Author: Andrew Carpenter, Investment Specialist
Published: 27 JUL 2021

Auckland is part of a new national initiative to link investors with innovators bringing clean, green New Zealand technology to the global market.

Auckland Unlimited is one of five partners behind the New Zealand CleanTech Mission, a new national initiative that aims to boost the country’s global success in ‘clean tech’ – technological innovations that are sustainable and benefit the climate.

The joint mission follows the launch of a new report that assesses New Zealand’s progress to date and sets out a roadmap for future growth.

Spearheading the mission is New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation, which points out that clean tech is ‘critical for a zero-carbon, climate-resilient future’. It will ‘play a crucial role in solving climate change and other environmental problems, while creating a high-value export industry and new employment opportunities’.

Globally, early-stage venture funding for clean tech is growing five times faster than funding in other sectors, according to a PwC report. This means there are huge opportunities for New Zealand.

Gearing up the entire industry

New challenges call for a new strategy – and this, according to the NZ Climate Tech for the World report, centres on collective growth. Rather than support innovators on a one-by-one basis, the aim is for New Zealand to ‘lift an entire industry into export markets’. This approach – which is succeeding in similar small advanced economies (SAEs) such as Ireland, Israel and the Scandinavian countries – calls for greater collaboration across the business and government ecosystem.

Goals are already in place. For instance, the New Zealand government is committed to achieve net-zero emissions of long-lived gases by 2050, and to reduce biogenic methane emissions by up to 47 per cent by the same deadline.

The key to success lies in linking Kiwi clean tech companies with both investors and global customers, to ensure they win vital late-stage funding to take their products to market.

The NZ CleanTech Mission sets out to make this happen. Along with Callaghan Innovation and Auckland Unlimited, its partners include New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge, and UniServices (the commercial arm of University of Auckland research).

Actions include developing a five-year roadmap, supercharging local and international connections, scoping initiatives to boost commercialisation and, ultimately, a targeted approach to clean tech clusters.

Clean tech companies in Auckland

Below are some of the many clean tech innovators based in Auckland (source: Callaghan Innovation).

Biotelliga is developing safe and sustainable solutions for the effective management of agricultural crop pests and diseases. It aims to apply its expertise in fungal biology to provide global leadership in research, development and commercialisation of biological products for crop protection.

Mint Innovation has developed technology that converts e-waste into gold, using low-cost/low-impact processes. Domestic and overseas investment helped Mint establish its pilot processing plant in East Tāmaki, and in June 2021 it announced plans for a Sydney plant, with the UK next in line.

Neocrete has come up with an additive for concretes, mortars, dry building mixtures, grouts and cements. Marketed as D5 Green, it greatly increases the strength of concrete, allowing a 20–40 per cent reduction in cement's carbon footprint without reducing its performance.

EV Maritime is bringing electric ferries to the market. High-performance, zero-waste vessels, based on a carbon-composite body and the latest battery tech, could help decarbonise the world’s harbour cities. Its first product, the EVM200, is gearing up for Auckland trials.

Support from the Invest Auckland team

Our team of consultants at Invest Auckland can support international investors who are interested in bringing NZ clean tech to global markets. Our services include business case development, labour market and talent analysis, property solutions, networking, and aftercare support. We link local innovators with a range of investors, including migrant investors and those who are looking to expand into Auckland, either to set up their own offices or to partner with an existing company.

New Zealand clean tech innovators, who typically work within a narrow, but very deep niche, are ideal vehicles for investment, but connectivity is key. Our consultants at Invest Auckland will work to identify and develop clean tech clusters in areas where we’re best placed to lead globally, and we will collaborate with partner agencies to help showcase Kiwi innovation on the world stage.

Find out more

Contact Investment Specialist Andrew Carpenter, to learn more about investing in Auckland, New Zealand.

This article provides general information on potential investment opportunities in Auckland and is not intended to be used as a substitute for financial advice. The views and opinions expressed are those of the relevant author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Auckland Unlimited. Auckland Unlimited and the author disclaims all liability in connection with any action that may be taken in reliance on this article, and for any error, deficiency, flaw or omission contained in it.