COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund

From April 2020 to June 2020, we called for expression of interests for COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund (the Fund) funding.

The initial size of the Fund was $25 million (excluding GST) with an anticipated minimum proposal size of $50,000 (excluding GST) and a criteria that projects needed to achieve impact within 18 months.

The Fund aimed to:

  • accelerate the operational deployment of innovative solutions in order to support responses to COVID-19, and alleviate the direct impacts of the virus threat, and
  • provide rapid short-term support to New Zealand based entities to develop and more quickly deploy a range of new products, processes, or services (‘products’).

Funding applications for the COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund have closed. The successful applicants are detailed in the table below.

Fund recipients

Organisation Project Amount funded (GST exclusive)
AgResearch MicroRNA-based diagnosis of COVID-19 in asymptomatic people $250,000
AgResearch Sub-2 minute sample-to-result screening diagnostic method for Covid-19 $300,000
AgResearch Light sterilisation (contact-surface or airborne) of Coronaviruses using UV-C and Blue Light LED, in combination $300,000
Air-guard Ltd (T/A Ao Air) Adapting, validating & commercialisation of next generation respiratory protection to virus protection for healthcare workers $500,000
Auckland University of Technology Tailoring and deploying a web-based safety decision tool for women experiencing domestic violence during COVID-19 $597,881
AUT Ventures Ltd Autogenous Humidifier for Critical Care $169,000
Avalia Immunotherapies Limited Addressing security of supply for a SARS-CoV-2 prophylactic vaccine for New Zealanders, now and in the future $100,000
See note below
Canterbury District Health Board Improving the clinical management of COVID-19 with an enhanced SARS-CoV2 testing pathway $50,000
Core Schedule Disaster contingency rostering for medical staff $172,000
Covid19 Vaccine Corporation Limited Create and test in humans a COVID19 vaccine based on microbead display technology $488,000
*See note below
Digital Sensing Ltd Mass-production of point-of-care diagnostics for COVID19 and blood based biomarkers – Phase 1: Testing the biology $110,000
Digital Sensing Ltd Mass-production of Point-of-Care Diagnostics for COVID19 and Blood Based Biomarkers - Phase 2 and 3 $3,270,000
Douglas Pharmaceuticals Limited To evaluate whether hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) reduces the risk to frontline healthcare workers (HCW) of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection $600,000
Dyno Ltd Sanitising conveyor for dispatching and receiving large throughput of packages, parcels and goods $85,000
Elbaware Haptic technology to reduce face-touching and risk of COVID-19 transmission $200,000
ES Plastics Ltd Mechanical ventilator development ready for manufacture of 100 units per day $457,000
Healthcare Applications Ltd Building upon current Emergency Q platform to empower essential workers and community, digitise COVID testing centre bookings, and reduce infection risk to St John frontline staff $676,000
Inhibit Coatings Ltd Long life antiviral and antimicrobial coatings to prevent transmission from touch surfaces in high-risk environments $350,000
Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater: Risks to public health and opportunities for the surveillance of COVID-19 $2,152,859
Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) A simple and rapid field-deployable molecular diagnostic for COVID-19 $485,000
Kode Biotech Ltd Kode technology SARS-CoV-2 antibody screening diagnostic (CoV2-kodecytes) $276,000
Lanaco Building an indigenous NZ-made filter media supply chain to guarantee current and future PPE supply $500,000
Lincoln Agritech Deconstructed wool PPE masks and filtration components for local supply chain, high efficiency virus protection $290,000
Massey University Updating the psychosocial response and recovery framework for Aotearoa New Zealand in a COVID-19 context $126,000
Massey University Dipstick assay for direct detection of CoVID-19 (antigen) using novel antibodies and biological nanorods $280,321
NZ Winegrowers Research Centre Ltd (T/A Bragato Research Institute) Efficient ethanol-based hand sanitizer production from wine industry grape marc waste $84,700
Orion Health National algorithm management solution for COVID-19 $828,000
Pictor Ltd Development of a multiplex immunoassay for detection of COVID-19 infection in less than an hour. $500,000
Revolution Fibres Concurrent Scale-up and Development of Nano-fibre membranes suitable for N95 and N97 face mask manufacture $900,000
Rhondium Ltd Anti-Viral Aerosol Protection System for Dental and Medical Personnel $425,000
Safer City Group Ltd (T/A Safercities) COVID 19 SaferCities modules (& standalone applications) to assist Police with ‘movement tracking’ and ‘safer enforcement’ of COIVID19 breaches $97,390
SaferMe Limited Business focused COVID-19 management solutions $396,000
Sagen Software Ltd Using geofence technology & analytics to manage COVID-19 on Construction Sites $549,000
Sonasafe 20/20 Limited Enhancement of Sonasafe Proximity Monitoring to support people flow and COVID-19 tracking $274,900
South Pacific Sera Limited Therapeutic antibodies against SAR-CoV-2 for the treatment of Covid-19 $1,130,000
Spritely Ltd Covid-19 Automated Rapid Response Product. Can comprehensive daily screening, help retirement villages contain Covid-19 outbreaks?  $57,600
Sportsground Ltd Community sport COVID-19 management solution $205,400
The Cacophony Project Ltd Te Kahu Ora "The cloak of health" - the FeverScreen solution utilises thermal cameras to screen for individuals with a fever in a non-contact, non-invasive way $914,500
Think Ladder Limited TLR3 - Covid-19 psychosocial and mental wellbeing support tools $250,000
Trinity Bioactives Ltd Development of novel lateral flow devices for the rapid detection of Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) Infection $650,000
Ubiquitome Limited Enabling and maintaining a COVID-19 free New Zealand with rapidly deployable, community-level SARS-COV2 testing $528,927
University of Auckland Improving New Zealand's epidemic model to inform policy and decision-making for our shared futures $4,095,000
University of Auckland Development, assessment and roll-out of antibody-based assays for COVID-19 $461,987
University of Auckland Personal protective equipment (PPE) disinfection and potential reuse in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. $1,312,524
University of Auckland Supporting youth mental health with a dynamic chatbot – addressing evolving needs $487,598
University of Auckland Current and future primary care country-level pandemic preparedness and response in NZ $148,742
University of Auckland Low cost non-invasive lung imaging system for continuous patient monitoring during mechanical ventilation $495,000
University of Auckland An innovative remote body temperature monitoring solution to reduce the spread of COVID-19 $264,124
University of Canterbury Infection risk model of airborne transmission to facilitate decisions about PPE, ventilation and isolation in shared indoor spaces $513,022
University of Canterbury Safely and effectively doubling ventilator capacity – a rapid, and highly necessary technology solution to save multiple lives $150,352
University of Otago Genomic epidemiology and evolution of COVID-19 in New Zealand $600,000
University of Otago Novel COVID19 and antibody assays $968,973
Victoria Link Limited (T/A Wellington UniVentures) Tackling New Zealand's need for rapid access to anti-viral medication for the treatment of COVID-19 $920,726
Xerra Earth Observation Institute Limited A maritime tracking and risk analysis platform to enhance border security against COVID-19 $850,000
Zoom Tech Limited Nasal Swab to secure DNA/RNA samples for detection of mucus/saliva based illnesses $700,000

Note: Bridging funding to let work commence until a national vaccine strategy is in place.

Last updated: 11 June 2021