We, as in NZ Inc, and particularly the companies that get them, are always keen to be internationally recognised.
And when the company involved, Simcro, devotes 10-12% of its annual turnover to R&D, there's even more reason to celebrate walking the talk when it comes to innovation.
The Hamilton animal health pharmaceutical delivery solutions company (that is, vaccine injectors and drench guns; at least at this stage) has just picked up the design equivalent of an Olympic gold medal.
It has received an International Forum (IF) 2011 product design award from Germany; one of three leading design awards in the world.
Simcro's Sekurus (in Latin securus means safety), is a self-tenting gun, that virtually eliminates accidental pricking of the operator while also allowing one-handed operation. It and Simcro were reported on earlier in sticK, here, and here.
Managing director and part-owner of the company, Will Rouse, says the IP behind the Sekurus is quite defendable as well.
"It's clever, and we've spent a long time developing its mechanism, so we're happy to take out patents," he says.
It's 13 person product development team has more than 70 products under current development, though in the stop/start, approve and move forward nature of its partnership development programme, "they're only working on 10-12 at any one time," Rouse says.
More than 90% of its products are exported to more than 65 countries. Generally these are distributed alongside an animal health company's product (such as Novartis, Pfizer and Ancare among others), the delivery system part and parcel of the whole.
Rouse would like to see Simcro doubling its product development team within a couple of years as the company looks to expand beyond farm animals and into the more lucrative companion animal as well as human health sectors (which is much more heavily regulated).
Such is the company's rapid fostering of partnerships with animal health companies, it already has an open invitation to develop products for human health from a major pharmaceutical player.
The company's most limiting factor is capital for development he says. Given unlimited funds, he'd hire more product development personnel, being confident Simcro's management culture can execute the company's strategy.
"From a small place like New Zealand, we're able to produce inventions at the highest level," he says. "These days, we're well aware of what we're capable of."
In short, they're capable of gold medals!