Annual Report 2016

Building New Zealand’s innovation capability

Business success relies on a strong innovation system, and Callaghan Innovation plays a critical role in building and strengthening New Zealand’s innovation capability.

We used our knowledge and understanding of business innovation needs to:

  • Drive better integration across the component parts of the system
  • Improve coordination and networking among the many players, in both the public and the private sectors
  • Identify and understand the gaps and opportunities where key players, including ourselves, can add the most value.

Building our capability in this area includes:

Over the past year
Inspiring current and future innovators

We help encourage businesses and individuals to be excited by the possibilities that innovation holds and be ambitious about growth.
Inspired future innovators and entrepreneurs through the following programmes:

Futureintech is a programme developed to generate interest in science and maths at school and encourage students to choose science, technology, engineering and maths at university and as a career. This year more than 57,000 school-aged students and over 3,000 teachers in more than 400 schools participated in a Futureintech intervention.

Venture Up is a programme that provides entrepreneurship skills to rangatahi (young people) aged 16-24. Following a roadshow to more than 200 rangatahi, 40 were selected for a six-week intensive accelerator programme. Eight teams created a viable business. One of the teams has now secured three investors.

Chiasma is a student-led, nationwide organisation that connects science students with industry and fosters innovation and commercialisation. Chiasma has grown its membership of students and industry members to more than 2,000.
Technology networks

We provide line-of-sight between research, technology and industry and ensure that businesses have access to a single front door to the innovation system.
We create bridging forums that connect industry and the R&D community, for example, the Callaghan Innovation workshop at NZBIO in September 2015. We organised an additive manufacturing networking event, promoting the connectivity of industry, researchers and technology providers across a number of sectors. Our Materials selection workshop series introduced New Zealand companies to technology capability that helps researchers, designers and engineers make better material selection decisions for their physical products.
International partnerships

We build and maintain strategic international partnerships to assist us, and the wider New Zealand innovation system, to be at the forefront of innovation best practice and to take advantage of technological trends and opportunities.
Callaghan Innovation is a partner in the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), one of the world’s largest innovation networks focused on supporting small and medium enterprises to grow internationally. This year we joined the Healthcare sector group, which brings New Zealand into contact with healthtech innovation specialists and clusters. We also used EEN business matchmaking tools to facilitate ongoing business partnerships between New Zealand and European companies in the medtech sector. As well, we built our innovation relationships through joint innovation forums, partnering with embassies, and leading workshops and groups of foreign companies visiting New Zealand.
Pilot plants, incubators and innovation precincts

We are part of a networked system of shared innovation facilities and pilot plant services for businesses. We also support two types of incubator that work with start-up businesses to speed their paths to market.
Pilot plants
We support the New Zealand Food Innovation Network of pilot plants. As part of this support we have been directly involved in the set-up and operation of two open-access food and beverage pilot plants: Food South at Lincoln University and FoodBowl in Auckland.

In the past year founder incubators incubated 132 start-ups while technology incubators incubated 20 start-ups. Both types of incubator continued to contribute to the broader start-up ecosystem through activities such as
  Founder Tech
Biotech 2 9
Energy 3 -
Medical devices 3 1
Agritech 12 3
Food and Beverage 8 1
Digital 44 3
Financial services 10 -
Other 50 3
Total 132 20
  • Increasing the pool of capable mentors and enabling access to specialist advice and expertise
  • Raising investor funds
  • Raising awareness of high-tech start-up ventures
  • Hosting entrepreneurial capability development programmes.
Innovation precincts
We are following the Treasury guidelines in the development of the Business case for the Gracefield Innovation Precinct. We have provided funding and support for the creation of the Vodafone xone, a telecommunications focused innovation facility based at the Christchurch Innovation Precinct.
National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation

Callaghan Innovation hosts the National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation, which aims to enhance New Zealand’s ability to use physical and engineering science for economic growth.
The National Science Challenge assembled some of New Zealand’s world-leading scientists and engineers into five multidisciplinary, cross- institutional teams focused on taking advantage of global opportunities for innovation in areas of strength and competitive advantage.

From creating world-leading, next-generation, in-home medical systems to developing a revolutionary method for more accurate groundwater velocity mapping, these researchers have been collaborating to address some of New Zealand’s and the world’s biggest technological challenges. Researchers are becoming better informed about the changing shape of our economy to help support its future direction by providing science and innovation solutions that add value to firms. Four broad research themes – including Vision Mātauranga, which is unlocking the science and innovation potential of Māori knowledge – span industry sectors so that the Challenge can establish partnerships with businesses and Māori organisations in the right areas. The Challenge has established an ambitious programme of observational research to understand and overcome barriers to innovation that is already providing insights into industry-researcher relationships.

Rocket Lab | Measurement Standards Laboratory

Updated: 22 September 2016