Rocket Lab flying high at NZ Innovation Awards

  • 20/10/2017

Rocket Lab's attention-grabbing breakthrough in delivering a satellite into orbit has seen the company win the supreme accolade at the New Zealand Innovation Awards in Auckland.

The awards, held on Thursday night, celebrated innovation, impact and success from across the country.

Rocket Lab, named the Bayer Supreme New Zealand Innovation for 2017, has pioneered a Kiwi space programme, with purpose-built rockets for regular commercial satellite launches from Mahia Peninsula near Gisborne.

Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck was named most inspiring individual at the NZ Innovation Awards in 2014, so to return three years on and receive the biggest honour of the evening is testament to the continued growth and success of the company, says New Zealand Innovation Council interim chief executive Craig Cotton.

"The Electron launch vehicle utilises 3D-printing and ground-breaking technology to deliver satellites into orbit with high frequency," Mr Cotton said.

"It can offer crop monitoring, natural disaster prediction, improved weather and maritime reporting, and search and rescue services from space."

More than 700 people attended the awards, where 22 winners and 14 highly-commended awards were honoured across 12 industry categories and eight business disciplines.

"We aim for the awards to help join the dots within the innovation ecosystem to stimulate further connection, collaboration and creation of opportunities for our entrants, finalists and winners," Mr Cotton said.

Other winners included internet management company Linewize, payroll innovators Simply Payroll and Burnsafe NZ, which has created devices that safely dispose of landmines without the use of explosives.