Spearhead projects
Kaupapa arataki

Spearheads projects are large NZ-relevant research projects that span over three years, funded up to $1m per annum; developed in partnership with Māori and industry representatives through Mission Labs, and led by multi-disciplinary research groups. Learn more about how we develop our Spearhead projects.

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Building New Zealand’s innovation capacity

This longitudinal research programme continues over the lifetime of SfTI, examining human capacity (soft skills), and relational capacity (networking skills), within New Zealand’s innovation system.

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Biosecurity Technology

Launched in Oct 2021, the Biosecurity Technology Spearhead research project is developing a swarm of smart networked sensors that will use Artificial Intelligence to detect the last predators in New Zealand’s vast landscapes.

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Clean Water Technology for restoring Te Mana o te Wai

Māori, iwi and a team of researchers are developing new technology for treating wastewater to support Aotearoa to improve freshwater quality and restore the health of our awa (rivers) and streams.

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Veracity Technology

Launched in July 2021, the Veracity Technology Spearhead research project is looking for data and computer science solutions to an ancient question: How can you verify something is what it appears to be?

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Adaptive learning robots to complement the human workforce

Imagine a world where robots can be trained to work alongside humans in factories and the outdoors in a safe and flexible way. This Spearhead project is developing software and prototypes to make this happen.

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Additive manufacturing and 3D and/or 4D printing of bio-composites

‘Additive’ manufacturing harnesses New Zealand’s natural resources, using biopolymers or plant and wood fibers to create new, more environmentally friendly materials and products.

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Te Tātari Raraunga - Analytics to identify and connect successors to whenua

This Spearhead project is creating smart data analytics tools to help track down rightful Māori shareholders to connect them to their land.

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SfTI researchers are designing and building Ātea, an immersive experience that draws on Māori protocol and world views as well as new technologies to preserve and share knowledge, language and culture in the digital realm.

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Home and community based care – Type 2 diabetes

New needle free sensing and insulin delivery technology to let Type-2 diabetes patients manage their care without the pain and hassle of finger pricks and injections.

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Inverting electromagnetics – a new way to measure groundwater flow

A team of SfTI researchers have developed electromagnetic sensors that for the first time could allow water resource managers to accurately measure the volume and flow of groundwater.

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Precision farming technologies for aquaculture

This Spearhead project is developing underwater sensing and communication tools and data analytics to let farmers monitor their ocean farms from home base.

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