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Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

EPIC gets behind a new generation of Christchurch leaders

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Christchurch is the latest forward-thinking city to host Smart Seeds, a global innovation program for
young talent to tackle the region’s most pressing challenges. The EPIC Innovation Precinct in
Manchester Street was the venue for the Smart Seeds Launch Event during February.

The city and region is known for its resilience and adaptability – something reflected in a new breed
of professionals and innovators taking centre stage. Leading the movement are 31 young minds from
across the region who have each committed to forming a team around one of five regional
challenges.

Maurice Hoban, Smart Seeds programme lead said; “we have participants from 15 local
organisations, each bringing a unique skill set from different backgrounds. It is a really
unique collaborative environment and we’re excited to see the outcomes.”

Stimulating collaboration are five challenges, each thrown down by industry leaders working
towards the region’s future prosperity.

What challenges are being tackled?
 How to make Christchurch a magnet for business and tourism tomorrow?
 How to make urban residents the stewards of healthy waterways?
 How to enable alternative modes of transport to reduce congestion?
 How to develop a regional workforce that can compete on a global scale?
 How to embrace emerging technology to enable new possibilities for automated transport?

Participants will now work together to pull apart the complex technical, social and commercial issues
they face in coming up with potential solutions.

To support their journey from the outset, participants were armed with new skills, tools and
connections including industry leaders to provide mentoring as teams grapple with new ways of
working.

Signs are promising with teams sticking around after the launch to make sure they were connected.
Industry leaders also took the opportunity to strike up some healthy competition between the
mentors and challenge development teams.

So what’s next? Participants will be building on the launch experience with workshops focusing on
ideation, pitching and influencing change before the Showcase Event in Christchurch on 9 May 2018.
For more information visit Smart Seeds Christchurch.

Who is participating?
Belinda Lewis – Downer | Rachel Young – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Shaun Denholm – Intergen | Nick
Lovett – Christchurch City Council | Luke Parker – GHD | Steve Firth – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Olivia
Smith – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Paul Ferguson – Christchurch City Council | Hayden Sturzaker – Fulton
Hogan | Andrew Smith – GHD Advisory | Virginia Loughnan – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Dayle
McLauchlan – Apollo Projects | Fraser Gemmell – Christchurch City Council | Sam Bellamy – Environment Canterbury
Regional Council | Jamie Robinson – Duncan Cotterill | Charlotte French – GHD | Samantha Funnell – Synlait | Jono
Burch – Intergen | Nickie West – Fulton Hogan | Rob Capon – Synlait | Cameron McKie – GHD | Emily Murphy 
Christchurch City Council | Nick Webby – Fulton Hogan | Andrew Springford – EY | Sam Smith – Apollo Projects | April
Hickson – Intergen | Jonathon Ireland – Fulton Hogan | Simon Pollock – GHD | Scott Davison – Fulton Hogan | Brodie
Akacich – CIAL

With inspiring mentors:
Kate Phillips – Intergen | Andre Bresler – GHD | Charlie Derrick – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Carolyn
Gallagher – Christchurch City Council | Ken Renz – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Joel Gabites– EY

Coffee & Jam Tuesday 23 January at The Greenhouse

Monday, January 22nd, 2018
Our awesome partners are back with the FIRST C+J BACK FOR 2018!
WHERE: The Greenhouse (146A Lichfield Street)
WHEN: Tuesday 23 January, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Whilst EPIC undergoes renovations to make our event space awesome MOA will be at The Greenhouse until late February.
This weeks awesome speakers are:
Nicola Devine is the Creative Director at Tanker Creative, which is a brand, design and marketing studio based here in Christchurch. They are most well known for online design and marketing for creative people. Nicola will be taking our Coffee and Jam audience on an adventure through the MailChimp jungle! MailChimp is predominantly an email marketing programme… though Nicola promises it has plenty of cool extra tricks!
We’ve also got Ollie Hunt and Kara Kennedy from UC’s Centre for Entrepreneurship all set to talk with you about their start-up initiatives.   Ollie’s been working on Medsalv, a business that focuses on reprocessing hospital waste from single use medical devices.  Kara’s project is Empowerment Publishing whose focus is on inspiring future female STEM leaders.

Kiwi company trains future innovators with robotics, coding and more

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Remember when you were a kid on the pulse of tech and everyone older than you was living in the stone age?

Well, one day it will inevitably be you in the stone age and a Kiwi company is working hard to ensure that happens sooner rather later.

OMGTech! recently announced its new program delivering award-winning workshops directly into schools with the support of its partners.

The workshops cover a range of technology topics such as robotics, electronics, 3D printing and coding, and aim to help New Zealand’s first generation of digital natives become tech leaders in creating and deploying technologies we can’t even imagine yet.

To read the full article click here.

ShareLet: the ‘Airbnb’ of storage

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Leo Adriano recently launched his new venture, ShareLet, at the EPIC Innovation Campus with support of the Ministry of Awesome, a facilitation group funded by the city council and grants.

“The self-storage industry is booming on a global basis but building or adapting premises come with high costs that are passed on.

I thought there would be many people or businesses and organisations New Zealand wide, that could benefit from ShareLet to optimise any available space and earn some money, or alternatively to reduce costs.”

Read more about the ShareLet launch here.

NZ Innovation Awards 2017 – Entries open

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Entries for the NZ Innovation Awards are now open. The New Zealand Innovation Awards were created to give smart, innovative NZ individuals and businesses a platform to be recognised and celebrated.

Categories for the awards include:

  • Industry sector categories
    • Innovation in Agribusiness & Environment
    • Innovation in Design & Engineering
    • Innovation in Education, Training & Development
    • Innovation in Financial, Professional & Public Services
    • Innovation in Food & Beverage
    • Innovation in Health & Science
    • Innovation in Maori Development
    • Innovation in Media, Marketing & Communications
    • Innovation in Sustainability & Renewable Energy
    • Innovation Systems & Performance Improvement
    • Innovation in Technology Solutions
    • Innovation in Tourism & Entertainment
  • Business discipline categories
    • Innovation Excellence in Research
    • Excellence in Social Innovation
    • Start-up Innovator of the Year
    • Emerging New Zealand Innovator
    • Disruptive & Breakthrough Innovation
    • Export Innovator of the Year
    • Most Inspiring Individual
    • Young New Zealand Innovator
    • People’s Choice
    • Bayer Supreme New Zealand Innovation

If you think your organisation, or even you, deserves to be recognised, visit the website here to find out more about entry criteria, how to enter and what you could win.

The West Coast conundrum

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Featured on Sunday last week, the West Coast is facing a hard decision about its future. A proposed mine could provide hundreds of desperately needed jobs to the region. However, the potential environmental impacts of doing so are great.

Is it time to focus away from the mining industry and into other avenues. Initiatives such as our friends at EPIC Westport are helping to provide a new direction for the communities and open more doors to jobs. But is it enough?

Watch the full segment here from TVNZ here. 

Callaghan’s wearable technology competition – your chance to win big

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Recognising the adoption of wearable technology around the world, Callaghan Innovation have launched a competition to find “the next big thing in wearable technology”. The 2017 C-Prize competition is offers winners $100,000 as a grand prize package and $50,000 in cash to stimulate ideas with the best becoming a viable business.

To be considered for the prize, entrants need to create a proof-of-concept for a piece of wearable technology. They will need to create a combined hardware-software wearable solution that captures and processes user data and communicates feedback allowing the user to act to enhance their outcome.

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over, living in New Zealand. Entries are open until midnight, July 2 2017 at www.cprize.co.nz.

Bringing tech into the Basketball world

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Basketball New Zealand have been announced as a finalist for the Innovation Excellence Award at the 2017 New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards, for the enabling of Glory League.

Glory League is a software that creates video replays and highlight snippets for individual players and provides them with the files to be able to share through social media. Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive Iain Potter says that “it provides an opportunity to re-experience and share their basketball thrills multiple times with friends and family members. This brings a players on-court experiences to life on social media.”

Glory League, a New Zealand innovation out of Auckland, is leading the way in terms of player experience and are showcasing this on a global stage.

To find out more about Glory League and the Basketball New Zealand finalist announcement, click here.

Drones to save lives

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

University of Canterbury researchers are developing drones that can aid search and rescue efforts in large scale emergency situations such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. Alongside Japanese colleagues, they are working on the technologies that will enable swarms of drones to locate and potentially triage people buried in wreckage.

This is another fantastic example of some of the innovative solutions coming out of Christchurch and also helps to put some of our young, up and coming talent on the map nationally and globally.

To find out more about their research, click here.

NZ Government’s role in driving the pace of fintech development with FinTechNZ

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean attended and spoke at the Wellington launch of the New Zealand Financial Innovation and Technology Association (FinTechNZ) on 8 February 2017. OpenGov caught up with Minister Dean through an email interview to find out more about her involvement with FinTech NZ, the government’s broad plans with fintech development and attracting more women to join the tech sector.


As a founding member and part of the Core Working Group of FinTechNZ, what do you hope that FinTechNZ can achieve in the short term for the next 1-3 years?

Fintech is a fast-growing sector, and the opportunities for New Zealand companies – and consumers – are exciting. Our agile regulatory system has allowed us to be ahead of the curve with innovations such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending. We are having a look at what Government’s role is in fintech, whether our regulatory settings are right, and what risks and opportunities we need to be preparing for.

As a founding member of FinTechNZ, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) officials will work closely with industry to understand what’s challenging (and what’s working well) for fintech firms in New Zealand, and connect across relevant government agencies.

Are there any broad strategies or plans in place by the New Zealand government with regards to fintech development?

The Government strongly supports New Zealand’s tech sector, including fintech, and we are constantly working to provide an environment that enables tech businesses to thrive. For example, New Zealand’s first fintech accelerator, currently underway, is supported with money the Government allocated in last year’s budget. We’re also making sure we accommodate innovation in financial advice: the new regulatory regime for financial advice is being deliberately drafted to allow for the provision of robo-advice to New Zealand consumers.

With regards to fintech strategy, the first step for government is to understand what the barriers and opportunities are for fintech innovation. We know that this is an area where government needs to be nimble and act swiftly to address unnecessary regulatory barriers. We also want enough regulation to protect consumers and maintain confidence in our financial markets.

At a more general level, the Government is also working across portfolios to make sure we have the right environment for innovative businesses, such as fintech businesses, to thrive.

This includes:

  • providing support for R&D, and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship,
  • helping firms access capital and export,
  • ensuring we produce and attract highly skilled people,
  • and, of course, making sure our regulation is flexible and fit for purpose.

Will there be any other government ministries/agencies and private sector companies which will be working with FinTechNZ?

The initial core working group members are listed on the FintechNZ web page. MBIE will act as the main point of contact for government and will help industry connect with other relevant government agencies as necessary.

It was reported recently that the technology mentoring programme Shadow Tech Days will see an investment of $270k to inspire more young women to join the tech sector. Are there any similar initiatives or plans to attract more women to work in the fintech sector?

Initiatives like Shadow Tech Days, to which the Government contributed $270,000, will certainly help bring more women up through the pipeline.

More broadly, there are a number of initiatives to grow and support female entrepreneurs and women in tech. Last year one the government-funded accelerators in Wellington ran an accelerator programme for female entrepreneurs – Lightning Lab XX. The Ministry for Women provides a STEM directory that identifies opportunities for girls to get exposure to science, technology and engineering.

 

Author: Dean Koh

Source: opengovasia.com

Original article:http://www.opengovasia.com/articles/7392-exclusive-nz-governments-role-in-driving-the-pace-of-fintech-development-with-fintechnz

Canterbury University team charged for their world-first electric eco-car marathon in recyclable car

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

A group of Canterbury University students have created what they believe to be a world first – a fully recyclable electric car.

The little one-person, one-wheel drive car is undergoing final testing in Christchurch before being shipped to Singapore to compete in a global vehicle economy competition called the Shell Eco-Marathon.

Every year as many as 5000 students from universities and technical institutes compete in regional competitions in Asia, Europe and USA. The idea behind the competition is for the students to design, build and then drive the most fuel-efficient car.

Canterbury University's fully recyclable electric eco-car runs down the Wigram tarmac during final testing.

STACY SQUIRES/THE PRESS

Canterbury University’s fully recyclable electric eco-car runs down the Wigram tarmac during final testing.

The Kiwi team will compete against 100 other teams in the Asian regional competition from March 16, and the successful teams will then progress to the world finals in London in June.

This is the first time a New Zealand team has competed in the eco-marathon in its 69-year history, said team leader Reuben Audley, a final year mechatronics student.

"Chief pilot" Frank Sullivan at the controls of the little 130kg car.

STACY SQUIRES/THE PRESS

“Chief pilot” Frank Sullivan at the controls of the little 130kg car.

“Up until now none of our team of eight knew much more about cars other than how to change a lightbulb,” he said during a final testing display at Wigram.

“Maybe that’s why we didn’t want to go down the same old route in finding vehicle economy solutions. We also wanted our car to be recyclable. So we’ve made our car entirely out of vacuum-formed plastic, which we believe to be a world first.”

Testing of the little 130kg car, which produces up to 5kW of power from its battery pack and does up to 40kmh, has already shown it to be a potential winner.

The eco-car isn't very big - but it doesn't consume much energy either.

STACY SQUIRES/THE PRESS

The eco-car isn’t very big – but it doesn’t consume much energy either.

In the last eco-marathon the winning electric car achieved an energy consumption of 76 kilometres per kilowatt hour over the competition’s set distance of 12km. But in testing so far the New Zealand car has already achieved 105km per kilowatt hour.

And the team is still learning, student and “chief pilot” Frank Sullivan said.

“What you have to do is speed up and then coast, and when you are coasting you can regenerate the battery. But we’re still learning the best ways to do this,” he said.

The whole point behind the eco-marathon is to inspire engineers of the future to turn into reality their visions of sustainability and energy efficiency, said the chairman of Shell New Zealand, Rob Jager.

“We’ve been hoping for some time that a New Zealand team would participate in this competition.

“We’re delighted that this group of young people from Canterbury University have taken up the challenge.”

 

Author: ROB MAETZIG

Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/

Original Article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/90017274/canterbury-university-team-charged-for-their-worldfirst-electric-ecocar-marathon-in-recyclable-car?utm_content=43306246&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

​Govt opens innovative new school in Christchurch

Monday, March 6th, 2017

The Haeata Community Campus in Christchurch has officially been opened by Prime Minister Bill English and Minister of Education Hekia Parata.

The school is expected to be an example of what the ‘future of education’ can look like with its flexible learning spaces and a flexible style of teaching.

More than 900 students have already enrolled at the Haeata Community Campus, which caters for years 1-13. The Campus also includes the Ferndale School satellite, supporting students with additional learning needs.

“The open flexible design of the buildings on the campus complement the style of teaching and learning that the school is introducing,” Parata explains.

“To see such innovation coming out of what was a terrible tragedy for Christchurch and New Zealand is inspiring. Haeata really is a learning campus for the future and for the whole community,” she says.

“I would like to congratulate the foundation principal Andy Kai Fong, along with the Establishment Board of Trustees for their work setting up the new school. I would also like to thank the community for coming together to support the school.”

The entire campus was designed and built as part of a $298 million public private partnership that includes three other schools. It was also part of the $1.137 billion Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme, which will see 115 schools built or redeveloped, including 23 brand new ones over 10 years.

“Thousands of children and young people across Christchurch are already benefiting not only from the most modern of learning environments, but also the new and innovative teaching methods the physical spaces encourage,” says Parata.

According to Parata, ten brand new schools have now been built since the earthquake, with space for more than 6,500 students.

“Today marks another significant step forward, not only for the local community, but for the rest of the greater Christchurch region,” she says.

Author :SHANNON WILLIAMS
Source: netguide.co.nz

Turning plastic into concrete

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Innovation comes in many forms and Auckland-based company Enviroplaz have developed a way to turn plastic into concrete.

Not only is this a way to stop plastic from reaching our oceans, rivers or landfills, but the potential cost savings benefits that companies could achieve are outstanding. Founding Director Peter Barrow estimates that companies could save up to 20% from their concrete costs.

“We can build a truck tanker that’s almost as competitively priced as a steel tanker, and yet you don’t have to paint it, it doesn’t rust and it doesn’t rot so the maintenance cost is a lot lower” explains Barrow.

To find out more about the work they are doing, click here.