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Thinking globally

Posted: 13 July 2017
Keep track of innovation agency news from around the world with this blog post series by Callaghan Innovation’s International Manager Cliff Fuller.

Thinking Globally



The Blockchain has been highlighted in reports by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Data 61 programme. The reports look at possible opportunities and barriers for blockchain technology, with the only successful scaleable use so far being cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.  

Australian medical device companies are taking part in a life sciences business accelerator in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, USA, as part of a “Bio-Bridge” initiative. Callaghan Innovation is working with CMDT to lead a delegation of New Zealand businesses to Houston in October 2017.  




The Danish Dairy co-operative, Arla Foods, has invested in a multi-million dollar global innovation centre for natural dairy products as part of the Danish food cluster in Aarhus. The Danes came to New Zealand earlier this year and are keen on building stronger links with our food industry. 

In a move that highlights the importance of international collaboration, an “Innovation Denmark Centre” has opened in Tel Aviv, Israel (the ultimate start-up nation), to bring together Danish and Israeli innovation partners and facilitate new opportunities for collaboration and learning from each other. There are seven Danish innovation centres around the world. New Zealand offers similar services through NZTE and other providers, like the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco.  




The “circular economy” is a new model for generating growth based on recycling resources and renewable energy. Finland has a programme for changing from a linear to a circular economy, supported by the SITRA innovation fund, and recently hosted a forum that attracted 1,500 participants form 75 countries. Finland is now working with India to help them adopt their own circular economy approach. Energy and the environment are one of the seven sector priorities for Callaghan Innovation, and so we’ll be watching this programme with interest. Read more online at, and




Fintech (financial technology) is an important growth sector in Ireland as that country explores digital solutions to challenges in the banking sector. Several Irish companies leading disruption of the payments market attended Money 2020 in Copenhagen. Fintech plays a major part in Callaghan Innovation’s SaaS programme, which will include a delegation to SaaStr 2018 in San Francisco. Read more online at and




Singapore’s A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) is working in a consortium to develop and commercialise 3D metal printing technologies. The first homegrown Additive Manufacturing Centre has been opened in a partnership with the private sector. The Singaporean government has committed S$3 billion over five years to develop the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering domain, in which additive manufacturing is a key enabling technology. 

Singapore has also identified four frontier technologies in the digital economy that it wants to increase capability in: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science; Cybersecurity; Immersive media (VR/AR); and the Internet of Things (IoT).   



South Korea

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejon has developed a new Artificial Intelligence automatic face recognition system called K-Eye series. KAIST is reputed to be the most innovative university in Asia for advanced sciences, based on patent filings and citations in research papers. Read more online at and,




Innovate UK is promoting Industry 4.0 to radically improve the productivity and competitiveness of manufacturing in the UK. Innovate UK (like many others) is calling this the fourth industrial revolution in the way we design, produce and use manufactured goods, and is helping SMEs take action on Industry 4.0 strategies. Callaghan Innovation recently led a delegation of twelve companies with NZMEA to Hannover Messe and a programme of Industry 4.0 visits, and a similar visit to Australia is being considered.  


Contact Cliff Fuller

Twitter: @cliftonjfuller 

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