Comvita Innovation Limited


Welcome to Comvita Innovation Limited. Comvita Innovation Limited (CIL) was created to facilitate Comvita’s research and development, whilst fostering links with universities and other research institutions.

In 2015, CIL received an award for this particular research partnership model from the Kiwi Innovation Network (read about it HERE).

CIL is committed to advancing the current understanding of the benefits of natural products in order to develop products with proven efficacy. The team is strategically based in the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (IIB), New Zealand’s largest biotech cluster in the heart of The University of Auckland, where a large network of Life Sciences experts and cutting-edge technologies are available.

Download an online version of Comvita Innovation Limited brochure HERE >

R & D Capability

For the past seven years, CIL has been developing its own screening methodologies for testing bio-activities of the natural products that form Comvita’s active ingredient platform, such as Manuka honey, Olive Leaf Extract and Propolis. Based on these methodologies available, CIL is now offering consultations for companies wanting to test their ingredients for bio-active qualities.

Please email for more information.

CIL Research Focus

  • Assessment of raw natural products.
  • Natural products bio-active discovery and screening.
  • Development of food processing technology that enhances active ingredients.
  • Formulation and delivery of bio-actives.
  • In vitro trials; cell-line biological assays; clinical trials (dietary intervention).

CIL Research Model and Research Partners

CIL collaborates with a number of research partners, sharing complex research infrastructures such as high-tech facilities and expert services. This means a broader research capability, greater exchange of ideas and increased flexibility with project designs.

CIL has been conducting research projects in collaboration with the below partners in the past, and always interested in finding new collaborators.

  • Crown Research Institutes, such as: Industrial Research Limited, Plant and Food Research and GNS Science.
  • Universities and academic institutes, such as: The University of Canterbury, Massey University, The University of Otago and The University of Reading (UK).
  • Other industry organisations who share the same goals as Comvita.


CIL has published several peer-reviewed journals to support scientific accuracy in our research projects. Below is the list of currently available papers.

Currently available journals:

CIL Student Theses

  • Investigation of the immunostimulatory effects of some New Zealand honeys and characterization of an active component (Master of Technology in Food Technology at Massey University), Swapna Gannabathula, June 2010.
  • Antimicrobial effect of Manuka honey and kanuka honey alone and in combination with the bio-actives against the growth of Propionibacterium acnes ATCC 6919 (Master of Technology in Food Technology at Massey University), Qiong Wu, June 2011.
  • Interaction of Manuka honey derived phenolic compounds with natural beeswax (Diploma of Food Processing and Biotechnology at Berlin Institute for Technology and Food Chemistry), Jennifer Kuehne, December 2011.
  • Fluorescence screening of indigenous New Zealand Honeys (Master of Biological Sciences at The University of Auckland), Jessie Bong Nee Jan, July 2012.
  • Potential mechanism of augmentation of wound healing by anti-inflammatory and matrix metalloproteinase inhibitory effects of Manuka and kanuka honey (Master of Health Sciences at The University of Auckland), Victoria Tomblin, July 2012.
  • The Impact of Integrated Gamification on University Students’ Physical Activity Levels (Master of Bioscience Enterprise at The University of Auckland), Vazishta Antia, December 2012.
  • The inhibitory effects of polyphenolic compounds from a range of natural products against selected enzymes (Master of Science at The University of Auckland), Bin Lin, July 2013.
  • An exploration of consumer purchase decision-making process in the non-prescription eczema sector (Master of Bioscience Enterprise at The University of Auckland), Meenal Rai, December 2013
  • Medical honey and chronic wound healing: Are there honey compounds that inhibit matrix metalloproteinases? (Bachelor of Science, Honours at The University of Auckland), Sarah Meidinger, November 2013
  • Characterisation of the in vitro antioxidant properties of therapeutic honeys of the world (Bachelor of Science, Honours at The University of Auckland), Jeffry Sutanto Tang, November 2013
  • Olive leaf phenolics and cardiovascular risk reduction (Doctoral thesis at the University of Reading, UK), Stacey Lockyer, 2014
  • Propolis from New Zealand and international sources: analysis and comparison of antioxidant and polyphenolic profiles (Master of Science at the University of Auckland), Kyu-Jin Han, July 2014
  • Profiling and quantification of immunostimulatory compounds in different types of honey (Master of Science at The University of Auckland), Alex George Anthony Samy, July 2014

The CIL Team

For general enquiries or feedback, please email

Studentship Programme

Student participation is a key part of Comvita’s research model. Several PhD and Masters students from various universities conduct science projects under the supervision of CIL’s full-time researchers.

CIL also has an exchange programme with other universities for an internship or postgraduate projects. The programme is designed to strengthen Comvita’s relationship with overseas researchers and research institutes.

For more information on studentship opportunities, visit HERE.