Interest in the blue economy and its potential to transform Aotearoa New Zealand into a world leader in oceans development is running hot, with a wave of new companies joining Moananui, the country’s first blue economy cluster.
Eleven new partners, representing a diverse range of industries, have today signed up to join Moananui. At the same time Moananui has opened its new HQ in central Nelson – a collaborative centre for blue economy development which will act as a hub for partner innovation and high value creation.
Moananui was launched in March with nine foundation partners focused on accelerating the growth of the blue economy in new ways that generate economic value, connect people, and improve ocean health.
Foundation partner and MacLab COO Scott Gillanders says the momentum building around the cluster demonstrates that companies in the ocean space are recognising the unrealised potential of working together.
“Collaboration is such an important part of what Moananui is trying to achieve and having new partners, who run successful businesses in their own right, coming onboard, is what success looks like. In the past we haven’t been strong at collaboration in New Zealand, we are ok at partnerships, but real collaboration is having more people in the room and a willingness to share. Moananui can be a catalyst for that and I am excited about what lies ahead,” says Mr Gillanders.
The eleven new partners represent a cross section of industries from electronics, engineering, biotechnology, health and safety, and IT companies working in the ocean space. They span the country from Auckland to Queenstown.
“NewFish is a biotechnology company designing world leading natural nutrition from micro algae found in New Zealand's pristine waters and oceans. Moananui represents the best of Aotearoa’s blue economy ambition, and we are delighted to be part of the community,” says NewFish CEO Toby Lane.
New Zealand is 96% ocean and home to one of the largest marine estates in the world, but ocean-based activities only account for 3% of GDP. Moananui CE Jodie Kuntzsch says the potential for sustainable economic growth, employment and innovation in the blue economy is vast.
“When we talk about a successful blue economy we are talking about a wide range of smart, forward thinking businesses, working in and around the ocean, and that’s reflective of the diversity of the Moananui partners. The larger, and broader, the partnership the greater those serendipitous moments and connections will be. With more partners joining, and others ready to sign up we are really able to super-charge those collaborative opportunities,” she says.
Ms Kuntzsch says Moananui HQ will provide a neutral space where partners can explore new partnerships and create solutions to some of the challenges facing ocean based businesses.
Moananui partners have all signed a pledge committing to developing a thriving blue economy in collaborative and sustainable ways.
The new partners are; Aquawatch, BECA, Code and Caviar, Guard Safety, LincolnAgritech Ltd, Marine AI (NZ) Ltd, NewFish, Pinpoint Earth, Smith Engineering PS Ltd,Snap Information Technologies Ltd, and Trinder Engineers.
They join foundation partners; Cawthron Institute, Kernohan Engineering, MacLab,Nelson Regional Development Agency, Pharmalink Extracts Limited, Plant & FoodResearch, Port Nelson, Sealord, and Wakatū Incorporation.
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