1000minds. Finalist innovation

2006 Westpac Otago Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards

Otago Daily Times supplement, 1 December 2006.

Curiosity and the intellectual excitement of invention is the driving force behind one of Dunedin's newest companies, 1000minds. The new company has pioneered software to quicken decision-making processes which involve multiple criteria (Decision Support Software). Seven years of theoretical research and a collaborative effort between expert software developer Franz Ombler and Dr Paul Hansen has fashioned the new product.

Extensive study and time were spent developing powerful algorithms to ensure the program's end results were scientifically valid and credible.

Commercial application became obvious to the pair as 1000minds envisioned people likely to use the new product. For example: organizations selecting students for scholarships, short-listing employment applications, patients or immigrants. The innovative software hit the world stage when the 1000minds story featured in Asian Wall Street Journal.

The program is presently being used by the Wellington Regional Council, Auckland City Council and Singapore's System Access Ltd, within three years of 1000minds being founded. The three-year-old 1000minds company has already managed to secure two New Zealand patents. The patented 1000minds method is known as PAPRIKA (Potentially All Pairwise, RanKings of all possible Alternatives). Further patents are pending in Australia, Canada and the United States of America.

1000minds has created another new product, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, customisable for any given application, which will potentially enable hundreds or thousands of users to work together via the Internet to create decision-making tools. Other new products include plug-in software that is compatible with Microsoft Excel and gaming-based software.

Dr Hansen is passionate about the work he and the 1000minds team are doing. Seminars at the University of Otago's mathematics and statistics, economics, finance and health sciences departments have allowed the program to be peer-reviewed. Dr Hansen and Mr Ombler believe the peer review process is important as it allowed their credibility and the program's scientific validity to be closely scrutinised. The company plans to approach Microsoft with a newly developed Microsoft-compatible program.

The 1000minds team has received national and international recognition for its work. It is also the recipient of the TUANZ Healthcare Innovation Award 2005, and a finalist in the 2006 NZ Health Innovation Award and Global Entrepolis @ Singapore Award 2005.