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NZTE, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, is New Zealand's economic development and trade promotion agency.

Applications Now Open For Global Innovation Launchpad For New Zealand Aquaculture

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Friday, March 24, 2023, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

Applications are now open for a new programme designed to connect high-potential New Zealand businesses with contacts and opportunities in the global aquaculture industry, following a successful pilot in 2022.
The Global innovation launchpad for New Zealand aquaculture – led by Hatch Innovation Services in partnership with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise – Te Taurapa Tūhono (NZTE) – is designed to empower New Zealand companies with top-quality coaching and networking to help them scale up and maximise their potential in the global aquaculture market.
Successful applicants to the programme will have access to mentorship from key aquaculture players, as well as tailored training and support designed to help refine their business value proposition and market their products on a global scale.
Shellfish farming is a very important activity in New Zealand aquaculture. Image: Aquaculture | New Zealand Geographic
Planning is also underway to cap off the programme with a visit to the world’s largest aquaculture trade show, AquaNor, in Norway in August 2023, offering participants a chance to engage directly with elite companies and organisations across the global aquaculture industry.
This year’s launchpad programme follows a successful pilot in 2022 which supported four businesses from Aotearoa New ZealandSnap Information Technologies, Boss Aqua, Cerebus Marine and Waikaitu Limited – to expand their business outreach in the global aquaculture market.
“Working with the team at Hatch as part of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise new market project was helpful,” says Chris Rodley, CEO and founder of Snap Information Technologies, a startup working on AI-based imaging technology for the seafood industry and a participant in the 2022 pilot programme.
“Snap was able to develop our customer and business model, test and collaborate with the other companies in the programme and the Hatch team and then pitch significant businesses in the Hatch network. This was an invaluable process and was material in refining our go to market strategy in the aquaculture space. If you are looking to develop a high growth business and launch a product in the aquaculture space, I would recommend working in the Hatch programme as early as you can.”
Any New Zealand business that has proof of concept for a scalable, innovative technology for sustainable aquaculture, and is looking to prepare for market entry, can apply to be part of the programme. This includes businesses from the wider agritech industry and innovation community who are new to aquaculture but see potential to apply their expertise.
“New Zealand has an impressive track record in terms of producing tech and innovation in the wider marine sector, and its emerging companies are well-placed to support the more resilient production of aquatic foods - both domestically and internationally - thereby increasing global food security,” Tanja Hoel, director of Hatch Innovation Services, commented in an initial announcement on Hatch’s partnership with NZTE.
Speaking at the programme’s online launch event today, Hoel outlined the potential for aquaculture to address global food challenges, including three critical gaps – in calorie production, agricultural land area and greenhouse gas mitigation – that must be closed in order to feed 10 billion people sustainably by 2050.
With protein consumption expected to double by 2050, and seafood representing one of the fastest-growing forms of protein production, aquaculture represented an estimated $1.1 trillion ten-year growth opportunity, with the potential to support climate-friendly protein production, climate change mitigation and regenerative food systems, Hoel said.
Specific market opportunities for New Zealand innovation included next-generation and regenerative systems for farming fish, seaweed and bivalves; nutrition; enabling technology; health and genetics; alternative seafood; and solutions for financing, logistics and cold chains.
Image: Aquaculture | New Zealand Geographic
The launchpad programme forms part of NZTE’s work in support of the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP), which aims to grow the agritech sector towards contributing $8 billion to the New Zealand economy by 2030. Government support for the Agritech ITP is led by MBIE with support from MPI, NZTE and Callaghan Innovation, working alongside key industry body AgriTech New Zealand.
The programme also dovetails with the New Zealand Government’s Aquaculture Strategy, which includes actions to promote investment in innovation and to accelerate the development of new technologies that support sustainability and productivity in aquaculture.
“We’re proud to partner with Hatch on this programme as part of our purpose to help New Zealand businesses grow internationally for the good of New Zealand and the world,” said Peter Chrisp, Chief Executive of NZTE.
“As the world grows to an estimated population of 10 billion by 2050, aquaculture has a significant role to play in delivering sustainable nutrition and food security. With one of the world’s largest ocean estates and a track record of advanced science and innovation, New Zealand is well positioned to help solve these global challenges.”
“Our approach to sustainability in Aotearoa New Zealand is informed by the Māori principle of kaitiakitanga, or care for people and place for future generations,” Chrisp added. “We have a strong alignment of values with Hatch, and that sets us up to create great outcomes together for businesses and for the global aquaculture industry.”
Businesses wanting to learn more about the global aquaculture industry can also join a series of educational webinars running during the application period for the programme. Applications for the launchpad programme, and registrations for all three webinars, can be found online via the programme webpage.


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