KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme

KiwiNet’s Emerging Innovator Fund provides targeted support to early stage career scientists who will become the future innovators of New Zealand.

The Fund provides $25,000 to enable scientists to build industry connections and demonstrate a proof-of-principle of a disruptive new invention.

To be awarded the funding, a scientist must demonstrate a clever new idea and a willingness to work closely with industry and/or commercial mentors as they develop a prototype. The aim of the fund is to have more scientists with disruptive new ideas, working alongside businesses to solve industry challenges.

Recipients of the Fund

To be eligible, scientists must be working within a publicly funded research organisation in New Zealand. The target outcomes of the fund are:

  • New inventions and ideas with good commercial potential.
  • Scientists with stronger commercialisation capability.
  • More scientists working closely with businesses.

The Fund is intended to be a stepping stone to other funding and support. It is anticipated that the fund will better position a scientist to secure funding such as:

  • Business investment or contract research.
  • PreSeed Accelerator Funding to support further commercialisation.
  • Callaghan Innovation business grant to support business investment.
  • Tech-Incubator funding to support a new start-up opportunity.
  • Research funding from MBIE (e.g. Smart Ideas) to support ongoing research.

Key Supporters

The Emerging Innovator Fund is generously supported by:


Norman F. B. Barry Foundation
The Norman F. B. Barry Foundation has generously provided $250,000 to support KiwiNet Emerging Innovators.

The Norman F. B. Barry Foundation, is a charitable trust registered under the Charities Act 2005. Norman Barry was an entrepreneur and a philanthropist who established the Quality Hotel Parnell.

During his successful business career he mentored motel owners in Auckland who were new to the industry and helped various charitable organisations in the form of donations.

Norman left his shareholding in Quality Hotel Parnell Limited to the Foundation, and the distributions from this Company to the Foundation are used for charitable donations.

In addition, Quality Hotel Parnell Limited is also a registered charity in its own right and this company also makes donations to the community.

John Smith, Chairman of the Norman F. B. Barry Foundation

“Both KiwiNet and the Foundation share the common goal to inspire young people to pursue science careers and seek out opportunities to apply their knowledge to the benefit of the community and the economy.”

John Smith, Chairman of the Norman F. B. Barry Foundation


Callaghan Innovation
Sponsor of the inaugural recipient of the Fund,
Dr Andrew Kralicek, Plant & Food Research.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Providing legal services to the fund recipients

Baldwins Logo
Callaghan Innovation
Providing IP advice to the fund recipients.

For more information on eligibility and evaluation criteria, please contact Natalie Ward nward@kiwinet.org.nz