take a fresh approach to products produced in today’s throwaway society. Referencing older times, Nuggett’s approach to using natural ingredients and going against big brands and their laboratory developed products. Using natural products, this Australian beauty product (which has a 20-year history) has taken cues from previous generations and indigenous Australians who used what was around them to keep healthy. So great to see a company looking to the past to produce an innovative product for today (and tomorrow’s) world. 

Taking out the award for Best Innovation from an Established business is Tradiebot.

A leader in the automotive industry utilising augmented reality, virtual training, robotics repair and innovation in parts manufacturing.

  • Alan – Tradiebot is so unique, they have developed a niche product that can not only transform automotive repair in an efficient manner, saving customers time and money but ultimately will result in plastic parts no longer being sent to landfill.
  • Tony – Tradiebot has combined augmented reality and virtual environments into user-friendly real-world applications that simplify and streamline training and information delivery in the automotive and trade sectors.
  • Marco – Tradiebot – With experience in this AI and robotics space, the development of AI and robotics in the automotive sector is putting Tradiebot on a level playing field globally. It shows that if we back ourselves in Australia, we can compete with innovators globally and in some be at the forefront of the roll-out of innovative technologies. The adoption and development of new uses of technology is definitely the way forward.

Overall the winners…

  • Alan – As a whole, innovation has shifted from being purely technical, to a broader thought process. How can technology help not just people but the environment, with a marked emphasis on sustainability. Also, each of the winners created a product that has a captive audience. Commercially this is key as they’re innovations that the people want and will pay for.
  • Tony – Social impact was a real feature in this Year’s winners. Social impact is now part of mainstream corporate strategy to protect and create value. Both Tarkine and Nuggett & Charlie are generating value by playing their customers desire to live responsibly and ethically.  
  • Marco – Innovation technologies are the way forward for Australian Manufacturing to compete globally. There needs to be a sustainability strategy underlying manufacturing innovation, which will see Australian Manufacturing competing on a more level playing field with global competition.  

Looking at the over-arching strategies from the winners.

The winning companies all look to embrace technology and combine a social responsibility mantra into their product development. This only appeals to audiences who are evaluating their purchase decisions, with the products environmental impact, firmly in-mind. 

If you have any questions relating to the Innovation Awards or how BridgePoint Group can assist your company with its Innovation practices, including lodging claims for the Australian Government’s R&D Tax incentive program, then please contact the team on 1300 656 141 or send an email to Alan or directly from the website here.

Keep up to date with BridgePoint Group by following our company updates on LinkedIn here.

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