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Callaghan Innovation celebrates 10 years

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This article was published on 10 February 2023

Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand’s innovation agency, marks its 10th birthday this month, announcing its intention to launch the Sir Paul Callaghan 100 report – a new way to celebrate and recognise innovative ‘unicorns’ making an impact on Aotearoa’s economy.

The agency was launched on 1 February 2013 with the commencement of the Callaghan Innovation Act, and the mission to accelerate the commercialisation of New Zealand innovation.

Commenting on this significant milestone, Callaghan Innovation Chief Executive Stefan Korn says: “Callaghan Innovation is one of New Zealand’s newest government agencies, and yet the impact of our work has never been more widely felt across New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem. Estimates indicate that for every $1 Callaghan Innovation has funded towards research and development (R&D), our customers spend close to $8, and in just the last five years alone, we’ve worked with more than 7,800 innovative New Zealand businesses.

“We’re celebrating the work of the agency, and all those who have contributed to its success over the past ten years. I want to say a big thank you to our people who show up every day with the passion to make an impact for New Zealand, and to our customers who continue to inspire us with the Kiwi ingenuity Aotearoa has become known for.”

Callaghan Innovation was named for one of New Zealand’s greatest scientists and 2011’s New Zealander of the Year – Sir Paul Callaghan (1947–2012). Sir Paul was a highly respected and inspirational leader and teacher, and champion of science and business as being crucial to New Zealand’s economic growth.

Callaghan Innovation has worked with most of New Zealand’s high profile tech and science businesses before they made it – we’re in the business of helping bring weird and wonderful ideas to life and to market, and that is what makes us so unique.

“Sir Paul Callaghan once said ‘One hundred inspired New Zealand entrepreneurs can turn this country around. That is the challenge for us all’. It’s a powerful vision – and that is why, later this year, Callaghan Innovation will be launching the Sir Paul Callaghan 100 report, an aspirational new way to celebrate and recognise innovative ‘unicorns’, the startups that are pushing the boundaries and making an impact on our country's economy,” says Mr Korn.

The Sir Paul Callaghan 100 report is expected to be released later this year.




Media contact

Laura Malcolm - 02102363297


Notes to editors

Callaghan Innovation Chief Executive Stefan Korn is available for interview.

Callaghan Innovation has video content of the agency over the past ten-years.  If you would like to access this, please email

About Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency. The organisation’s primary mandate is to activate innovation and accelerate commercialisation to help businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand.

The government agency partners with ambitious businesses of all sizes, delivering a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of their growth. Callaghan Innovation’s team empowers innovators by connecting people, opportunities and networks, and providing tailored technical solutions, skills and capability development programmes, and grants co-funding.

Callaghan Innovation also enhances the operation of New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem, working closely with MBIE, NZTE, NZGCP, Crown Research Institutes, and other organisations that help increase business investment in R&D and innovation. The agency operates from four urban offices and a regional partner network in a further 12 locations across Aotearoa. 

Gracefield Innovation Quarter is home to more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists, researchers and technicians, along with a suite of tenant businesses. The site features state-of-the-art specialist workshops, pilot plants, labs and equipment, and world-class measurement facilities.