Mapping our spin-outs

Stage 1

Product gains industry recognition and an increased public profile. Potential to attract early investment/partnering with business mentors. 

 

Lab

 

Spot Check (a collaboration between Principal Investigators and The University of Auckland Professors Jadranka Travas-Sejdic and David Williams), uses materials science to provide low-cost, on-the-spot detection of DNA signatures of infectious and chronic diseases, and won the prestigious Velocity 100k Challenge in 2016.

 

At a Get Funded workshop in 2016, MacDiarmid Principal Investigator and University of Canterbury Professor Maan Alkaisi developed a pitch for investment for his innovation using nanopyramids on glass to trap light to make photovoltaic (PV) powered greenhouses for food production. He is now collaborating with New Zealand and international industry and is seeking government funding to take this idea to the next stage.

 

CloudSpec, led by two MacDiarmid alumni, Dr Brendan Darby and Dr Matthias Meyer, and by Principal Investigator and Victoria University of Wellington Professor Eric Le Ru uses light to analyse cloudy solutions, such as paint, wastewater, algae growth, bioliquids and foods and beverages (including beer and wine). With KiwiNet Tier 2 pre-seed funding to validate their testing process with one of the key players in the New Zealand food and beverage industry, CloudSpec is working closely with investors and industry experts on the best business model going forward. 

 

A Medical Dosimeter, being developed by Principal Investigator and Victoria University of Wellington researcher Dr Grant Williams, is an optics-based device that accurately ensures the correct dose of radiation is given to cancer patients. Aiming for the hospital radiotherapy market, Dr Williams has an MBIE grant to develop advanced prototypes.

 

Stage 2

Start-up team works intensively with a tech incubator to take the product to market. 

 

Principal Investigator and University of Otago researcher Dr Carla Meledandri has developed a specially formulated, non-staining antimicrobial, silver nanoparticle formulation to arrest tooth decay (dental caries) and make teeth more resistant to recurrent infection. The product can be commercialised to manufacturers, distributors and health insurance companies. Dr Meledandri is working with a tech incubator to take this to the next step.

 

Principal Investigators and The University of Auckland Professors Cather Simpson and David Williams have established Orbis Diagnostics Ltd. Orbis is developing an affordable disc in each dairy shed that will tell farmers the protein and fat content of each cow’s milk, and help them assess the health of the cow regarding pregnancy, mastitis, nutritional status etc. Orbis is working with a tech incubator and Pacific Channel to take this to the next step. 

 

Auramer Bio Ltd is developing aptamers, new antibodies made from DNA and designed to bind to very specific targets.  These can be made in a lab rather than extracted from animals, produced quickly and at a fraction of the cost. Aptamers can target hormones for fertility treatment, or methamphetamine for drug testing, etc. MacDiarmid Principal Investigator and Victoria University of Wellington  Associate Professor Justin Hodgkiss is working with a tech incubator to take this to the next step.

 

Hi-Aspect Ltd, a company led by Principal Investigator and Auckland Professor Juliet Gerrard, is healing skin with biomaterials—a new protein-based nanomaterial for use in skincare products and wound dressings. Professor Gerrard is working with a tech incubator to take this to the next step.

 

Noble Bond Ltd uses nanogold in a boutique range of colours generated by surface plasmon resonance effects, to colour wool for high-value international luxury apparel and rug markets. It also incorporates nanosilver entities into wool to impart antimicrobial properties. The research and business development is led by Emeritus Investigator and Victoria University of Wellington Professor Jim Johnston. Noble Bond is working with a number of UK and European companies in its commercialisation pathway. Wools of New Zealand Ltd has taken up a shareholding in Noble Bond.

 

Stage 3

Company is in secondary fundraise, close to market, or in production. 

 

Engender Technologies uses materials science plus photonics to sort sperm for the dairy industry. Principal Investigator and The University of Auckland Professor Cather Simpson is perfecting these techniques in the lab ahead of in vitro fertilization trials and then field trials. Engender has secured major fundraising and investment including from two of the world’s largest artificial insemination companies. A second stage capital raise saw Engender successfully complete a $4.5 million fundraising.

 

Boutiq Science Ltd is a spin-off company from Victoria University of Wellington and the MacDiarmid Institute, founded by former Principal Investigator Professor Richard Tilley and operated by MacDiarmid alumnus Dr Anna Henning. Boutiq aims to be a leading supplier of unique nanoparticles to the research science and engineering community, and with assistance from VicLink Ltd, has expanded to begin the commercialisation and manufacture of nanoparticles for targeted biomedical applications.

 

Air Quality Ltd established by Principal Investigator and University of Auckland Professor David Williams uses materials science to manufacture sensing networks that provide reliable data, for example, for vehicle fleet exhaust emissions or wastewater treatment or carbon monoxide emissions. It currently employs five people, mostly postdoctoral researchers.

 

Aeroqual, also established by Principal Investigator Professor David Williams, uses materials science to manufacture new sensors for industry. The company now employs 30 people and turns over $8 million a year.