Shining a light on the technology expertise behind New Zealand’s most innovative businesses


Around 130 of New Zealand’s leading scientists and engineers are, collectively, the technical brains behind the success of many of our most innovative companies.

From quantifying the benefits of manuka honey to working out new ways to 3D-print tiny components smaller than the human eye can see, the highly-skilled staff of Callaghan Innovation’s Research and Technical Services division (RTS) have helped solve an incredible range of tough technical challenges for their customers.

RTS is made up of groups specialising in the technologies that will transform our future, including advanced materials, biotechnologies, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT).

These experts have so far been relatively modest about their world-leading capabilities and ground-breaking achievements. But that’s all changed with the launch of a new website focused on RTS’s people, the technologies they’ve developed and the flow-on business benefits their customers have enjoyed.

The site includes dozens of mini case studies showcasing the work RTS’s specialist teams have done. It also carries detailed bios of many staff.

RTS’s scientists and engineers are focussed on de-risking innovation and accelerating commercialisation, says Heather Deacon, General Manager of RTS Operations. This helps the businesses they work with to get novel products, processes or services to market quicker, so they can realise value faster and gain a greater return on investment.

“We partner with businesses to solve tough technical problems and prototype, develop, test, improve and validate products, processes or services so those businesses can deliver to their customers at scale,” Heather says.

“Not only does our technical expertise align with key areas of development well suited to enhancing New Zealand’s future – including agritech, health and wellbeing, and clean technology – but as the ‘engine room’ of Callaghan Innovation we can also connect customers to the funding, commercial capability and key partnerships they need to succeed.”

Innovation-focused companies often stumble during the ‘development’ phase of their R&D journey because it’s easy to fall into what’s been described as the ‘valley of death’ between early research – usually the domain of universities and crown research institutes (CRIs) – and commercialisation, when the private sector tends to become interested in investing.

“RTS’s mix of technical expertise and commercial acumen means we can help businesses make it through the valley of death by reducing R&D risks and costs, which in turn boosts speed-to-market, improves scalability and increases a company’s success prospects once they get to market,” Heather says.

“I’d encourage anyone whose business is grappling with these complex issues to have a look around the website,“ she says.

“With RTS’s work covering so many sectors and touching so many innovative Kiwi businesses, visitors are bound to find inspiration from the work we’ve been involved in.”


This content is created in partnership with Callaghan Innovation.

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