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New Zealand Drive for CleanTech Surges

It’s a global initiative that has steadily gained ground amongst New Zealand businesses. As technology is at the heart of the majority of Aoteroan enterprises, Clean Technology (CleanTech) has shot to the fore.

Specifically, New Zealand is witnessing an increasing interest in the role of tech in climate change and environmental sustainability. Callaghan Innovation, the government’s main agency on technology in business, recently reported a major increase in new funds and investment opportunities for CleanTech innovators. Moreover, there’s an increasing number of developments related to sustainability at work in the New Zealand ecosystem.

This has been echoed by NZTech, the government-backed industry organisation that was tapped to initiate the marketing of the country’s technology to the world. Its board has launched a new Sustainability Sub-Board which will start meetings to develop the direction for the NZTech Group’s approach to sustainability.

Already, the industry group is tackling an essential question when it comes to sustainable development.

What are we doing as an organisation, and what can we do to help ensure the tech ecosystem plays its part in creating a more sustainable and prosperous future for New Zealand?

– NZTech Board

With all the focus on sustainability comes a lot of ideas. For instance, the AI Forum, an online initiative to move Artificial Intelligence, has a research report in development, exploring current and potential uses of AI in New Zealand to help drive positive environmental outcomes. This report is expected to be launched in May during New Zealand’s annual Tech Week.

Callaghan Innovation has been tasked with making New Zealand’s business more innovative. Established in February 2013, Industrial Research Limited and Crown Research Institute ICRI) was merged into it. The institute takes its name from Sir Paul Callaghan, a prominent New Zealand physicist who died in 2012.

Plus, New Zealand has seen a major increase in new funds and investment avenues for CleanTech innovators. A spate of old businesses is spinning off CleanTech initiatives. Some of these come in the form of:

  • Capital funds with the climate as a target
  • Funds to support sustainable technology
  • Funds to support decarbonising
  • Funds to kick-start low-carbon technologies

Last year, New Zealand initiated its mission to boost climate innovation. The New Zealand CleanTech Mission is led by Callaghan Innovation, in partnership with a host of private and public sector initiatives. It is supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

CleanTech is the technology mainly focused on reducing the consumption of resources (like energy) and the emission of toxins (like CO2e). Know that all aspects of CleanTech will depend on Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Some of these are:

  • Smart motor systems
  • Smart logistics
  • Smart buildings
  • Smart grids

Indeed, CleanTech and ICT are intertwined. Digital transformation makes CleanTech a reality. Without it, achieving sustainable development becomes an uphill climb. It’s worth noting that New Zealand has been advocating clean energy for some time now. Its foray into lithium mining, for instance, puts it in a possible global leadership position when it comes to green energy. Lithium is the main material for electric cars. By exploring lithium extraction on its island, Aoteroa is at the forefront of CleanTech.

Moreover, the island nation is consciously putting digital adoption on its priority list. For one, it has launched a digital road map that would be finalised in the months to come as reported on OpenGov Asia.


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