Crown research institute ESR was nominated in the KiwiNet PWC Commercial Deal Award for software developed with Forensic Science South Australia.
Their STRmix software, for forensic science, is improving DNA profiling interpretation and speeding up crime resolution. The software has created a strong revenue stream for ESR and is expanding rapidly into North American markets.
Jo-Anne Bright, ESR Science Leader and STRmix Co-Developer, and Bjorn Sutherland, ESR Forensic Development Manager and STRmix Commercialisation Lead, talk about this innovative software.
Crown research institute ESR is a world leader in forensic science. ESR’s STRmix software is changing the way law enforcement agencies analyse DNA data and is rapidly expanding into global markets.
STRmix is software that is used for the interpretation of forensic DNA profiles, and using traditional methods, we weren’t able to tease apart the DNA profiles from the individual contributors. However, using STRmix, we can actually do that. It’s fast, so we can interpret DNA profiles within minutes. The results from it are intuitive, and a forensic biologist has a really good feel about the results as they come out and what that means in the context of the case.
Pre-Seed Accelerator Funding from government helped ESR make the leap from cutting-edge science to viable commercial product.
The KiwiNet funding that we received was used to, one, validate the market, two, look at the pricing model, and three, really give us the confidence to make that move.
The STRmix was designed by biologists for biologists. There’s also a significant drive around the world – really big in the US – for the development and implementation of improved software for DNA profile interpretation.
STRmix is already doing very well in the North American market, and we’re expecting that market to grow. We starting to now focus on other markets.
All New Zealanders are affected by crime, and STRmix helps the Police to resolve crime quicker. They can redirect their resources so New Zealanders as a whole will have a benefit.
The deal benefits New Zealand in a number of ways. From an economic point of view, STRmix is providing a new international revenue source for ESR, which is again ultimately of value to the country, and it also is providing a platform internationally on which ESR’s forensic science can be viewed as world leading.
Video courtesy of Kiwi Innovation Network Limited
© Kiwi Innovation Network Limited, 2015