Young Māori and Pacifica students set to gain international R&D experience

Author: Frederic Riviere

This is a Press release from Fomana Capital and NUKU ki te Puku™

A partnership between two New Zealand organisations and Singapore-based Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), aims to provide unique and valuable opportunities for young Māori and Pacifica students in the areas of food, beverage and nutraceutical development.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed in Singapore on 25 July 2018 between Wellington-based Fomana Capital Limited, NUKU ki te Puku™, and A*STAR, outlines a core element of the agreement for students to gain knowledge and experience in research and development in New Zealand and Asia.

Fomana CEO Wayne Mulligan said A*STAR is recognised as a global leader in R&D that spans biomedical sciences, physical sciences, and engineering.

“A*STAR’s work in metabolic, age care, gut health, hair, bio-engineering and skin care, are aligned to where New Zealand and in particular Māori and Pacifica businesses should focus, in terms of nutrition and future foods Mulligan said”.

“This MoU provides a foundation to develop a research collaboration agreement between Fomana, NUKU™, and A*STAR, for a series of proposed joint projects including clinical trials in Singapore, and exchange of researchers, students and insights for the purpose of developing food, beverages and nutritional supplements for Asian markets.

It could also give New Zealand Māori and Pacifica students a platform to network with leading researchers, and gain in-depth knowledge of consumers and technology. We will explore students working in teams across Singapore and other Southeast Asian markets, undertaking clinical trials, market and consumer research, and working on commercialisation plans,” he added.

NUKU ki te Puku™ works with food and beverage businesses to expose them to national and international companies who innovate through R&D and technology. The MoU aims to offer NUKU™ opportunities to test their pre-diabetic food formulation across trials with Fomana and A*STAR.

Fomana and NUKU™ hope to receive funding support for this programme from the Future Foods research collaboration between Singapore and New Zealand as announced by New Zealand Government recently.

Through the agreement, New Zealand-led R&D and products will increase their presence on the world stage of innovation, research and development.


For all media enquiries contact Marisa Balle, mobile 022 542 6728

Fomana Capital Ltd
Fomana Capital has international relationships and has invested in companies that have launched branded products, clinical trials and IP across the globe. Fomana knows the importance of marketing and having good global partners. They’re involved in: IP; nutrition; pharmaceutics; nutraceutics; high value nutrition; wine; horticulture; seafood; and beverages, and also assist with capital planning and raising.
Fomana Capital is led by CEO Wayne Mulligan, and Managing Director Paul Morgan.
NUKU ki te Puku™
NUKU ki Te Puku™ consists of the following groups: Fomana Capital, Wakatu Incorporation – Kono NZ, Ngāti Porou Holdings (Ngāti Porou Miere, Ngāti Porou Farms, Ngāti Porou Fisheries, Ngati Porou Fisheries, Ngāti Porou Forestry), Steve Sanders (Plus Group – Robotics Plus, Miro), Poutama Trust, Jason Witehira Holdings
The venture began in 2014 with Callaghan Innovation which collaborated with 12 Māori business leaders to work together on science and international markets. The initiative was also supported by the Plant and Food Research Institute. In 2017 the members decided to formalise and co-invest in NUKU ki Te Puku™.
The name NUKU ki Te Puku™ came from Callaghan Innovation. It represents the fruits of earth to sustain human wellness.