Ārohia Innovation Trailblazer Grant

Potential benefits for the innovation ecosystem

What is an innovation ecosystem?

An Innovation ecosystem is a network of organisations, individuals, and resources that:

  • are involved in the creation, diffusion, and adoption of new innovations and technologies
  • work together to create an environment that fosters innovation and supports the development of new products, services, processes and business models.

Guidance to help you identify potential benefits

Clearly explaining how your innovation can benefit the wider innovation ecosystem in Aotearoa New Zealand (referenced as ‘spillover benefits’ in the Ministerial Direction) is a crucial part of an Ārohia Innovation Trailblazer Grant application.

In particular, we want to know how your innovation will deliver one or more of the benefits highlighted in the table below.

When identifying the potential benefits of your innovation, please take into account that benefits can:

  • be created at any time during the development and implementation of your innovation - in the short term, they may result from activities carried out prior to market launch (with the support of grant funding); in the longer term they may result from or following the market launch of your innovation
  • include learnings from successes and failures.
Type of Benefit
Creation of a new market category or product category

A trailblazing innovation can unleash opportunities for others to develop innovative products or services of their own, within the new category or market niche you’ve created.

Think about the the ways in which your innovation may:

  • tap into an unexplored market or an overlooked customer segment.

Introduction of new in-country capability (physical or digital) 

Physical capability can include new infrastructure such as a lab, production facility or equipment. Digital capability can include a new cloud-based platform that allows others to:

  • integrate their applications into the platform

  • leverage Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to benefit from the platform’s data, features and tools.

Others could benefit by leveraging this capability to accelerate the development of their own innovations and collaborate to create a vibrant ecosystem around the capability. 

Think about the the ways in which your innovation could provide access to a new capability that:

  • lifts a country up to a globally leading standard

  • allows others to adopt cutting edge practices and use state-of the-art equipment and facilities

  • enables others to collaborate

  • creates a vibrant ecosystem around the capability.

Attraction of expertise to Aotearoa New Zealand

The problem you’re trying to solve or the innovative approach you’re taking can attract others who see the potential in what you’re doing and want to be part of it. The greater the pool of available expertise and talent, the greater the cross-pollination of ideas for generating new innovation opportunities.

Think about the the ways in which your innovation could:

  • attract researchers, academics, investors and suppliers who will bring specialised knowledge and expertise to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Exchange of knowledge

Knowledge exchange occurs when others can use the new knowledge and learnings that result from your activities and accomplishments, and apply this to solve new problems or create other new innovations - this could be in the same sector/industry or beyond. 

This new knowledge could be about a market, a regulatory system, a business practice, or proof that a new pricing strategy or business model is possible. A trailblazing innovation can also create original skillsets and specialist job roles.

Think about the ways in which your innovation can: 

  • generate new knowledge that is useful to others 

  • create new skills or specialties

  • create a need for skills transfer and new educational pathways to attain these skills

  • provide open source access to any IP or learnings that you are willing to share? (Note - you do not need to share IP when applying for an Ārohia Innovation Trailblazer Grant, however we do want to acknowledge that businesses can make some of their IP open source to accelerate the growth of their market category)

  • create new datasets that other innovators can access to solve new problems

  • involve sharing evidence and case studies of your learnings and accomplishments with others

  • set new benchmarks and standards for other businesses to find innovative ways to achieve.

Creation of a more networked ecosystem

A trailblazing innovation can create new opportunities and collaborations between actors in a supply chain, value chain or the wider startup and innovation ecosystem. This can include creating demand for:

  • new complementary products or services

  • new components or ingredients

  • new materials

  • new configuration of activities and resources between actors in a supply chain or value chain.

Think about the the ways in which your innovation can:

  • benefit others in the supply chain or value chain, including as a result of reconfiguring these networks

  • foster new collaborations amongst actors in the startup and innovation ecosystem

  • Inspire the creation of new innovations that could complement your own.

Wildcard benefit

We’ve identified five ways an innovation could benefit the wider innovation ecosystem, but there may be more.

The “wildcard” category enables you to describe a type of benefit that we haven’t yet identified.

What benefits are out of scope?

We recognise that an innovation which benefits the innovation ecosystem is also likely to deliver benefits for:

  • your business, and
  • the wider society, culture, economy or environment.

However, any private benefit or benefit beyond the innovation ecosystem itself is outside the scope of the Ārohia Innovation Trailblazer Grant.

This means you should avoid listing the following types of benefit on your application:


Updated: 19 May 2023