Inspiring innovation in a changing world

Robot trialled in Gisborne

Robot trialled in Gisborne

Callaghan Innovation's Hemi Rolleston (General Manager Sectors) and Phil Anderson (Customer Manager) with the UR5 robot arm trialled at Pultron. Picture by Liam Clayton
The UR5 robot on display at the Callaghan Innovation roadshow. Picture by Liam Clayton

A full house turned out at the Succeed in a Changing World event hosted by Callaghan Innovation and Activate Tairawhiti and designed to inspire innovation.

The event was an opportunity for the region’s business representatives to learn about how new technologies are changing our world, said Callaghan Innovation general manager sectors Hemi Rolleston.

Callaghan Innovation’s Dr Kirsten Edgar talked about how science was changing the way the world was being fed.

Using the example of meat-free-meat and milk-free-milk, she said Gisborne needed to be part of that change.

“Biotech can affect New Zealand in a big way and we want to be at the forefront of food tech development.”

Callaghan Innovation and Gisborne’s economic development agency Activate Tairawhiti are working with 16 companies in the Gisborne/Tairawhiti region.

One of those is Pultron Composites, which specialises in the development and manufacture of composites fibre-reinforced pultrusions.

Pultron has benefitted from a range of research and development grants, including a growth grant and student fellowships.

“It has also trialled our UR5 robot and done our programmes to improve efficiency and handling of intellectual property,” said Mr Rolleston.

Lots of involvement in Gisborne

“We are also backing one of the most exciting initiatives on the East Coast — Wood Engineering Technology (WET), a joint venture between the company of the same name and Eastland Community Trust.

“WET will turn lower-grade logs into high-value structural lumber at their high-tech factory.

“New Zealand businesses can thrive by embracing innovation, as companies like Pultron are, or they can become obsolete as their competitors leave them behind.”

Callaghan Innovation is the Government’s business innovation agency.

Its role is to liberate innovators by connecting businesses to the networks, capability and funding they need to make their ideas happen

“We have more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists dedicated to solving tough technical problems.

“Our programmes help hundreds of companies improve their ability to innovate and we boost business R and D through more than $140 million a year in grants,” said Mr Rolleston.

Activate Tairawhiti is the front door for local businesses new to innovation.

It employs two business growth advisers for this purpose.

Callaghan Innovation also has a customer manager partly based in Gisborne.

It provides support that increases the amount of research and development businesses can do and lowers the bar to innovation for hundreds of newer or smaller companies which could not get started on research and development without such help.

“There are indications this is working. New Zealand businesses increased R and D spending by 29 percent from 2014-2016 but those with Callaghan Innovation grants outperformed that, with a 46 percent increase.”

“There’s a lot of potential in the Gisborne region for technology to add value to products, as Wood Engineering Technology is doing.

“For example, horticultural businesses based in the Poverty Bay Flats could build on their success by using science to produce high-value, premium horticultural products with a sustainability brand.”

Callaghan Innovation’s upcoming involvement in the Gisborne region includes supporting Hikurangi Enterprises’ Tech Tairawhiti-Technology for Development Summit.

“Next March we are holding one of our regional Matariki X events to inspire Maori innovation in Gisborne.”

“We also seconded a member of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou as an intern, who was recently employed full-time.”

A full house turned out at the Succeed in a Changing World event hosted by Callaghan Innovation and Activate Tairawhiti and designed to inspire innovation.

The event was an opportunity for the region’s business representatives to learn about how new technologies are changing our world, said Callaghan Innovation general manager sectors Hemi Rolleston.

Callaghan Innovation’s Dr Kirsten Edgar talked about how science was changing the way the world was being fed.

Using the example of meat-free-meat and milk-free-milk, she said Gisborne needed to be part of that change.

“Biotech can affect New Zealand in a big way and we want to be at the forefront of food tech development.”

Callaghan Innovation and Gisborne’s economic development agency Activate Tairawhiti are working with 16 companies in the Gisborne/Tairawhiti region.

One of those is Pultron Composites, which specialises in the development and manufacture of composites fibre-reinforced pultrusions.

Pultron has benefitted from a range of research and development grants, including a growth grant and student fellowships.

“It has also trialled our UR5 robot and done our programmes to improve efficiency and handling of intellectual property,” said Mr Rolleston.

Lots of involvement in Gisborne

“We are also backing one of the most exciting initiatives on the East Coast — Wood Engineering Technology (WET), a joint venture between the company of the same name and Eastland Community Trust.

“WET will turn lower-grade logs into high-value structural lumber at their high-tech factory.

“New Zealand businesses can thrive by embracing innovation, as companies like Pultron are, or they can become obsolete as their competitors leave them behind.”

Callaghan Innovation is the Government’s business innovation agency.

Its role is to liberate innovators by connecting businesses to the networks, capability and funding they need to make their ideas happen

“We have more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists dedicated to solving tough technical problems.

“Our programmes help hundreds of companies improve their ability to innovate and we boost business R and D through more than $140 million a year in grants,” said Mr Rolleston.

Activate Tairawhiti is the front door for local businesses new to innovation.

It employs two business growth advisers for this purpose.

Callaghan Innovation also has a customer manager partly based in Gisborne.

It provides support that increases the amount of research and development businesses can do and lowers the bar to innovation for hundreds of newer or smaller companies which could not get started on research and development without such help.

“There are indications this is working. New Zealand businesses increased R and D spending by 29 percent from 2014-2016 but those with Callaghan Innovation grants outperformed that, with a 46 percent increase.”

“There’s a lot of potential in the Gisborne region for technology to add value to products, as Wood Engineering Technology is doing.

“For example, horticultural businesses based in the Poverty Bay Flats could build on their success by using science to produce high-value, premium horticultural products with a sustainability brand.”

Callaghan Innovation’s upcoming involvement in the Gisborne region includes supporting Hikurangi Enterprises’ Tech Tairawhiti-Technology for Development Summit.

“Next March we are holding one of our regional Matariki X events to inspire Maori innovation in Gisborne.”

“We also seconded a member of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou as an intern, who was recently employed full-time.”

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