When the MacDiarmid Institute was first conceived, it was with a vision of science excellence; a vision that would bring together the best researchers in materials science in order to create research of a standard and excellence beyond what could be achieved by these researchers alone.
I don’t know whether even Sir Paul Callaghan foresaw that the MacDiarmid Institute would one day out-compete most of New Zealand’s universities and other research organisations, as it has in the ‘Nature Index 2016’, by taking the fourth place in New Zealand’s Top 10 research institutions. But I know he’d be delighted. Research excellence is part of our mandate and ‘punching above our weight’ is something the MacDiarmid Institute has done for many years.
In 2016 we grew our international dimension with new MOUs and other collaborations. The fact that we are a sought-after international partner is high endorsement of our science.
Materials science naturally leads itself to high-tech spin-outs and so we map the journey from the lab to the marketplace—‘Bridging the Gap’. We show how MacDiarmid affiliated start-ups are making their way from the lab into the real world of intellectual property, tech incubators, and the world of investors and how the MacDiarmid Institute is supporting them along this journey.
It’s no easy task keeping students interested in the physical sciences, yet a prosperous New Zealand needs students keen to continue in these subjects through to university. As you’ll see we’ve expanded our public engagement into new and exciting areas, another aspect of our work of which Sir Paul Callaghan would, I know, be extremely proud.
Professor Thomas Nann