MacDiarmid Institute and Creative HQ on quest for new high-tech companies
This programme will focus on new Intellectual Property (IP) and product opportunities that are emerging from the various streams of specialised research being undertaken by the MacDiarmid Institute, which is spread across NZ’s five leading universities, and the Crown Research Institutes; Industrial Research Limited and Geological and Nuclear Sciences. The MacDiarmid Institute comprises 40 Principal Investigators, 30 Associate Investigators, and more than 120 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
The MacDiarmid Institute’s founding Director was Professor Sir Paul Callaghan, New Zealander of the Year in 2011, and founder of the high-tech company Magritek. An objective of the programme is to identify capability and technologies that can spawn a host of new Magriteks.
CHQ has recruited Dr Anne Barnett, a physicist who has worked in Europe as a business development manager, to coordinate activities with Victoria University of Wellington and the other North Island institutes. She will be assisted by CHQ’s Commercialisation Manager Alan Groves.
Dr Bill Swallow, a chemist at Canterbury University who has been a long-time proponent of science commercialisation, will coordinate activities at Canterbury and Otago universities.
The MacDiarmid Institute’s Deputy Director Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, Dr Simon Brown of Canterbury University, said “this programme is a major step forward for the Institute and demonstrates its commitment to generating commercial outcomes from its research activities. Sir Paul has inspired a generation of scientists to take their research into the marketplace, and this is exactly what is needed if New Zealand is to create the high value companies that will secure our future.”
Director Dr Kate McGrath said she was “confident that established and emerging researchers, and budding science entrepreneurs, would take up the opportunities to hone their commercial skills that the programme will provide”.
The contract represented an important milestone for CHQ, which has been building relationships with the main IP-generating institutions in the Wellington region with a view to providing assistance to them with their commercialisation activities over the past 18 months.
“The MacDiarmid Institute is internationally recognised and it’s a great opportunity for us to work with some of New Zealand’s leading scientists, and demonstrate the support and focus we can provide to their commercialisation efforts – and the value we can help build,’’ CHQ CEO Steve O’Connor said.
For further comment please call Steve O’Connor, CEO, Creative HQ on 021 574808 or Dr Simon Brown, MacDiarmid Deputy Director Commercialisation and Industry Engagement on 0274 554591
Photo (from left): Dr Bill Swallow, Dr Anne Barnett, Commercialisation Manager Alan Groves