Category Archives: Biotech/ Science

PFR YouTube videos

If you’re interested in the world of horticulture, seafood and food research then check out this library of video snippets from my employer, Plant & Food Research

I’ve stared in a couple yet to be released so in the mean time here is one specifically around the numbers of our horticulture industry


Lab Trader NZ Ltd Update

So I launched a business a few months back now, Lab Trader NZ Ltd. So far its been great. Of course there have been a few road bumps, but nothing serious…yet. The key thing I’ve achieved to date is confirming there is a need for my business. And I don’t mean just simply asking people if they would use it. I mean getting people paying money to use the service.

So far we/I :

  • have approx $80,000 worth of lab equipment transactions loaded on to the online marketplace And another $10,000 offline.
  • have saved researchers over $25,000 in lab equipment purchases by providing great quality use lab equipment.
  • are turning a profit.
  • have received praise from our clients i.e. ‘this is a great idea’.
  • are seeing repeat purchasing behaviour.
  • have received media attention here.
  • have found it very easy to find equipment to sell, but as expected regarding selling this equipment.


What’s next?

  • Get some more staff.
  • Become an official supplier on all university and CRI procurement systems.
  • Broaden our network of prospective ‘Lab Traders’ (buyers & sellers).
  • Seal more deals!


Hope to update you again soon.


Visit to Waikato Innovation Park

This week I got the opportunity to go down and check out the Waikato Innovation Park (WIP), located just outside Hamilton CBD. WIP is a hub of Ag-Biotech businesses mixed with support services, 50+ businesses in total. It is also the home of the ‘AgBio Cluster’.

In the area is the Ruakura Research Centre where Plant and Food Research, AgResearch, Landcare and Dexcel sites are based. The University of Waikato is also down the road and their tech transfer office, Waikatolink, base themselves at the Park as well.

Other than the main building, a second building (Phase 2) is also up and running with a cornerstone tenant, Tetra Pak. And under construction in a third building is a spray drying facility which forms the Waikato component of the Government-sponsored New Zealand Food Innovation Network. It is envisioned that it will be mainly used to produce infant formula and fruit and vegetable powders.

WIP is more developed than I personally thought it was before checking it out for myself. Walking down main street of the building you certainly feel a great buzz in the air where chance opportunities are the norm and entrepreneurial minds are collaborating. Hope to back again soon.



CIMG9044 CIMG9039


The main building.




A tree-lined entrance into the Park!


Components of the Ag Bio Cluster.



Graeme @

Life Technologies & Ph.Diddy

A animated music video created by Life Technologies that captures the thoughts and experiences of a typical young PhD student.


Graeme @

Welcome to LabTrader NZ

One of my business ideas that has been lingering around and hasn’t been executed on is ‘LabTrader NZ’.


  1. Limited to NZ market. My model is not scalable. Very much geo restricted. Scalable variants are operating in the US and only serve the US. They dominate that market making it hard for incumbents. Even though the business could be made into a scalable weightless model this will be compromised because of the type goods being exchanged on it.
  2. It’s not a large market in NZ to make a lot of money.
  3. It’s a NZ market. I really want to be hitting the international scene for my own personal experience.
  4. I’m a busy person and it hasn’t been a top priority.

The problem is:

  1. From a social view point it would have a great positive impact for the NZ research community.
  2. Its easy and cheap to set up.
  3. I have the connections/ resources to fuel it.
  4. Easy business to run.
  5. Good experience for my first ‘business’.


I am currently in pre-launch! 

LabTraderlogoMAINcrop copy

So for some more background on the business..

The typical scenario: There is an all to familiar site seeing laboratory equipment being under utilised or wasting away in a room when another researcher down the road will have no idea of its existence and then goes and buys a brand new one.

black white lab

THE PAIN: buying and owning lab equipment is an expensive task which imposes a financial strain  on researchers. This limits their access to technology and reduces their funds for investment into research activities. This leads to a reduced research output – quality and volume.

So what is LadTrader NZ?

LabTrader NZ Ltd is a New Zealand focused broker for quality and affordable used laboratory equipment and supplies. At our online marketplace (when it’s launched) you will be able to find, purchase, lease and sell used laboratory equipment to other NZ based researchers.

While free-flow peer to peer trading can take place in the online marketplace we prefer to act as a broker and reseller. Particularly because these items are of significant value, of a high technical nature, we can offer maintenance packages and rent to own options, and for safety reasons as well.

We strive to help the NZ research community :

  1. save money on owning laboratory equipment and extend technical capabilities by providing access to quality and affordable pre-loved equipment,
  2. provide a channel for researchers or lab managers to on-sell unused laboratory equipment through. This enables them to recover value from unused and depreciating equipment before its too late,
  3. supporting NZ research through grants and scholarships.

So……..Got any lab items you want to sell?

Come on I know there’s something.

Send me an email

Currently it’s just me running the little beast but would love to bring in some more hands. Particularly people with design, IT, marketing and sales. I’d actually prefer current grad students including a sales rep at Waikato and Otago universities. Know someone? Let me know!

I’ve got a few items in the inventory ready to sell. But I’ll be putting together my first lot of inventory for launch in early Feb 2011.  Until then I will deploy some marketing to attract some inventory and potential buyers.

Sign up at our prelaunch site to receive our announcements.

Graeme @