Credit: Dave Allen NIWA

Posted on 15 May 2017

6 new Innovation Fund projects

We are delighted to announce that 6 projects have been funded in the second round of our Innovation Fund. Topics range from better detecting algal blooms, to tidal energy, to tackling public health issues with ‘bioactives’.


The fund introduces new approaches, capability, research and researchers to Sustainable Seas. It supports projects up to a value of $150k a year for 2 years.

The projects either ‘enhance utilisation of our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints’ and complement research already funded by Sustainable Seas, or ‘increase diversification in marine economies’, ie add value to the marine economy.

The successful proposals were:

  • Early detection of harmful algal bloom threats
    Project Leader: Lincoln Mackenzie, Cawthron Institute
  • Energy from tidal currents – kickstarting a new marine economy
    Project Leader: Brett Beamsley, MetOcean
  • Huataukina To Iwi E: developing marine bioactives economic opportunities from Tairawhiti kina to combat diabetes, heart disease and inflammation
    Project Leaders: Matthew Miller, Cawthron Institute and Pia Pohatu, Hikurangi Takiwā Trust 
  • Navigating the implementation impasse: enabling interagency collaboration on cumulative effects
    Project Leader: Kate Davies, NIWA
  • Overnight tipping points from cataclysmic events – rocky reef ecosystems
    Project Leader: Leigh Tait, NIWA
  • Estimating historic disturbance effects of sedimentation and fishing in Nelson Bays
    Project Leader: Sean Handley, NIWA

Initially there were 40 expressions of interest; 19 were invited to submit a full proposal of which 18 were received.

“We’re pleased with the level of interest, and the range of topics covered. The innovation fund is about exploring new avenues, investigating ways to implement ecosystem-based management (EBM), use our seas in a sustainable way and add value to the marine economy, so it’s great to have such a variety,” says Julie Hall, Director.

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