Emirates Team New Zealand has been awarded a research and development growth grant by Callaghan Innovation having met the eligibility criteria for the fund.
“It is fantastic Callaghan Innovation has recognised both the importance and the potential Emirates Team New Zealand has in the research and development of technologies that goes into creating an America’s Cup winning yacht,” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.
Emirates Team New Zealand has been leading the way in marine and composite technology research and development for the past 20 years but access to this grant has previously not been considered because of the government funding that was provided to the team in the past.
“What we do, and what we develop has a flow-on effect on to the New Zealand marine industry as well as so many other New Zealand businesses where there is cross over in the technology we develop. This is at the core of the Callaghan Innovation’s R&D fund – helping New Zealand businesses succeed through technology. And the team has a proven record of leading the way in marine technology,” explained Dalton.
Callaghan Innovation General Manager, Accelerator Services, Simon Brown said the Growth Grant acknowledges the increasing R&D capacity of Emirates Team New Zealand off-water operation.
“Growth Grants are only available to organisations with at least $300,000 dedicated to R&D annually. It is designed to boost R&D among established businesses which are serious about research and development.”
In the last America’s Cup Emirates Team New Zealand was the trailblazer in terms of the development of foiling into grand prix sailing. Now, just over two years on, foiling is commonplace across the sport and technology is constantly evolving.
“This America’s Cup is going to be the most technologically advanced America’s Cup ever,” explained Emirates Team New Zealand’s Technical Director Dan Bernasconi. “Although we have been working on and making exciting advancements and new developments since 2013, this funding is key to really ramping up our technological development of our next boat which is key to winning the America’s Cup all the while showcasing New Zealand as a world leader in marine and composite technology around the world and on our sports biggest global stage in 2017 at the America’s Cup in Bermuda.”
In terms of the precise figure the team will be receiving from the Callaghan Innovation Fund, Grant Dalton says it is not yet certain and depends entirely on what the team’s R&D spend is.
“Emirates Team New Zealand’s research and development spend is a constantly evolving figure month to month, but it can receive 20% of its annual R&D expenditure. It is clear to say the team's expenditure figure meets the minimum spend criteria of $300,000 per annum, but it certainly will not receive anywhere near the maximum allowable amount of the fund.”
For now, New Zealanders need only look to Auckland Harbour throughout the coming year to get an idea of the technology that is already going into winning the next America’s Cup, as the team continues its on water testing program.