Opinion and Insights

Sign language avatar

Arash Tayebi, who was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in 2016, when he was a University of Auckland PhD student, is co-founder and CEO of Kara Technologies, a start-up using digital sign language avatars to make communications of all kinds accessible to the Deaf community.

struvite process diagram

Wei Yu and Bing Li of the University of Auckland have developed an efficient and economically viable way to extract a safe and effective fertiliser from wastewater, helping clean up our waterways in the process.

Bill Denny

In their long-running collaboration with the global not-for-profit TB Alliance, Distinguished Professor Sir Bill Denny and Senior Research Fellow Hamish Sutherland have taken three new tuberculosis drugs to clinical trial – an amazing success rate that could save innumerable lives.

Kerryn Kilkenny

Meet Kerryn Kilkenny, a UniServices business development manager focusing on health, particularly infectious diseases and the development of future therapies, including drugs, diagnostics and digital interventions.

John Fraser, Ries Langley, Fiona Radcliff and Jacinda Ardern

John Fraser, Ries Langley and Fiona Radcliff of the University of Auckland are working to develop an mRNA vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus, an antibiotic-resistant 'superbug' that can cause infections, sometimes fatal, particularly in the most vulnerable.

Ellaine and vaccinators in Samoa

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) is delivering vaccination education, training and support to six Pacific countries.

Jessica Chiang

Scientist. Entrepreneur. Environmentalist. Leader. Jessica Chiang, the new chair of the Auckland Momentum Investment Committee, wears many hats. 

Effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on family violence image

New research shows ways in which perpetrators of family violence are using the pandemic and public health measures to further control, abuse and harm victims. The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse has information and resources on this important topic.


Johnnie Belinda Cluff leads the Proposal and Partnership Development team at UniServices.


A new UniServices internship programme is giving rangatahi Māori a chance to learn about the commercialisation process and contribute their voices and skills to UniServices.


The University of Auckland's new Centre for Cancer Research | Te Pokapū Rangahau Mate Pukupuku is bringing together people and organisations to improve cancer care across Aotearoa New Zealand.


When children have cancer, one of the biggest daily challenges is feeding them. Nutrition and dietetics researcher Amy Lovell aims to figure out how nutrition influences children's outcomes and eventually, how best to use nutrition and exercise to support them.


Members of the Leukaemia and Blood Cancer Research Unit at the University of Auckland are using personalised genomic analysis to figure out how to best treat individual blood cancer patients.


Cherie Blenkiron, a cancer biology researcher at the University of Auckland, is leading a one-year project to develop a first-of-its-kind blood screening test for endometrial cancer, the fifth most diagnosed cancer in New Zealand.


Catherine Morgan is one of only a handful of MRI physicists across New Zealand. She has a split job: half her time, she’s a research fellow at the University of Auckland’s School of Psychology, while the other half of the time, she’s the senior MRI physicist at the Centre for Advanced MRI (CAMRI).


It’s increasingly clear that Covid-19 is never going to go away. I see two keys to getting out of our self-imposed isolation and encouraging a flourishing economy and society. One is maximising our vaccination rate. The other is the smart, ethical use of data.


Is there life on Mars? It’s a question people have been pondering since long before David Bowie wrote his iconic song. As planetary geologists, Kathleen Campbell and Ingrid Ukstins might very well help in finding the best places on the red planet to hunt for it.


The University of Auckland’s Space Institute – Te Pūnaha Ātea – has a vision: to become New Zealand’s leading centre for building and operating small satellites. Ben Taylor is a key part of making that happen.


Meet Jen Anderson of UniServices, a business development manager focusing on space, energy and advanced materials. She builds partnerships between University of Auckland researchers, industry, government and communities.


Aerospace engineer John Cater and astrophysicist Nicholas Rattenbury, longtime friends and University of Auckland colleagues, are working together on various aspects of space technology ranging from plasma propulsion to laser communications.


Space is becoming more crowded all the time, especially near Earth. With the recent proliferation of small satellites, there’s an increasing need to control space traffic. Roberto Armellin and Laura Pirovano are working on solutions.

Computer scientists

Giovanni Russello, Danielle Lottridge and Yun Sing Koh of the University of Auckland's School of Computer Science are investigating new, situationally based ways of preventing phishing.


Ehsan Vaghefi, co-founder and CEO of the UniServices-backed startup Toku Eyes, a social enterprise that recently raised $3.6 million to bring its retina-scanning AI software to market, offers advice to researcher-entrepreneurs.


Kim Dirks has researched meteorology, air pollution, public health and infrastructure. That makes her uniquely positioned to help bring together a wide range of researchers to examine sustainable infrastructure.


Learn about Tui Kaumoana (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato) and her role as Kaiārahi – a leader and bridge between UniServices and Māori communities.


University of Auckland Professor Kobus van Zyl is working to help municipalities save water by finding leaks in water pipes and avoid sewage spills by monitoring sewage pipes.


Making industry more sustainable can be risky from a business point of view. Professor Brent Young is working with companies to minimise that risk by modelling changes digitally before they're implemented in real life.


Doug Wilson, a University of Auckland transportation engineer, is helping design a future where electric vehicles will be charged wirelessly in car parks and even while they travel down the motorway.


Grant Covic of the University of Auckland is one of the world’s leaders in wireless charging technology. The Electrical, Computer and Software Engineering professor is working with colleagues around the world to make the future of transportation not only sustainable but easy.

Saied Baroutiuan

If traditional Western industry were a diagram, it would be a straight line. Resource extraction leads to production, distribution, consumption and finally disposal. Saied Baroutian is working to bend that line into a circle.

Loretta Roberts, Bernadette Heaphy and Abbey Palmer

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC), a UniServices business unit, is playing a part in New Zealand’s vaccination roll-out as well as that of the Pacific Islands.


UniServices Director of Commercialisation Stephen Flint on how New Zealand universities are leading in deep-tech innovation, what makes for a successful entrepreneur and why he’s more excited than ever about the future of tech in New Zealand.


With Pride month coming to an end, it’s a great time to reflect on the work that Werry Workforce Whāraurau does year-round to support youth. 

Reducing child inequalities in NZ and the world

Families’ cultural and religious beliefs, health literacy, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and access to transport all play important roles in the health and wellbeing of children in the world, especially in Aotearoa-New Zealand. 

Nikki Turner

In less than a year, the world has a number of available licensed Covid-19 vaccines – this is incredible progress. Nikki Turner summarises how it was done.

Immersive tech

Here’s an impressive stat from the NZ XR Market Report: By 2025 the augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) industry is projected to grow to more than $40B USD globally by 2025, from $15B USD in 2020. 

What is Empathic Computing?

The Empathic Computing Laboratory (ECL) is researching how new technology can be used to create systems that enhance understanding between people that are face to face or remote from one another. 


When a shortage of locally skilled workers in the wine industry was ringing alarm bells for future harvests thanks to COVID-19 border restrictions, the University of Auckland’s Centre for Automation and Robotic Engineering Science (CARES) sharpened its focus on how it could help with the pressing need.

XR real or hype

Our commercialisation team at UniServices is astute at spotting the real deal from shiny distractions and when it comes to opportunities in the XR space this is essential. We had a chat with UniServices Commercialisation Director Stephen Flint, a manager of the University of Auckland Inventors’ Fund, to learn more about what they are seeing in this space.

Pau Medrano-Gracia

Learn about Dr Pau Medrano-Gracia's role as a Commercialisation Manager at UniServices and how he works with researchers at the University of Auckland as well as industry and government partners to support bringing ideas to life. 

Healthy ageing

Over the last 50 years, we can confidently say we are all living a little bit longer. Intergenerational families and communities are once more commonplace, and getting older doesn’t automatically relegate you to a rest home.  

However, with these longer lives there is still no guarantee of better health, and there is evidence of inequities in gender and ethnicity throughout.


Increased longevity presents a challenge in ensuring ongoing quality of life and in maximising health and wellbeing through the life course. The team at UniServices hosted a webinar to look at how researchers at the University of Auckland address different ageing challenges in their work – from enhancing mobility to tackling loneliness, exercising pelvic floor muscles and working with kaumatua.

Dr Walker

You are never too old to benefit from quitting smoking – that’s the message from Associate Professor Natalie Walker, Leader of the Tobacco and Addiction research group at  the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), managed by UniServices.  

Tim Stirrup

UniServices helps to identify, protect and commercialise the University of Auckland’s intellectual property, ranked in the top 150 of all universities worldwide. A reflection of the scale and quality of the University’s research, in the last six years we have tallied 821 invention disclosures, and 395 patent licenses. 

Learn about UniServices Intellectual Property Advisor Tim Stirrup and the advice he has for researchers on how to protect and develop their work. 

Canterbury Momentum

As a proud member of both Momentum and Return On Science committees, I have a front-row view of how the programme provides a rich framework for both committee members and entrepreneurs to grow their capability. Launching another committee is a testament to the programme’s success, and today I want to share a little more with you about what Momentum means to us at UniServices and why we do it.

Stephen Flint

Velocity, a student-led, globally renowned entrepreneurship development programme of the University of Auckland, was launched in 2003. Stephen Flint, UniServices’ Director of Commercialisation, has been involved with the programme for almost 15 years. We asked Stephen about his experience with Velocity and the importance of pursuing ideas. 


New technology to make recycling plastics easier and cheaper is the first step in a plan University of Auckland researchers have to reduce New Zealand’s rate of generating plastic waste which, per capita, is one of the highest in the world.

Peter Hunter

Distinguished Professor Peter Hunter was recently recognised in the University's Research Awards, winning a Vice-Chancellor's Commercialisation Medal sponsored by UniServices. He talks about his plan to grow Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), known globally for its excellence. 


Werry Workforce Whāraurau, a centre supported by UniServices for professional development teaching evidence-based interventions in the child and adolescent mental health sector, is a nimble team of 25 around New Zealand. Pre-COVID-19, travelling up and down the country was an essential part of the way they worked.


You may have seen it in the news: a group of Auckland Tech entrepreneurs have banded together, in partnership with the University of Auckland’s Department of Exercise Science and Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence, and have been awarded funding to conduct clinical trials for their new solution with potential to help the COVID-19 fight.

Behind the scenes, UniServices Business Development Manager Josh Alden brought “the business side of the equation” to assist project lead scientist Associate Professor Nick Gant in the proposal’s successful progression.

Annabelle Collins

How Annabelle Collins is making fantasy worlds a commercial reality with the support of Momentum, a programme powered by UniServices which provides facilitated access to commercialisation resources, networks and expertise to directly increase the quantum and quality of commercial opportunities arising in New Zealand.

Work from home laptop

Karen Carter, General Manager at UniServices' National Institute of Health for Health Innovation (NIHI), shares what she's learned about Zoom fatigue (substitute Zoom with teams, skype etc) and how we can address it.