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Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith will reveal the details of a significant challenge prize for the wearable technology sector at a launch event in Auckland this evening.

C-Prize, run by the Government’s business innovation agency Callaghan Innovation, will be open to anyone living in New Zealand aged 16 and over.

Mr Goldsmith says it is an example of incentives being used to spur inquisitive minds to create concepts with strong commercial potential.

“New Zealanders have always been historically strong in innovation and experimentation. Where we’re not so strong is in creating viable businesses out of those ideas.

“C-Prize is one tool for putting the people with the vision and technical skill to create technology breakthroughs in touch with the agency which drives commercialization of those ideas,” says Mr Goldsmith.

To be considered for the prize, entrants need to create a proof-of-concept for a piece of wearable technology. They will need to create a combined hardware-software wearable solution that captures and processes user data and communicates feedback allowing the user to act to enhance their outcome.

“The first C-Prize two years ago saw a number of groups form companies tackling drone technology issues for the screen industry. It demonstrated the power of creating a challenge prize to get people out of their chairs and into the shed, or onto their laptop.”

The launch event will also feature three representatives from groups likely to benefit as end-users of advances in wearable technology;

health tech developer, GP and former New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O’Sullivan; NZ Army Major Jaqcues Rousseau, who is working on health and safety advances in the military, and; Commonwealth Games swimmer and surf lifesaving world champion Laura Quilter.

“As part of the Government’s comprehensive Business Growth Agenda, we are committed to investing in research that provides excellence and impact, and this C-Prize will provide new possibilities in an emerging area of technology,” says Mr Goldsmith.

Entries will open on 4 April, via the C-Prize website, www.cprize.nz.

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