Innovate, Collaborate, Transform: NZ Product Accelerator and Fisher & Paykel's Visionary Partnership

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and innovation, the NZ Product Accelerator (NZPA) aims to supercharge the research and development processes of local companies. 

In crowded tech fields, companies face many challenges and opportunities.  

For those seeking meaningful change and unlocking new possibilities, the NZPA serves as a trusted partner, providing a unique blend of expertise, resources, and support.  

With a focus on connecting industry with research expertise, NZPA empowers companies to solve industry problems and boost productivity, through targeted connections with the academic and science research community. 

Comprising a network of over 100 researchers from nine academic and governmental research organisations, they aim to apply their deep wells of R&D experience to actual market problems. 

One shining example of this process can be found in a collaboration between NZPA and world leading manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Appliances (F&PA). 

The journey began with F&PA's recognition of the urgent need to confront climate change and reduce carbon emissions.  

They established a Carbon Zero Smart Home R&D Institute to tackle the subject, then started to look for partners. 

They turned to NZPA for guidance and support, and together embarked on a transformative journey to identify research capabilities aligned with the vision of decarbonisation.  

The result was a ground-breaking collaboration with GNS Science, a renowned partner within NZPA's network, to address the challenge of enhancing thermal insulation performance. 

But the collaboration doesn’t stop there. 

While GNS acts as the lead organisation, they are able to collaborate further with internal teams from F&PA, and also post-doctoral, PhD, Masters and undergraduate student researchers to maximise talent being applied to the problem. 

This broad spectrum approach helps identify both short term wins and longer term step changes that can drive real changes in reducing energy consumption and the carbon footprint of temperature-controlled appliances. 

The project has garnered $700,000 in funding for the first year, with the expectation that the project will continue for several years. 

What sets the collaboration apart was the seamless integration of F&PA's industry insights and application knowledge with NZPA's expertise in connecting industry with research expertise.  

Through NZPA's Enterprise Engagement Model, F&PA was assigned a project lead to guide them through every stage of the R&D process—from scoping to project team identification, contracting, deployment, and ultimately, the delivery of project objectives. 

As part of the engagement process, NZPA facilitated connections between F&PA and a diverse range of stakeholders, both within and outside its network.  

These connections were instrumental in enabling the project and driving collaboration across multiple streams of work, each focused on exploring the fundamentals of reducing heat transfer and applying them to temperature-controlled appliances. 

The impact of this collaboration extends far beyond the confines of individual projects, catalysing broader economic growth and prosperity.  

By fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, F&PA and NZPA are stimulating job creation, attracting investment, and positioning New Zealand as a hub for sustainable technologies and practices. 

This project highlights a goal embedded in the heart of everything the NZPA does. 

At the core of its vision lies a commitment to fostering the growth and success of New Zealand's distinctive technology companies, empowering them to thrive in competitive global markets.  

Through strategic partnerships and collaborative projects, NZPA is catalysing innovation and propelling New Zealand to the forefront of technological excellence. 

This approach is rooted in inclusivity and collaboration, recognising that the most impactful solutions emerge from diverse perspectives and expertise.  

By bringing together stakeholders from across the spectrum of industry, academia, and government, they create a vibrant ecosystem where ideas flourish and innovation thrives.  

This collaborative ethos enables NZPA and their partners to tackle complex challenges with agility and creativity, leading to breakthroughs many of which have far-reaching implications. 

One of NZPA's key strengths lies in its ability to support technology companies at every stage of their journey, from inception to market success.  

Through targeted mentorship, funding opportunities, and access to cutting-edge resources, entrepreneurs and innovators are empowered to turn their ideas into reality.  

By providing a supportive environment for experimentation and iteration, NZPA enables companies to rapidly iterate and refine their products, accelerating their path to market success. 

Another spoke to NZPA's success is its ability to leverage strategic partnerships and collaborations to maximise impact.  

By forging alliances with industry leaders, research institutions, and government agencies, they are able to tap into a wealth of expertise and resources, amplifying the effectiveness of the initiatives.  

These partnerships enable projects to access cutting-edge technologies, stay abreast of emerging trends, and identify new opportunities for growth and innovation. 

By harnessing the collective ingenuity and creativity of New Zealand's brightest minds, NZPA is paving the way for a future where innovation knows no bounds. 


Steve Wilson Chair, NZPA Board 

Mark Taylor NZPA Co-Director 

Mark Jones NZPA Co-Director 

Brian McMath NZPA Business Manager 

Raechel Laing NZPA Otago