6.8M funding boost for University of Auckland bioengineering and neuroscience collaboration

10 October 2016

6.8M funding boost for University of Auckland bioengineering and neuroscience collaboration

The University of Auckland has been pledged $6.8 million from the New York based Aotearoa Foundation of well-known philanthropist, Julian Robertson. Major donation boosts prospects for research at the University’s Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) and Centre for Brain Research (CBR).

This significant donation will be used to create new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for healthcare and new opportunities in the rapidly growing New Zealand medical technology sector.

The Director of ABI, Distinguished Professor Peter Hunter says, “This new Aotearoa Foundation investment will be used to attract world class researchers to the ABI in the areas of computer modelling of the human body and instrumentation development for medical devices.”

“We are delighted with these significant packages of support,” he says. “We expect these researchers to lead to new spinout medtech companies with both economic and healthcare benefits for New Zealand,” he says.

The Director of the CBR, Distinguished Professor Richard Faull, says of the support for CBR, “The Aotearoa Foundation donation will be a vital catalyst for our strategic work in brain research.”

“This ‘bench to bedside’ support will enable us to attract further leading international researchers to link the neuroscientists in the University of Auckland and the clinicians in the Auckland Hospitals to more rapidly tackle neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease,” says Professor Faull.


• The Aotearoa Foundation is a private foundation established in 2004 by Julian Robertson and his wife Josie which seeks to make high-impact grants in New Zealand in three principal areas: education, conservation and environmental stewardship, and medical research. As opportunities emerge, the Foundation has provided grants in other spheres, and a further objective of our work is to help develop a stronger culture of philanthropy in New Zealand.