SciBlogs

Archive November 2011

Startup investment scene in NZ, like the rest of the world, is changing fast Peter Kerr Nov 24

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The world of investment in startups is changing, and what’s happening in the rest of the world will soon be occurring downunder.

Part of the change comes about because one of the little uncool secrets of the venture capital world, is, generally speaking, it ain’t doing that well from a returns point of view.

And, it is not only in New Zealand that VC funds are finding it tricky to attract new capital. Around the globe apparently, more than 1700 VC firms are looking for more cash.

The biggest and best known VC firms such as Khosla Ventures (investor in LanzaTech) and others are getting bigger. These super VC’s are managing to provide a decent return mainly by virtue of the fact that they get first pick — they’re the best known, so people go to them early on; and many of the ideas will be crackers.

But back in the USA, it is estimated that half of the institutional investors who invest in VCs are going to refuse to put in anymore promised monies (they don’t put in all the money upfront, instead drip feeding it in). These Limited Partners are effectively saying to the VC, ‘sue me’, banking that they won’t.

Here in New Zealand, we’re not immune to under-performing, or even completely unperforming VC companies. Apparently the Number 8 Ventures Number One fund made absolutely no money for its investors. The Number 8 Ventures Number Two fund got off the ground before Number One reported back its performance.

This isn’t a surprising way of doing things, indeed similar things happen in the USA as, Hatm Tyabil and Vijay Sathe provide in a great overview article of ‘Venture Capital Firms in America: Their Caste System and other Secrets’ here.

The NZ Venture Investment Fund, and their associated VC partners have been pleading for more time (than the originally estimated seven years) to obtain a return from the fledgling companies they invested in. NZVIF and its VC partners have just started to exit some of their investments, HaloIPT, and inductive power transfer technology to Qualcomm for millions of dollars — the first of what must be hoped is a number of divestments.

All of which is a roundabout way of pointing out a fascinating article by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, at Businessinsider.com. His article on ‘The Way Companies are Getting Financed is Completely Changing’ is here.

Gorby argues that though the VC market is moribund, there are many new financing options for growing companies that weren’t available a year ago.

These include:
 Crowdfunding
 Accelerators
 Super-angels
 Late-stage private equity
 The long-delayed IPO

He goes into some detail explaining these options, most of which have a parallel in New Zealand.

There isn’t, yet, a local crowdfunding play. For that matter there doesn’t have to be in a sense, since the way global markets work, a newly hatching start-up can hang their shingle, put their pitch on sites such as AngelList.com or Kickstarter.com (similar but for ‘creatives’) and see if they garner enough collective money to allow them to get going.

The Securities Market Conduct Bill might manage to get through Parliament in the first quarter of next year, and this contains provisions for peer to peer lending (for smaller amounts that doesn’t require the person receiving the money to issue a prospectus) which will legally allow crowdfunding type setups in New Zealand.

Who fills this Kiwi-centric void will be a fascinating space to watch next year.

Accelerators are a more advanced, more IT-centric form of our incubators. The incubators are doing a reasonable job in New Zealand, and as a previous sticK story reported, MED can’t kill them (see here).

The angel investment scene has been an expanding bright spot — with early November’s Angels Summit in Tauranga deliberately coinciding with the announcement of a new ‘Enterprise Angels’ body centred on the Bay of Plenty. It initially has $4 million in its investment pot

New Zealand’s Angels are filling some of gap currently not able to be filled by VCs, as most are fully subscribed by their investment companies. An exception is the Movac #3 fund which is now looking for investment opportunities.

It is the later, slightly more mature start-ups that find it difficult to expand in New Zealand.

These slightly larger companies are still too small for private equity companies to buy out, while a stockmarket listing is usually deemed too expensive and/or comes with too many reporting obligations.

This is part of the NZ conundrum called the ‘Valley of Death’ funding gap. It’s the $2 million to $10 million next capital injection required by growing companies, expanding their footprint across the rest of the world.

All and all, this means the next period of startups and commercialisation and investment promising to be very interesting in New Zealand.

The development of new funding options will coincide with the launch of the Science and Innovation Council (to be chaired by a senior cabinet minister, with sticK speculating it will be John Key; see story here).

It’s all part of a stirring of the innovation pot (actually turning a good idea into something that makes money).

The more this happens, the more it will happen. It’s a virtuous spiral that can only be good for all of us.


Report brings facts for the fluffy functional foods and nutraceuticals industries Peter Kerr Nov 22

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You have to give Coriolis top marks for what it has come up with in its food report for the Ministry of Economic Development on ‘Nutraceuticals & Foods for Health’.

This paper hovers between information and knowledge, with enough observations and learnings thrown in that it immediately is (partly in the absence of anything else) THE go to document for the whole area. (Find it here).

Given Coriolis have produced it from a standing start, with pretty short notice compared to the dairy, meat, seafood, produce, processed foods and beverages sector reports that are also up on the MED website, the Auckland research, consulting and strategy company has pulled together an impressive 129 page document.

For the first time ever, instead of anecdote and guesswork, the often nebulous, sometimes snake-oil masquerading as cures, industry has facts pulled together in one document.

In fact, Coriolis, led by Tim Morris, found that as the MED-initiated project rumbled into life, various other government players also came on board — with money! Thus, the Ministry of Science and Innovation, MAF, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NZ Trade & Enterprise, Ministry of Fisheries and Dept of Labour all have their monikers on the front as well.

Not that those organisations were much help in collecting the raw data — there’s precious little of that, no universally accepted definition and its difficult to quantify.

As a CEO of one NZ company they interviewed says, ‘all natural product areas are tricky to define, they have such huge scope, and lots of small players.’

But Coriolis has managed to corral this ‘scope’, kicking off with its methodology and definitions, and following an upfront summary and conclusions, segwaying into the separate nutraceuticals and functional foods global and NZ situation reports. There’s a hefty appendices section profiling firms and products.

What this is though is a damn good resource. What Coriolis has called observations is also useful — an intelligent and well-argued 25 pages built around three central themes:

 Legitimate & credible
 Collaborate and consolidate
 Industry & science alignment

For longtime observers of New Zealand primary industry, some of these observations (much of it the same ‘stuff you, stuff you’ mutual fingers to each other by NZ competitors who should be collaborators) will be distressingly familiar.

Morris and the Coriolis team also wrote the Seafood Information Project, and reckon that industry has a much more coherent view, and most participants reached the same conclusions on what is required for future success.

As befits what is a much more ‘fluffy’ industry, there is nowhere near the same level of coherence of view by the nutraceutical and functional foods players — but at least some of this divergent opinion is out in the open and there is a definite place from which to move forward.

Coriolis’ summary is best shown in its SWOT analysis of the nutraceuticals market. The entire document will be required reading for anyone in, or contemplating a sector that has arguably the best potential to add significant value to New Zealand’s biological resources.

Here’s the SWOT.

Strengths
 Unique flora and fauna due to NZ’s geographic isolation
 Unique products proven success (e.g. manuka honey)
 NZ trusted country and products with secure food source
 Able to leverage favourable opinion of NZ in key markets, (e.g. China, Korea, Japan)
 Cheaper to manufacture than Australia

Weaknesses
 High cost of robust scientific validation of claims (e.g. clinical trials)
 Fickle markets often fad products with inconsistent consumption
 Narrow consumer market
 Regulatory environment in export markets challenging to understand and frequently changing; no global standards or agreements
 Most NZ firms have low/no economies of scale
 Lack of capital for research and capital investment

Opportunities
 Large waste streams from existing food and beverage manufacturing
 Expansion into high-demand nutraceuticals market (e.g. East Asia)
 Native, unique plants
 Research into key high potential products with proven track record (e.g. manuka honey, blackcurrants)
 Marketing NZ’s unique environment and products
 Marketing to tourists in NZ
 Online shopping
 ‘Country of Origin’ labelling supporting NZ products
 Special dietary requirements (e.g. for use in retirement homes, hospitals, etc)

Issues/Threats/Risk
 Counterfeiting of NZ products, particularly in China
 False claims bring disrepute on the industry
 Increasing amount of regulatory restrictions
 Backlash, negative publicity in sector with products with unproven claims
 Companies repacking imported ingredients as produced from NZ
 Scare/contaminations/disease damaging consumer image of NZ

However, the document is much more comprehensive than this SWOT alone — as already said, it’s a great resource.


Science medal and link to wealth creation a great endeavour Peter Kerr Nov 18

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It’s great to see some public recognition of scientists and (by implication) science with the just announced medals presented to 13 New Zealanders by the Royal Society.

Reading some of the citations and background on the women (with the main gong, the Rutherford Medal being won by a member of fairer sex for the first time) and men, the depth and breadth of research carried out in this country totally punches above our size. The list of winners and their ‘story’ can be found here.

Of particular note from an innovation point of view, mention should be made of Neville Jordan.

He’s picked up the Thomson Medal awarded ‘for his contribution to the development and application of science and technology to wealth generation through his management of MAS Technology Ltd, Endeavour Capital Ltd and his role as a director of numerous spin-out companies he has supported through the latter.’

As an august body, the Royal Society’s role is to advance science, technology and the humanities — which it does across many different spheres. Its strapline (on its home webpage) is ‘a place for knowledge and excellence’.

This certainly doesn’t preclude wealth creation, and indeed, without the money that wealth provides, publicly funded science couldn’t be carried out.

Science produces ideas, be it thinking or products or understanding.

In a sense though, ideas are easy.

It is turning them into something that is of value, often measured in monetary returns, that is the real trick.

Or, put another way, if innovation were easy, everyone would be doing it.

But it is not. It takes hard work, market understanding, good management, sometimes a bit of luck, and guts.

Jordan’s demonstrated these attributes, and New Zealand’s better off as a result.

Conferring the Thomson Medal on him is a boost to the idea that using our brains to make money is a good thing.

It also demonstrates that science, and its pursuit, is not antithetical to riches.

Overseas, those with a science and engineering background are encouraged to (also) get into business.

In its own small way, Jordan’s winning of the Thomson Medal is another small move for New Zealand down a similar path.


Technology companies need to skite more Peter Kerr Nov 17

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Perhaps the main ‘problem’ with the majority of the companies that make up the TIN100 is they fly beneath the general public’s radar.

They’re not about fashion, or coffee, or rugby, and 90% of the revenue earned by these clever companies is from easy-to-miss exports. If they were in the USA or Germany or China, they’d be feted.

Even though the ICT software/services, high tech manufacturing and biotechnology companies that make up the ‘Technology Investment Network 100’ had record revenues of $7 billion last year, many New Zealanders would be hard-pressed to name half a dozen of them. (The TIN100 report is here.)

Which is a pity, because in a time of economic tightness, the top 100 (there’s also a second 100) grew revenues by 5%, and lifted employee numbers by 6% to 30,000.

One of the reasons for such strong performance is that R&D spend by these companies is 5% of total sales. At the same time they’re selling stuff, they’re getting the next products ready for the market as well.

And there must be faith in this strategy — R&D employee numbers grew by 6% in these companies.

For TIN100 principal sponsor, IRL (about to become high-tech HQ), the statistic that R&D partnerships with universities and CRIs by these companies grew from 13% from 7% must be heartening. As IRL’s commercialisation manager Gavin Mitchell said at the Wellington launch of the report, there’s also a large opportunity for the company to work with the high value manufacturing and other sectors ‘and help grow on something that’s more than the number eight wire mentality.’

TIN100 managing director Greg Shanahan said one of the features of companies doing well in exports, is how they’re using Australia as a springboard for initial large growth, and leaping to the rest of the world from there.

There’s a heck of a lot of good stuff happening in and by these companies says Shanahan.

‘People just aren’t aware of it,’ he says.

‘If there’s a real plea, talk about your successes locally. That will build the desire of students to study science, to be entrepreneurs. The trouble is, most of these companies are invisible apart from this forum [TIN100].’


Ideas aplenty, and some may blossom after Startup Weekend Peter Kerr Nov 15

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What a fantastic experience and hands-on intensive education Startup Weekend Wellington was.

The Nov. 4-6 event was well organised, tightly run (kept within its promised time-frames), and best of all a wonderful learning environment. It is as close to real world as you can be, without (at this stage) the casualty of losing actual money.

The crucial importance of customer validation to prove/ascertain that a market exists for the suggested product or service was perhaps the most important single lesson. (Having ‘failed’ in a business venture precisely because I didn’t do this bit properly, this part was very apt).

In theory customer validation is really what the judging criteria was primarily based on; though there was a hint that the cheek and flamboyance of presentation to a panel of judges (and the rest of the Startup attendees) counted for lot as well at the end of the process early on Sunday evening.

sticK’s first up idea pitches (‘21 Questions’ — app-based bite-sized philosophy Q & A’s, and ‘NamePlaces’ — new definitions/witticisms based on placenames) failed to garner any votes from the 86 attendees as a follow-up business investigation.

But 14 out of about 40 one minute ideas/pitches got enough votes, and teams formed around these conceptual ideas. See the ideas here.

The next two and a half days (Friday night 4.30pm — 1am Friday night, Saturday 7am — 1am, and Sunday 7am — 8pm) were exercises in attempting to clearly state what the product/service was, who wants it, how big the market is — and the rest of a host of questions to be answered before embarking on a business.

The groundfacts.com team, (yep, already has a website, Twitter and Facebook accounts) were looking to make a business around obtaining useful information from the Tweets that come thick and fast during a crisis. In fact, Twitter is THE first and main producer of disaster-based data; and during the Christchurch earthquake(s) for example, was the primary means of engaging with survivors — particularly those able to help.

groundfacts.com wants to make it easy for disaster relief agencies, and the media (as the target at this stage) to have sorted Twitter information almost instantly up and going as crisis unfolds.

groundfacts.com was one of the few business to business based ideas in the competition, but we failed to excite the judges. I was a member of the team, for an idea that’s still rough around the edges, but with a fair degree of back-end development already built into it

I believe the idea and semi-formed solution has potential though, and as one of the organisers, WebFund’s Dave Moskovitz says, ‘what’s more important is you’ve got to realise the competition is in the marketplace.’

We’ll have to see if we can give it legs.

As will many of the other participants’ ideas and neo-businesses. Which is the primary desired outcome of the weekend.

sticK can’t rate it highly enough. It’s a great boost of enthusiasm and can-do, an opportunity to meet a bunch of like-minded individuals all looking for opportunities (to add wealth to themselves, the city and country, and/or to do good for others), and learning fun. That said, it is quite exhausting, but we were all well fed.

Though it had a heavy internet/computer/mobile phone bent, the lessons Startup Weekend provides are invaluable. The before-mentioned Moskovitz asked how many would be interested in a similar event repeated in six months time. The vast majority of attendees put up their hands.

At the same time, Startup mentor Alison Holt of Longitude 174 said, it would also be good to have a Startup Weekend for other types of businesses (i.e. manufacturing, biological).

As one of dozens floating around the BizDojo in the weekend, that idea’s a good one too.


Bright Ideas Challenge feels like it’s already permanent Peter Kerr Nov 10

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Perhaps the best thing coming out of what is only the second Bright Ideas Challenge just completed by Grow Wellington is the sense of permanence it already has.

It feels like it is going to hang around.

The publicity (and recognition that it’s bloody hard work) given to up and coming businesses, or the ideas for businesses, is a virtuous spiral. Much of this is based on the notion that ‘heck if Joe or Joanne can do this….there’s no reason I shouldn’t.’

And with the success, (and failure…but let’s call it experience instead) of participants in these Bright Ideas Challenges, will come more bright ideas. They might use BIC 2012 to develop it, but more importantly, look to explore it now. (As an aside, apparently this year’s ideas were of better quality than last year’s inaugural event, so an onward and upward notion is definitely on the cards).

Given the contacts and discussions and networking that the challengers (and those looking over their shoulders) will and have done, people will simply get on with testing, validating and capitalising on an idea.

One of the most promising aspects of the finalists in BIC was the range. While there were a fair number of computer/internet/app based business ideas, the region’s science organisations also participated.

GNS won the science prize for ‘The Macerator’, a new technology to process samples for fossil analysis — particularly useful in the oil and water exploration industries by those drilling for the products. GNS hasn’t yet protected the technology, so is rightly cagey about revealing the methodology.

Tinkture Tattoo Aftercare received the consumer product prize for — well, it is self-named.

The main prize, taken by the Clean Technology Category winner, was Greenkeeper Systems Ltd. It ensures that desktop and laptop computers are switched off when not in use, helping reduce the carbon footprint of the IT sector estimated to create 0.5% of global carbon emissions. You’d have to presume that this technology is seen as having the best, fastest, most scalable opportunity for immediate growth.

One feature the BIC organisers got right this year was the presentation ceremony. It took about 10 minutes for all the category winners to be announced, and then after a quick speech by Grow Wellington chair Fran Wilde, the winner, Helen Joronen, received the top award.

See all the winners, announced on Wednesday 2 November, here, the top dogs from almost 1000 entries.

Then the all-important, arguably most important aspect of the evening. Smooching and connecting. The event itself started at 5.30, and was still going, after nine when sticK left.

If you want a totally non-objective indication of the value that people have and are finding from BIC, look no further than that as an indicator.


At last, a kick along for high tech and niche manufacturing Peter Kerr Nov 08

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For a large number of New Zealanders, and (also unfortunately) the media, the announcement of a high-tech transformation of the science sector will be a ‘so what’ experience.

For those looking for science and innovation led means to improve the country’s wealth, the declaration and its nuances are significant.

First the statement was from John Key, rather than the Minister of Science and Innovation, and secondly by government, rather than as National Party election manifesto statement.

Admittedly Key’s announcement came at the same time that about to retire Minister of Science and Innovation, and acting Minister of Economic Development David Carter released (a very late) ‘Powering Innovation’ report kicked off in March.

There had been an expectation that the report’s panel members, John Raine, Mina Teicher and Phil O’Reilly, would find a level of dissatisfaction from the services offered by the CRI, IRL, most closely involved with the high value manufacturing sector.

Instead the general consensus was, IRL’s doing good, its just not big enough to handle the increasing demands from industry.

The raw bones of the Key announcement is that there is to be a $150 million additional operating expenditure for a newly named IRL (as an advanced technology institute, a ‘high-tech HQ’), and $80 million capital expenditure allocation.

This will effectively double IRL’s present number of scientists to 700. And while the CRI’s Auckland and Christchurch presence is to be increased, it is still unclear how and what will happen to its main Gracefield campus.

This is the current centre of IRL’s chemistry, physics, mathematics and applied engineering skills, and the site could definitely do with a new, purpose built building instead of hotch-potch of pre-fabs and bits and pieces that it currently has.

Given the small size of New Zealand though, it makes sense to increase certain areas of technological excellence here — and some of the $80 million must surely be allocated for new construction at Gracefield.

The Powering Innovation document made a number of recommendations — but the most important one in sticK’s opinion, hinted at by the transformation announcement being made by John Key, is #13 — (but this will be lucky for the country).

This recommendation is for a Science and Innovation Council, led from a very senior ministerial level, with representatives from universities, researchers, and industry.

It is a model adopted in the Finlands, Denmarks and Singapores of the world, suggested in other sticK blogs (see here, and here).

The expectation must be that John Key will head this council, devolving the policy and MSI oversight to another minister(s) — perhaps Stephen Joyce who lately has been another to put his hand up for the role.

Such a move, and leadership, will be critical for New Zealand clawing its way into higher value and niche manufacturing (much of it based on our biological resources).

In the meantime IRL will be working on much of the devilish detail in putting many of the Powering Innovation recommendations into practice and transforming itself into a high-tech HQ.

IRL has been champing at the bit to get on with significant growth, and Key’s announcement will enable it to let loose on its contingency plans (which ironically formed much of the Powering Innovation document). The government’s decision and the report reflects the public position and submissions that IRL made to the high value manufacturing review.

To double in size over the next five years, it is going to have to bring onboard some bright young minds, as well as bring in some from overseas.

Don’t be surprised to find it announcing an increasing number of joint graduate schools with universities as a collaborative approach is taken to pumping out PhD scientists and engineers.

Don’t be surprised to see a new campus at Gracefield, and different types of collaborations in Christchurch and Auckland.

Don’t be surprised to see a kick-started innovation ecosystem roar into life, as a Science and Innovation Council, allied to invigorated industry sectors and researchers start pointing research outcomes to a shared goal — increased wealth.

About blinking time!


Time to read fine print of manuka research project specs Peter Kerr Nov 03

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The puller-togetherer of the Manuka Research Partnership Ltd is reading the fine print of the Primary Growth Partnership contract with MAF.

Neil Walker has no inside knowledge on whether the consortium’s biggest player, Comvita, will or won’t get taken over overseas company Cerebos (in turn majority owned by Japan’s Suntory). See here for some other NZ Inc sticK thinking on the subject.

But, Walker, a former senior research manager at Fonterra, current Taranaki dairy farmer and regional councillor (among many hats), would like to see a longterm approach to the development of the manuka honey and other products market in and by New Zealand.

MRPL recently obtained 50:50 funding from the MAF-administered Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), after its members agreed to pony up half of the $1.7 million to be invested in a seven year research programme to increase the reliability of supply and proportion of medical grade manuka honey out of New Zealand. (Story here).

Of most immediate interest could be the fine print in the PGP contract with respect to the research programmes being in the interest of NZ.

Walker says there’s a contract clause about protecting the nation’s investment and equity in the project. Though a foreign-owner wouldn’t necessarily not be able to be part of a research project, Walker says it is something that would have to be looked at.

The consortium reckons it can produce 16 times the current quantity of manuka honey (and with it the Unique Manuka Factor = active ingredient methylgloxal) and crack $1 billion a year in sales.

MRPL has just begun efforts to have plantation manuka aimed at maximising flowering and length of flowering time. It is working closely with Massey University, and after an initial set-back when the original PhD student who was going to work in the project had to pull out, has now found another academically-inclined scientist to carry out the contracted work.

Walker says MRPL has to meet milestones with ongoing funding dependent on meeting them.

MRPL has also appointed Dr Laurie Melton , recently retired as professor of Food Science at Auckland University, as an independent auditor of the partnership’s performance.

Melton will help keep an on eye on how well projects are moving along, and be able to provide the necessary prods and pushes if required.

Walker has observed over the years that it is extremely easy to find time and milestone slippage when dealing with universities. ‘While this project may be important to us, it’s just another project for the university,’ he says. ‘An independent, external auditor is one way of keep in the project moving.’

He hopes that New Zealand can learn off the likes of the Chinese and Japanese, and have at least a 20 year plan for manuka honey. Comvita’s courting of Cerebos could be a way to establish exactly how much Comvita is worth, though he also hopes present directors are taking a longterm approach to any investment in what is a public company.

In the meantime, Walker’s going to check out the details of the PGP contract.

For, while MAF aren’t the only ones interested in the outcome, given that there’s intellectual property being (or going to be) generated in manuka by the MRPL, as the government’s proxy, it has a fair bit of influence in the final outcome of the project.


Plastics CoE remolds itself into a Polymer Alliance Peter Kerr Nov 01

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Fittingly, the plastics industry seems to be on the verge of remolding itself and its centre of excellence.

This time, for an activity that is known as an ‘enabling industry’, hopefully the model and structure is got right. As a $3.8 billion business, for something that operates below the radar, it has the potential to be much more enabling.

Because the industry has been here before — though not with as wide an industry group as is on the verge of coming together.

A Plastic Centre of Excellent research facility was opened in late 2008 on Auckland University’s Tamaki campus, boosted by about $5 million of government support through Technology NZ and NZTE, and matched by plastics industry funding.

The centre was supposed to be a giant group hug of mutual benefit.

However, the brand spanking new facility with state of the art machines and technology never properly got off the ground. The R&D, and alliance and relationships building initiative was never a complete success, and didn’t obtain buy-in from the plastic industry’s largest players.

The lack of critical mass, and distrust, resulted in a facility that has lain unused for the past couple of years.

Until now.

A new collaborative initiative, led by Industrial Research has been pulled together. IRL has a composite materials team that could use and contribute to PCE MkII.

In fact, it is more than a Mark II version, and is to be renamed the Polymer Alliance, reflecting both a material and geographic breadth and depth.

Other participants include Auckland University, fellow CRI Scion (which is researching heavily into naturally-derived polymers), Otago University, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and F&P Appliances, and Clariant (among others).

Clever plastic products, underpinned by design, have the potential to be core components of other New Zealand exports, as well as be exports in their own right.

The Polymer Alliance can help grow the number and size of the current 400+ plastics and polymers companies in New Zealand, by producing innovations that give the industry comparative and perhaps competitive (if an economy of scale could be achieve) advantage.

Over 8,000 employees helped convert more than 216,000 tonnes of raw materials into products in 2010.

The potential to use new materials, many based on renewable raw materials, is an avenue that the Polymer Alliance will undoubtedly wish to pursue.

The Alliance’s (re)timing is apt and couldn’t come at a better moment. Even as China has taken over the commodity and generic end of the market, through creating more specialised products, the NZ industry has continued to grow.

To maintain and even exceed its present growth, it needs some profitable, new ideas to commercialise.

The Polymer Alliance is an opportunity to revitalise an industry, a chance to make polymers NZ-centric.

The sooner the collaborative agreement is signed, the better.


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