Award Presented during the Annual LES Foundation Graduate Student Business Plan Competition
BOSTON, May 18, 2012— Student entrepreneurs from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia received the Licensing Executives Society International's (LESI) $5,000 Global Award for their start-up Relivit. The Global Award, which was presented as part of the 2012 LES Foundation Graduate Student Business Plan Competition, is awarded annually to the team whose plan best deals with intellectual property (IP) rights and their use in the global business environment.
Relivit is looking to combat escalating environmental and economic costs associated with waste disposal (dumping) by licensing and commercializing the only commercial-scale technology specifically for recycling absorbent hygiene product waste (diapers, feminine products, continence aids, etc.) -- a waste stream the team calls, 'uniquely problematic and unaddressed.'
Using their licensed technology, Relivit plans to build and run advanced recycling facilities where commercial waste management providers will deliver waste collected from washrooms, aged care and child care centers, and other such facilities. Here, the waste will be sterilized and broken apart, and specialized equipment will be used to separate the fiber and plastics and prepare them for resale. The high quality wood fiber will be recycled as cardboard and plastics will be sold for use in moldings and construction materials.
"Half a million tons of this waste is buried in Australian landfills annually and the cost of dumping in Sydney alone is projected to increase by 50 percent in the next five years," said Relivit Commercial Director Mark Dunn. "Relivit will reduce waste disposal costs for its customers, divert 95 percent of the waste from landfills and reduce direct carbon emission by more than 50 percent." Relivit's first plant is slated to open in 2013 in western Sydney with plans for others across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Swinburne was one of 35 teams from around the globe that participated in the Competition, which is hosted by the LES Foundation along with the Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and Canada), Inc. and LESI. The event, now in its 9th year, uniquely focuses on business plans that emphasize intellectual property (IP) assets and strategies for how these assets can best be leveraged to reach business goals.
"As the world's economies rely increasingly on IP for growth, the LES Foundation Competition offers young professionals a unique opportunity to learn critical IP and licensing skills, receive expert feedback and mentorship, and make industry connections," said LESI Past President Patrick O'Reilley. "Their experience is enhanced by the international nature of the event, which gives them valuable exposure to key considerations for commercializing their businesses in global markets. We congratulate all of our outstanding 2012 participants."
The $10,000 Grand Prize went to students from Purdue University for their start-up company, Medtric Biotech, LLC, which is poised to introduce a new class of wound dressings containing a revolutionary infection-fighting nanotechnology that protects against bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs, while also speeding up the healing process by 25 percent.
The six teams that advanced to the Finals received expenses-paid trips to attend the LES (USA & Canada) Spring Meeting where they presented their plans to a world-class panel of judges. Each runner-up team will receive $1,000, and all of the teams will select from a valuable pool of in-kind prizes from donors including: Bracewell & Giuliani; Finnegan; Fisher Adams Kelly; Knobbe Martens; Olson & Bear LLP.; LES (USA & Canada); Peregrine Maven; and, Watermark.
This year's runner-up teams included: University of Arizona, USA -- Kulira Technologies; University of Illinois at Chicago, USA -- NovoView Diagnostics; University of Nebraska, USA – NeuroNano Pharma; University of New South Wales, Australia – Pluvision
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About Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and Canada) Inc., LES International and the LES Foundation: The Licensing Executives Society, (U.S.A. and Canada) Inc. is the pre-eminent professional organization in the field of intellectual property transfer and commercialization in the U.S.A. and Canada. It is one of over 32 national societies (representing 90 countries) of the Licensing Executives Society International, which has over 11,000 members worldwide. The LES Foundation was established by the Licensing Executives Society, (U.S.A. and Canada), Inc., to increase awareness and understanding of the licensing of intellectual property rights and to communicate the critical role licensing plays in bringing creativity and innovation to the commercial marketplace.