Nick Ger­rit­son

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Car­bon­Scape and Aquaflow

Element - - Upfront -

A busi­ness cat­a­lyst and en­tre­pre­neur, Nick has a real thing for tech­nol­ogy start-ups. Along with Car­bon­Scape, an­other such ven­ture is Aquaflow, of which he is a founder and di­rec­tor. Since 2005, its Her­culean aim has been to ad­dress the avail­abil­ity of clean water and the se­cu­rity of en­ergy sup­plies by de­vel­op­ing tech­nolo­gies that pro­vide us­able water and re­new­able en­ergy, while re­duc­ing emis­sions and waste. From per­fect­ing the use of sewage pond al­gae as bio­fuel, Aquaflow has re­cently part­nered with Shell sub­sidiary CRI Cat­a­lyst to pro­duce a re­new­able “drop-in” fuel for ex­ist­ing com­bus­tion en­gines at a price com­pa­ra­ble with petrol and diesel. And ac­cord­ing to Nick, such al­ter­na­tives are key to our success and sur­vival. “New Zealand needs to be ready to an­swer some big ques­tions. What hap­pens if we can’t ac­cess oil from Sin­ga­pore any­more? How does that af­fect our econ­omy, our prop­erty in­vest­ments, and our abil­ity to get our prod­ucts to mar­ket? Th­ese chal­lenges are mas­sive and re­quire a new type of vi­sion­ary struc­tural in­no­va­tion.” Nick sees be­com­ing in­de­pen­dent from fos­sil fu­els as sim­ply ‘com­mon sense’, adding that we have huge op­por­tu­ni­ties to not only solve our chal­lenges at home, but to sell those so­lu­tions glob­ally. “Solv­ing big grunty is­sues like this can trans­form the econ­omy and take ad­van­tage of New Zealand’s core com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage, which is smart in­no­va­tion and so­lu­tion build­ing. That’s what we do and have done for gen­er­a­tions. The risk is not act­ing fast enough.”

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