Building a cross-Pacific cleantech ecosystem

The Blue & Green Technology Conference, developed by the U.S. Embassy & Consulate New Zealand and UniServices, will take place in Tāmaki Makaurau ӰAPPon 7-8 December 2022.

blue and green tech conference banner

A first-of-its-kind conference put on in partnership between New Zealand and the United States will showcase and explore how the uptake of blue (water-focused) and green (land-focused) technologies can prepare the world for a climate-positive future.

The , developed by the U.S. Embassy & Consulate New Zealand and UniServices, the research application and commercialisation company of Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland, will take place in Tāmaki Makaurau ӰAPPon 7-8 December 2022.

Dignitaries who will be speaking include James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change and Associate Minister for the Environment; Ayesha Verrall, Minister for Research, Science and Innovation; and Tom Udall, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand.

The conference will create a forum for exchange between thought leaders and companies in the cleantech ecosystem. The focus will be on the trends, opportunities and challenges within four key sectors: energy futures; resource recovery and circular innovations; carbon capture; and low-emissions transport.

“Both our countries care deeply about being good environmental stewards. Climate change is an existential crisis, particularly in the Pacific, and this conference is about exploring smart solutions, working together to face the challenge head-on,” said Ambassador Udall.

“Developing clean, green technology is a crucial part of the massive global effort needed to contain the climate crisis,” said UniServices CEO Andy Shenk. “By bringing together international leaders and innovators in the cleantech ecosystem, we hope to facilitate the connections and discussions necessary to advance innovation.”

In addition to UniServices and the U.S. Embassy & Consulate New Zealand, the conference is supported by Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Tātaki ӰAPPUnlimited and Ara Ake, the last of which is organising an optional field trip on 9 December.

Leading speakers from industry include Sean Simpson, LanzaTech founder and CEO; Will Barker, founder and CEO of Mint Innovation; and Page Crahan, general manager of Tapestry, X’s (formerly known as Google X’s) moonshot for the electric grid.

Key speakers from the not-for-profit or public sectors include Matt Petersen, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI); Rod Carr, chair of He Pou a Rangi | ClimateChange Commission; and Cristiano Marantes, CEO of Ara Ake, New Zealand’s Future Energy Centre.

Speakers from research organisations, which play an important role in advancing and commercialising knowledge, include University of ӰAPPProfessor Christine Woods, who is Theresa Gattung Chair for Women in Entrepreneurship and part of the directing team at The Icehouse; Daniel Hikuroa, who is an Earth systems scientist and senior lecturer in Māori Studies also at Waipapa Taumata Rau; Will Charles, UniServices executive director of commercialisation; and Luke Taylor, commercialisation manager for Otago Innovation Ltd.

Manutaki Whanaketanga Umanga Māori | Māori Business Development Director Dion Peita of UniServices will host a discussion on Indigenous innovation, which will consider how to value and protect knowledge systems, how to create culturally safe pathways for innovation and commercialisation and highlight some exemplar Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs.

“A Māori perspective places the greatest importance on tāngata (people) and the whenua (land),” said Peita. 

The conference will include panel discussions, thematic interactive workshops and networking events where innovators and entrepreneurs will showcase and discuss their technologies. There will be the opportunity to build long-term networks and even invest. To learn more or register, visit .