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Conversations with New Zealand's environmental innovators

2 months ago

"The focus for Expo 2020 in Dubai is around sustainability. In 2021, APEC is coming to NZ. Wouldn't it be great vision in 2021 – after we've supported these amazing companies that are good for the bottom line and good for the world – that we can take them to the world, and the world can come back here and see New Zealand, leading" – Colm Kearney, Callaghan Innovation


Smart cities and urban gardens, waste to good, and reducing food waste

Tim Packer, co-founder of Bucket Labs, is passionate about the impact of green spaces, using data from IoT sensors, and machine learning on our urban areas. "Smart cities is an emerging practice. We're starting to generate a lot of data in car parking, street lighting, waste management – how can we bring that all together?"

"One thing we need to start looking at now is top down, what key decisions are we trying to make and can we understand our city more as an ecosystem, as a more holistic connection of physical, social, economic and natural systems?" 

Another session features Humblebee, a bioplastics company – inspired by a species of bee that makes plastic instead of honey. The plastic is incredibly durable and has useful industrial purposes, so the team is reverse engineering the material to manufacture at scale. Veronica Harwood-Stevenson was aware of issues caused by plastics and she was interested in the impact of anti-plastic regulation as scientists began lobbying governments and the market shifts around that

Callaghan Innovation's Colm Kearney recognises the value of companies like Veronica's - he and his team work to help businesses with just these issues. "You might have a great idea, but where does it sit within the market? If you're thinking about exporting, what are the regulations driving that business need for innovation?" 

Watch here for more insights and discussions around the environmental innovation taking place in Aotearoa >>

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