The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research celebrated its 100th birthday this year. The institute has grown from its initial £2,500 donation to the largest medical research institute in Australia. Its pioneering work includes fostering the hen egg technique to grow viruses (now the gold standard for producing flu vaccines), and developing hormones that have helped more than 20 million people recover from chemotherapy.

Canberra is home to the world’s best barista. In 2015, Sasa Sestic wowed judges at the World Barista Championships in Seattle with his signature coffee – which included a splash of Australian winery Clonakilla’s shiraz viognier juice. Interestingly, Clonakilla was founded by Dr John Kirk, a research scientist from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. Read more about CSIRO’s achievements here.

CSIRO also invented the word to describe the smell of rain in the air – ‘petrichor.’ Working with rocks exposed to arid conditions, researchers discovered a fragrant oil trapped in rocks and soil that is released in response to humidity. The word comes from the Greek for stone (‘petra’) and the blood of the gods (‘ichor’).

New Zealand

Sheep outnumber people by 6:1 – no wonder we’re investigating new ways to add value to one component of our second highest export.

Auckland is home to the world’s best bartender, Sai Hamsala, who took first place in Diplomático’s World Tournament Finals in Venezuela this year.

New Zealand is a dominant player in the global production of vegetable seeds, accounting for over 50% of the world carrot seed production, 55% of radish seed, and 50% of beet seed. Based around this busy industry are other agritech innovations, such as precision agriculture and plant seed oil extraction.

Precision Seafood Harvesting is a brand new method from New Zealand that is providing a solution to a global problem: unsustainable fishing. This large, flexible PVC liner with specifically sized holes along its length allows undersized fish to escape before they are brought on board a fishing vessel, and hugely improved survivability rates for caught fish. Read more about the results from this award-winning invention here.

By Emma Armitage, Business Analyst, BioPacific Partners

About Emma Armitage

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