What drives us » The MacDiarmid Institute
What drives us

About us

What drives us

Sir Paul Callaghan and Alan MacDiarmid

Sir Paul Callaghan and Alan MacDiarmid

Our researchers are committed to creating advanced materials to solve real world problems and to inspire a new generation of committed scientists.

The MacDiarmid Institute is named after eminent New Zealand scientist, Alan MacDiarmid, whose curiosity and determination saw him awarded with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000.

Our founding director was scientist, environmentalist and mentor, Sir Paul Callaghan, who encouraged scientists to take science out of the labs and into the lives of all New Zealanders.

We are continuing the work and vision of these two pioneering scientists. Our investigators and collaborators are passionate about using science to make the world a better place.

If we want a materially-sustainable future where everyone around the world can have clean water, personalised medicine and free electricity, we need materials technologies.

Associate Professor Nicola Gaston MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator Co-director of the MacDiarmid Institute University of Auckland

Partnerships are vital

Sir Paul envisaged a culture of collaboration, of pioneering research, of working together to create so much more than a small research community could do on its own. We partner with industry, government and other researchers to develop ideas and new technology so that all New Zealanders benefit from our scientific growth and innovation.

Sir Paul was also passionate about taking science out of the laboratory and into society. Our partnerships with inspiring individuals and organisations and our community-based activities make science more accessible and interesting for teachers, students and communities.

The aim is to generate a nationwide culture change where science and innovation are celebrated as the keys to New Zealand’s future prosperity. We want to inspire the next generation of intrepid and socially-aware scientists.


More information

If you want to find out more, visit the following sections of our site:

Our partnerships

The MacDiarmid Institute has ongoing partnerships with many inspiring organisations and individuals throughout Aotearoa to help us share science and a passion for discovery with others. These partnerships take science out of the lab to make it hands-on, useful and inspiring. The aim is to generate a nationwide culture change where science and innovation are celebrated as the keys to New Zealand’s future prosperity. We need new generations of committed scientists who can explore novel ways to address technological, societal and environmental challenges. Bringing science to life for young people and their families will hopefully create the passionate investigators of tomorrow.

Read more

Into the marketplace

The aim of materials science and nanotechnology research at the MacDiarmid Institute is to positively transform people's lives and to benefit New Zealand. We partner with existing businesses to solve their materials science problems and take our innovations into the marketplace

Read more

Into the future

During their time at MacDiarmid Institute, our students are not only equipped with deep scientific knowledge but also with leadership, communication and commercial skills. Through our Future Leaders Programme, Interface Industry Challenge and spinout company process, we expose students to the realities of the business world, intellectual property, pitching and investment funding. We send highly employable tech-savvy and business-savvy graduates into the world and watch them soar.

Read more