Do you have a track record of helping deep-tech companies thrive? Let's work together.
New Zealand’s deep-tech ecosystem is fast-emerging: a connected community of deep technical and scientific research with the potential to solve many problems.
Technologies like biotech and aerospace technology - which come, largely, from research out of universities - are key to creating a higher-value economy. But much of this valuable IP doesn’t continue on a commercial path, missing out on creating successful high-value businesses, jobs and exports.
Callaghan Innovation’s Tech Incubator programme plays a critical role in this difficult, but very rewarding, space. New Zealand is one of only a few countries in the world offering this unique model of public-private partnership for the incubation of deep-tech companies.
Since 2014 our Tech Incubator pilot programme has produced 45 new start-ups, attracted more than $50 million in investments, and created over 160 new tech jobs. Success stories including Croplogic, Invert Robotics and Onesixone have benefited from the programme, and continue to grow.
We currently work with three tech incubators who provide commercialisation support, advice and connections for start-ups to help them take very complex technologies to market. In addition to this, through the incubators Callaghan Innovation provides access to a limited number of repayable loans for these start-ups.
RFP for Tech Incubation providers - 2020
With a new framework in place we are now seeking incubators with the knowledge, connections and skills to ensure our IP is converted into successful commercial outcomes: high-value businesses, jobs and exports.
We’re looking for incubators that can apply their wealth of international commercialisation expertise, access to international investment and pathways to market, to the opportunities within the thriving Kiwi start-up ecosystem.
Incubators will have access to promising young companies, their ideas and ambition, as well as the opportunity to influence the development of the New Zealand start-up ecosystem and the growth of the economy.
Callaghan Innovation funding will include contributions to operational costs and access to repayable loan funding of up to $750,000 for each venture that they incubate. International incubators will be expected to establish a significant presence in New Zealand, including the permanent location of key management and incubation expertise in New Zealand – this could be by establishing a New Zealand-based subsidiary.
The Request For Proposals (RFP) is open to current, local and international providers who meet the ambitious new criteria, and will close on 4 October 2019. Services for current start-ups under the Tech Incubation Programme will continue as normal in the meantime. We will work with start-ups and incubators to answer any questions.
FAQs - Refreshed Technology and Founder Incubator policies
The requirement of incubators to have strong commercialisation experience, access to investment and pathways to global markets
More rigorous guidelines and performance metrics, with a serious data focus
Providers must be able to demonstrate sufficient liquid capital to invest in their ventures
Access to a maximum of $750,000 of operational funding, which each incubator must co-fund 50% of over the life of the contract
Each incubator will have access to funding for select start-ups going through its incubation services, including 10 pre-incubation and 5 repayable grants per year
A new maximum amount for repayable grants available to incubated companies of $750,000 (matched by $250,000 of co-funding from the incubator). The current maximum is $450,000 (matched by $150,000 of co-funding from the incubator)
Service contracts of up to 8 years, dependent on meeting performance expectations.
Updated: 3 July 2019