NovoLabs™ three-time winners at NZ Hi-Tech Awards

Tuesday 28 May 2024

The university’s spin-out company NovoLabs has won three categories at the Hi-Tech Awards this month for their world-first technology for ultraviolet (UV) treatment of liquids.

Inside the Supercritical UV chamber, where ultraviolet light sanitises a thin layer of fast-rushing water.

The Palmerston North-based company was awarded the Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product, Most Innovative Hi-Tech Solution for a More Sustainable Future and Most Innovative Deep Tech Solution awards at a sold-out gala following a record number of entries.

The Hi-Tech Awards celebrate the best of the best across Aotearoa New Zealand’s Hi-Tech sectors. This year, NovoLabs was a finalist in four categories ahead of their success at the awards night.

Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University’s spin-out is making cleaner waterways more affordable with advanced disinfection units built in Palmerston North. NovoLabs’ “Supercritical UV™” disinfection technology shoots a thin film of liquid through the disinfection units where high-intensity UV lamps rapidly treat large volumes of liquid. The system enables a safer, lower-cost, chemical-free and more sustainable treatment of liquids.

NovoLabs founder Professor Andrew Shilton was thrilled with the company’s recent successes.

“It was a good week for NovoLabs, with some of our team attending the NZ Hi-Tech Awards where we were honoured to win in the three categories. Meanwhile in Europe, others in our team have been attending our first expo in the European market that resulted in a deluge of sales agencies requests for our patented UV tech,” Professor Shilton says.

Professor Shilton developed the game-changing technology following decades of research and development at Massey. In 2021, NovoLabs was spun out with support from Massey Ventures, the commercialisation arm of the university.

L-R: Research Engineer Dr Gerald Olson, NovoLabs founder and Chief Technology Officer Professor Andy Shilton, Production Engineer Mr Ben Terris and Engineering Manager Mark Kiely.

Since their launch, the company has sold multiple high-tech disinfection units and completed two successful capital raises. With their latest investment from Climate Venture Capital Fund, NovoLabs have set their sights on expanding into overseas markets.

Dr Jez Weston, a partner at Climate Venture Capital Fund, says it’s a promising technology with the potential to make a significant impact.

"NovoLabs' technology is a compelling solution for a sector in search of new and affordable alternatives. It allows water treatment plants to save on their operating costs, reduce greenhouse emissions and protect communities and ecosystems by killing pathogens.”

Massey Ventures Commercialisation Manager Dr Dan Carlisle says the win at the Hi-Tech Awards is just the latest in a string of achievements from the ambitious start-up.

“It’s great to see companies like Novolabs out there generating real-world impact from university research. Not only is their technology a commercial success, but it’s also significantly better for the environment, using less energy and fewer chemicals to clean our waterways.”

Find out more about NovoLabs here.

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