Geoff Willmott

Geoff Willmott

Deputy Director Commercialisation and Industry Engagement

For Justin Hodgkiss, twenty years of taking his lab-based research to the market in various forms hasn’t dimmed the excitement of being a part of such development.

David credits the MacDiarmid Institute with helping to strengthen ties between researchers, institutions and industry, a key factor in success, from networking to funding to equipment provision, right through to business development.

David has worked on a number of spin-offs from his research, his credibility and success as a research scientist and science entrepreneur is unparalleled within the institute. He has published around 200 papers in internation- al journals, and is inventor on around 40 patents.

David joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department at Auckland University in February 2006. He is an adjunct Professor at Dublin City University, Principal Investigator in the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute there and he is an Honorary Professor of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.


Innovation Agents are scientific specialists in research translation and commercialisation of research, contracted to raise awareness of the commercial significance of research across the MacDiarmid Institute and, specifically for projects that span multiple institutions, to guide projects through technology transfer. These agents are closely affiliated with KiwiNet, Callaghan Innovation, and Return on Science; developing these relationships means that that Institute can extend educational opportunities further.

Innovation Agents assist scientists, helping them to identify research with commercial potential through scoping projects, or, when appropriate, longer, more in-depth investigations of commercial potential.  They can assist and guide analysis to distinguish markets for potential projects, and perfume competitor analysis in the realm of existing products and IP.

Through the work of Innovation Agents, actively ‘scouting’, educating and promoting awareness of commercialisation possibilities from basic research across the MacDiarmid Institute, a pipeline of promising new commercialisation opportunities has been built.