Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Commercialisation of ‘Hot Lime’ to Help Feed the World

Commercialisation of ‘Hot Lime’ From Publicly Funded Research to Help Feed the World


Hot Lime Labs has successfully raised its first round of early stage investment to develop its new greenhouse CO2 capture technology for the global market. The investment round led by Powerhouse, with nearly a dozen co-investors including the Flying Kiwi Angels, will allow the completion of technical development and then a pilot Hot Lime system to be built inside a commercial greenhouse to prove the technology at scale.

Hot Lime Labs technology can recover clean CO2 from the burning of waste organic material and then allow this clean and concentrated CO2 to be released into the greenhouse to improve crop yields by around 20%. This will help greenhouse growers to operate at optimal yields, and increase food production while simultaneously cutting environmental harm by using a renewable source of clean CO2.

Dr Vlatko Materić, founder and CEO of Hot Lime Labs says, “This is exciting news for the team. We still have a long journey ahead but with the help of our investors and Board we aim to build a successful global business based in Wellington. We’ve already generated a lot of market interest and identified a number of potential early adopters for the technology.”

Dr Materić says the technology has the potential to increase grower’s revenues by $40-80k per annum per hectare compared to using other sources such as natural gas or liquid CO2. The global market opportunity for the technology is estimated at over $800m per annum and is growing rapidly.

The investment milestone follows Dr Materić’s award from the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme last year to develop a proof of concept for the technology. He received $25,000 funding and support to develop the technology and his capability and understanding of commercialisation, due to substantial donations from the Norman F. B. Barry Foundation which is helping 15 researchers take clever ideas to market.

According to Dr Materić, the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme was the critical step to move his research project from the academic arena to a value creating business.

“Without the KiwiNet programme I wouldn’t have been able to turn my research idea into a commercial venture. The initial funding, guidance and credibility the award gave me was critical. It’s always hardest to find the first person to step up and stand by you. I now have an experienced group of people wrapped around the venture along with the funding required to ensure the best chance of success.”

Dr James Hutchinson, CEO of KiwiNet says, “Vlatko’s success really demonstrates how the commercialisation ecosystem can work together to give Kiwi technology the best chance of success through small levels of funding in a highly focused and supported way. The initial support for Vlatko through the Emerging Innovator programme, led to a further $95,000 of funding from the KiwiNet PreSeed Accelerator Fund. This, alongside the ongoing development, mentoring and connections that KiwiNet and its investment committee was able to provide has led to today’s investment round.”

Andy Matheson, Chief Investment Officer, Powerhouse says, “We’re really excited about the potential of Hot Lime Labs. The investment will allow the venture to achieve some critical de-risking milestones around proof of the technology. It will also allow the company to further build its management and technical team as the company progresses.”

Rudi Bublitz, Co-Founder and "Chief Cat Herder" of Flying Kiwi Angels says, “This investment is an exciting first for Flying Kiwi Angels in that it is much earlier stage than we would typically invest in technology of this kind. The commercialisation network helped de-risk the early development and our diligence team gave a strong positive investment recommendation after weighing up the overall risks and returns of this proposition. The enthusiasm of KiwiNet was also infectious. We are founder-focused in all our investments, and Vlatko’s commercial acumen and people skills, along with the strong board he has assembled, gave us confidence that this business has a good chance of success.”

Hot Lime will allow growers to apply CO2 enrichment in situations where otherwise it has been impossible or uneconomical. Current options such as natural gas are limited in terms of geographical availability and cost. Growers will be able to either purchase the system outright, or pay per tonne of CO2 generated at a significantly lower rate than any other option.

Chair of KiwiNet’s Investment Committee Andrew Turnbull aided the investment process. “Vlatko has all the key elements in place - staff, designs, patents, partners, networks of advisors, and now investment. These deep tech ventures that come from our publicly funded research are complex, high risk investments and contrary to popular belief are not sitting on a shelf just waiting for investors to come along. There is a huge amount of time and effort required to get them from a research project into a shape so that they are investable. New Zealand has an exciting and vibrant, albeit nascent, ecosystem that can work together to increase the success rate of these ventures.”

The KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme is available to early-career researchers based at universities and Crown Research Institutes across New Zealand. The programme is designed to boost research with a commercial application at a critical time. It also enables researchers to partner with a business and refine their project for market. Recipients also receive expert legal advice from KiwiNet (www.kiwinet.org.nz) corporate partners, MinterEllisonRuddWatts and IP advice from Baldwins.

John Smith, Chairman of the Norman F. B. Barry Foundation which owns the Quality Hotel Parnell Limited says, “One of our goals at the Foundation is to invest in areas that will have a long-term impact for the benefit of New Zealand, so we’re very pleased to support the KiwiNet Emerging Innovators.”

Dr Materić was one of eleven KiwiNet Emerging Innovators acknowledged at a graduation ceremony at the Quality Hotel Parnell on Monday night.


ENDS


About KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme

The KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme was established in 2015 by KiwiNet with the generous philanthropic support of the Norman F. B. Barry Foundation. The aim of the Emerging Innovator Programme is to have more scientists with disruptive new ideas working alongside businesses to solve industry challenges. It is open to scientists from public research organisation who demonstrate a clever new idea and a willingness to work closely with industry as they develop a prototype. The KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme is available to early career researchers based at universities and Crown Research Institutes across New Zealand.

About the Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet)

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) comprises universities and Crown Research Institutes and agencies working together to increase the scale and impact of scientific and technology based innovation in New Zealand. Since its inception, KiwiNet has demonstrated the power of bringing together diverse players across New Zealand’s science and innovation ecosystem to work towards a collective vision. KiwiNet partners work towards a globally-competitive technology sector that delivers significant economic growth and prosperity. KiwiNet focuses on building national capability and scale in commercialisation. It fills the gap between public research organisations and the private sector, bringing together research organisations acting as a focal point for collaboration and co-ordination. Together they are progressing scientific discoveries with commercial promise to a point where they can be taken on by the private sector, achieving greater commercial outcomes for New Zealand. KiwiNet partner organisations include WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Callaghan Innovation, Viclink, Landcare Research, Cawthron Institute, ESR, NIWA, Scion, GNS Science and Malaghan Institute. Principal support is also provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).


About the Norman F. B. Barry Foundation

The Norman F. B. Barry Foundation, is a charitable trust registered under the Charities Act 2005. Norman Barry was an entrepreneur and a philanthropist who established the Quality Hotel Parnell. During his successful business career, he mentored motel owners in Auckland who were new to the industry and helped various charitable organisations in the form of donations. Norman left his shareholding in Quality Hotel Parnell Limited to the Foundation, and the distributions from this Company to the Foundation are used for charitable donations. In addition, Quality Hotel Parnell Limited is also a registered charity in its own right and this company also makes donations to the community.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

The Narrow Divide: New Poll Shows Tight Political Race For SME Votes

In a major turnaround following nearly a decade of MYOB election polls, Labour is currently the preferred political party of New Zealand’s SMEs, with 38% of SME owners and decision makers intending to vote red in the upcoming General Election, ... More>>

Reserve Bank: Further Easing In Monetary Policy Delivered

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all. The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to expand the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme up to $100 billion so as to further lower retail interest rates in order to achieve its remit. The eligible assets remain ... More>>

Retail: Post-Lockdown Retail Card Spending Picks Up

The rise in retail card spending was boosted by sales of furniture, hardware, and appliances, Stats NZ said today. “For a third consecutive month, card spending on the long-lasting goods (durables) remained at higher levels than last year, after ... More>>


Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: