Comvita & Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology

A New Zealand Research Commercialisation Success Story

Accelerating Innovation Together to Deliver Commercial Success

Comvita New Zealand Limited’s Innovation team is physically co-located at the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology at The University of Auckland and has been collaborating on various research projects with the different departments at the university for the past five years. The partnership is a prime example of the triple helix model of university, industry and government collaboration. In this partnership, all three parties are intertwined to provide and receive benefit from each other.

  • Comvita is interested in a variety of skill sets available throughout the university and fosters young talents through internships and post-graduate research projects. The Comvita Innovation team has worked together with the university’s academic staff and co-supervised over 50 students in the last three years.
  • With this model, Comvita can access wide-ranging expert knowledge at the university as well as respond to a diverse range of research needs of the business. This leads to IP generation and strengthening of Comvita’s core product value proposition.
  • Students conduct Comvita’s research projects as part of their academic programme or internship which equips them with industry experience. This makes them highly employable, and Comvita has employed many of the senior students at the end of their projects.
  • Many of the student projects are funded by the government’s capability grant or internship grants.

This close working relationship between the business and academia encourages the researchers and students to be both interested in Comvita’s business needs and committed to make discoveries that have strong business relevance. Comvita understands the long term value of this partnership and invests a significant part of their $3M annual R&D spending on the research projects at the university.

Ralf Schlothauer

Winner 2015 MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Research & Business Partnership Award

Comvita New Zealand Limited

Institute For Innovation In Biotechnology

University of Auckland