The construction industry sector in Aotearoa New Zealand has a low innovation intensity with slow productivity gains, a fragmented supply chain with minimal collaboration, a general lack of awareness of emerging issues and opportunities for new ideas to break through for companies to adopt new technology or modern methods of construction to scale their business transformation.

Construction innovation is essential for Aotearoa New Zealand's continued growth and development as it recovers economically from a global pandemic and from inflation. By embracing new technologies and innovation in Residential Construction, Vertical construction and Horizontal Construction, the country can build more sustainable, efficient, and resilient infrastructure for the future.

Callaghan Innovation is working alongside industry sector partners to build a more collaborative, productive, innovative, and sustainable construction industry. The Construction Innovation Mission’s Vision is for Aotearoa New Zealand to be a leader in Construction Innovation within the Small Advanced Economies group and within the OECD.

If your business could play a part in creating a more advanced, innovative and exciting Construction sector, we want to hear from you.

Areas of focus

The term Construction innovation broadly refers to the introduction of new or improved technologies, materials, processes, and methods in the construction industry that increase efficiency, productivity, safety, and sustainability.

Areas of construction innovation that we have experience in, and are looking to enhance for Aotearoa New Zealand, include:

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Digital Construction

Building Information Modelling, Digital Twins, AR, VR, AI, machine learning, IoT sensors, photogrammetry / 3D scanning.

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Sustainable Construction

Smart materials like bioplastics, smart composites, renewable energy, thermal efficiency, acoustics materials, low-carbon cement, low-carbon steel, natural fibre insulation materials, construction and demolition waste-to-value, etc.

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OSM (Off-Site Manufacturing) Construction

Prefabrication, Advanced Manufacturing / Industry 4.0, 3D printing.

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Business Model Innovation

Market validation, commercialisation strategy, investment-readiness, innovation road-mapping, business strategy, joint ventures, partnerships, prototyping, new product development support, etc.

Enhancing the sector

Between 2021 and 2022, we’ve grown the number of Construction businesses that we’ve supported from 186 to 374.

145 businesses have received funding and advisory support through our products and the Whare. This group has seen:

+ 8 %
increase year-on-year of full time employees (5x faster than the NZ average)
+ 10 %
increase year-on-year of revenues (4x faster than the NZ average)
+ 11 %
increase year-on-year on Research & Development spend (just under/over 1.5 times faster than the NZ average)

Technology roadmap

Explore our interactive Construction Innovation Technology Roadmap to discover the technology trends transforming the Construction sector. 

Why is this important?

Disrupt vs being disrupted
Enables construction businesses to create competitive advantage, uniqueness and new vertically-integrated value chains in the market.

Future-proofing R&D Investments
R&D is undertaken in areas that are likely to create disruption in future horizons as well.

Building the right capabilities
Informs businesses and sector partners on technology areas to mature existing capabilities in or to build new capabilities to create greater impact.


Explore the Technology Roadmap

CI Whare Partners

Who we work with

We’re keen to hear from and support early stage and growth high-tech businesses, creating products, services or processes that improve the delivery, resilience and performance in the construction sector.

Meet our experts

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Greg Overton
Greg Overton RDTI Customer Engagement Customer guidance for tax incentives

I work in the R&D Tax Incentive group guiding customers as they navigate the tax scheme for their business research and development.

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Greg Overton RDTI Customer Engagement
Tim Harris v2
Tim Harris Business Innovation Advisor Taking construction global through exporting

I describe myself as a ‘jack of all trades’ which has its roots in my electrician apprenticeship which led to working in Australian and Asian energy, mining and construction sectors and then later for the NZ Trade Development Board.

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Tim Harris Business Innovation Advisor
Patrick Lim
Patrick Lim Principal Research Engineer Mechatronics for ovine processing

I am a Principal Research Engineer within the Applied Technologies group with a technical expertise in robotic and automation technologies. I specialise in the application of these technologies for the processing of natural products with inherent high variability.

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Patrick Lim Principal Research Engineer
Sebastiampillai Raymond
Sebastiampillai Raymond Principal Research Scientist Using laser processing to make nature-inspired functional surfaces

I am a Principal Research Scientist in the MicroSystems and Polymers team working as an experimental physicist. My research and development expertise spans areas including laser processing, photonics imaging and sensing, nonlinear and optical materials, as well as radiation imaging and dosimetry devices.

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Sebastiampillai Raymond Principal Research Scientist
KL Chan
Kin Lung (KL) Chan Team Leader, AI Lead Leading business into transformative data journeys

I'm the Team Leader of the dynamic Data Vision Team and the AI Lead of Digital and AI Whare. We work to solve business challenges through innovative use of data and Artificial Intelligence. My journey includes having pioneered the Data Discovery and Data DIY services at Callaghan Innovation.

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Kin Lung (KL) Chan Team Leader, AI Lead
Vineet Shah v3
Vineet Shah Senior Scientist Low-carbon and sustainable binders

I am a civil engineer working as a Senior Scientist in the Applied Technologies department where I specialise in Advanced Engineering and Materials. My Ph. D. is in construction materials research and my principal research interest is developing sustainable binders and enhancing the longevity of concrete structures.

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Vineet Shah Senior Scientist
Milap Dhakal
Milap Dhakal Senior Cement Scientist Making low-carbon cement and concrete

I work as a Senior Cement Scientist in the Applied Technologies research group where I gather insights into fresh and hardened properties of cement-based construction materials. My past experience includes research into alternative cementing materials such as MgO-SiO2 cements and geopolymers.

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Milap Dhakal Senior Cement Scientist
Nick Sterling
Nick Sterling Head of Construction Innovation Accelerating productivity growth in the construction sector through business capability uplifts in innovation, commercialisation and collaboration

As the Head of Construction Innovation at Callaghan Innovation, I lead a dynamic cross-functional team of experts, collaborating on the design and execution of mission-led initiatives within the construction sector to contribute to a better Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Nick Sterling Head of Construction Innovation
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