We supported a bid to establish a German-NZ green hydrogen alliance and centre, led by Principal Investigator Professor Sally Brooker (University of Otago) on the NZ side and Dr Paul Jerabek (Helmholtz Zentrum Hereon) on the German side, in partnership with Ngai Tahu and with NZ-wide buy-in. This bid was successful, gaining both German (BMBF) and NZ (Catalyst, MBIE) funding 2021-2026. Work on the physical centre of this virtual NZ-wide hydrogen alliance with Germany is underway, and the gifting of the name He Honoka Hauwai by Ngai Tahu was celebrated at NZHS-1, NZ’s inaugural hydrogen symposium, 1-3 February 2023.
Subsequently, 3 German-NZ green hydrogen research grants (2022-2025) have also been awarded (by BMBF on the German, and MBIE on the NZ, side):
In early 2021 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Materials Sciences (iCeMS) and in November 2021 Kyoto University opened an on-site lab in Wellington, operated jointly with the MacDiarmid Institute. A particular focus of the collaboration is solar photovoltaics (PVs) and other materials that respond to light, including developing algorithms for how well new molecules would work as PV materials.
In 2019 we established a new partnership with the Monash University- based Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET) to search for future low-energy electronics via the development of novel materials and devices. Partnering with FLEET allows our researchers to combine their nanoscale materials expertise with the Australians’ knowledge of advanced electronics design. In February 2023 the FLEET outreach team joined our outreach programme alongside AMN10, and together we delivered science outreach workshops to 320 Rotorua school students as part of the recent AMN10 conference.
We have formal Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian National Fabrication Facility and the Centre for Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology in Australia and in 2016 signed an MoU with the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan.
We have several other MoUs in the pipeline. All MacDiarmid Institute researchers have strong and ongoing collaborations with international partners, including with members of our International Science Advisory Board, many of whom are based at Ivy League universities and top research colleges and institutions around the world.
MacDiarmid Institute researchers have been closely involved in the establishment of Ara Ake, including as part of the Steering and Advisory Groups. The Institute was one of the three initial shareholders of the Centre.
We see a valuable role for Ara Ake in strengthening connections between research /innovation, and the commercialisation of new energy technology.
Outside of our shareholding role, the MacDiarmid Institute looks forward to working closely with Ara Ake in our capacity as energy researchers, including -
Conflict of Interest Statement: Our involvement in the Steering and Advisory Groups has come to an end with the incorporation and launch of Ara Ake in July 2020. As an initial shareholder of the centre, we will work to support the Centre through providing technical expertise and advice, and we will support our researchers to engage with the pipeline of support it offers. However we will not have any control over the research and technologies chosen by the Centre for pilot projects or further support.
Our MOU with Infratec seeks to enhance research and education within New Zealand in the areas of low carbon technology, the social science of energy, energy saving and energy storage. A particular focus will be placed on technologies relating closely to MacDiarmid Institute research, including photovoltaic materials, and electrical energy storage. It also seeks to help accelerate the industrial application of New Zealand research into novel energy technology and products.
Our MOU with NZ Product Accelerator (NZPA) is for the purpose of identifying joint opportunities to provide support for a wide portfolio of commercial R&D projects, where scientific skills impart new IP, processes and technology adoption into companies to enhance their commercial performance. As a result, this will further enhance our strategic interest in innovation in NZ and in the economic and social and environmental value it will bring to the country.