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Innovation Fund – frequently asked questions

General questions

  • Why is Waka Kotahi setting up an innovation fund?

    We need to find new and quicker ways to respond to the challenges facing the land transport sector such as climate change, reducing emissions, reducing impacts from the construction, operation, and maintenance of the transport system, encouraging mode shift, improving road safety outcomes, and providing accessible and equitable transport for New Zealanders.

    New thinking is going to be needed to address these issues and we know that many of the great ideas and innovations that will help to solve these concerns will come from the private sector (for example, start-ups, companies, communities, iwi, innovators, and research institutions). We need to realise the benefits of these great ideas and innovative transport solutions as early as possible.

    Hoe ki angitū has been set up to support private sector innovators and create an environment that encourages greater collaboration to seek solutions for these challenges. It will help create partnerships across central and local government and the private sector, to accelerate and drive innovation into our transport system.

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  • Why is the Innovation fund named Hoe ki angitū?

    Hoe ki angitū – paddle to opportunity  

    Hoe ki angitū has been set up to encourage innovators to pick up a paddle, bring their ideas and work alongside Waka Kotahi to help shape the future of New Zealand’s land transport system. 

    In this context angitū is opportunity. Waka Kotahi has created this fund to provide more opportunity for innovators to access funding to progress their project. 

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  • How is innovation defined?

    For the purposes of Hoe ki angitū, innovation is identified as an open-minded approach to pursuing improved outcomes and solutions that result in new ways of responding to our transport problems. While digital technology is likely to be a big part of new innovations we are just as interested in applying traditional knowledge in new ways. 

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  • How much can I apply for?

    There is a set amount of funding allocated to each challenge. If there are several good ideas submitted, then the funding may be split between them so you may not receive the full amount you have applied for. 

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  • When does the funding start and finish?

    This will be agreed with you if your application is successful. Funding may be provided as one lump sum or in instalments depending on the maturity and type of innovation. It will also depend on what the funding will be used for and the milestones and deliverables that have been agreed.  

    You will be asked to enter into a funding agreement with Waka Kotahi that will set how much funding you will receive, what you will deliver and when you will receive funding. 

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If your application is successful

  • If I don’t meet the set milestones will my funding be impacted?

    If successful, you will enter into a funding agreement with Waka Kotahi and mutually agreed milestones and deliverables will be documented. If you are unable to meet these milestones and deliverables your funding may be impacted.  

    We acknowledge there are many external challenges, including those associated with COVID-19 outbreaks and supply chain issues and this may impact what initially has been agreed. 

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  • What additional support will be available?

    Both financial and non-financial support will be available to successful applicants. Non-financial support includes access to data, transport expertise, help to navigate Waka Kotahi and land transport regulation, as well as the identification of suitable environments for real-world testing of solutions.

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