ARL Staff Blog

Honorary Doctorate

23 May 2022
Ian Taylor 2021

Above: Ian Taylor speaking at Waipatu Marae, Hastings, in 2019
Photo / Warren Buckland nzherald.co.nz

Sir Ian Taylor has received an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from the University of Otago for his contribution to business, and to the city of Dunedin. Sir Ian's business links with the University go back to the establishment of ARL (Animation Research Ltd).

Not long after starting up Taylormade Productions with business partner Graham McArthur in 1989, Ian read a report about a University of Otago team that had won the 1989/1990 World Final of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest ( the first university outside of North America to do so ), and went down to the Department of Computer Science to meet Emeritus Professor Geoff Wyvill and see the work that he and his students were doing.

"I can still remember saying to Geoff, here we are making television, there you are with these flash computer graphics, what if we put what you're doing with what we're doing?"

ARL began as a joint venture between Taylormade and the Department, and Emeritus Professor Wyvill identified four of his students who could help him develop the graphics business – three are still with the company today. In 1991 Taylormade bought out the University’s share in the venture. When they started ARL, Sir Ian says they decided that digital data would be the currency of the future.

"If you think of the America's Cup, obviously there was a story going on out there - but none of us understood it because it was so boring to watch and didn't make any sense. So we used digital data, turned it into pictures and then started telling stories."

Sir Ian says ARL could never have happened without the initial team that came from the University. Sir Eion Edgar KNZM, Chancellor of the University from 1999-2003, was also an early supporter of the animation company. ARL continues to have a close association with the Department of Computer Science and employs many programmers from the University.

"This doctorate isn’t mine. It’s the staff, it's everybody around me who’s created this business, and I think it also belongs to the University."

#151 Off The Bench

25 Nov 2021
Ian Taylor self-isolating in Auckland

Tā Ian Taylor self-isolating in Auckland
Photo / Brett Phibbs nzherald.co.nz

In October the New Zealand Government gave approval for 150 businesspeople to self-manage their isolation when returning from overseas, using protocols developed by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

ARL Managing Director Tā Ian Taylor called his privately-funded trial '#151 Off The Bench' (referencing the team who helped develop the additional protocols and technology he used). Now, on returning from business in America and after doing his isolation in a Herne Bay townhouse for 10 days, protected by technology and an array of Covid-19 tests, Ian is back home in Dunedin.

Reviewing the trial is important, so presented here are the Ernst & Young independent review of the 151 Trial (PDF) and the #151 Off The Bench report (PDF), provisionally titled 'The Bench Proposal'.

ARL News

  • Honorary Doctorate >

    Sir Ian Taylor has received an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from the Read More
  • Virtual Eye 2021 >

    Above: 2021 was a big year for ARL, and in particular for our Read More
  • #151 Off The Bench >

    In October, the New Zealand Government gave approval for 150 businesspeople to self-manage... Read More
  • Flexible, Scalable and Secure >

    For nearly 30 years teams of people from Animation Research Ltd (ARL) travelled Read More
  • Exceeding Expectations >

    Broadcast and media analysis by Nielsen has revealed the AC36 events (ACWS Auckland, Read More
  • Te Hono Māori Future & Tech >

    Te Hono Māori Future and Tech Summit was held at the Plymouth International Read More
  • Mātauranga >

    Tā Ian Taylor has launched a new project that teaches kids about Polynesian Read More
  • Visionary Leader >

    The Deloitte Top 200 Awards 2020 have recognized ARL Managing Director Ian Taylor Read More
  • Packaging the Science >

    ARL has been working on a visualisation project with AgResearch and Rural Innovation Read More
  • Recognition of Resilience >

    Animation Research Ltd has been recognized for our resilience and ingenuity during the Read More
  • Visionweek Interview >

    ARL Managing Director Ian Taylor has vast experience in technology and innnovation and Read More
  • VR Learning Progress Report >

    Above: Discoveries in VR Literacy and Numeracy Training Methodist Mission Southern (MMS) delivers Read More
  • Time Tripper >

    Queenstown's Underwater World observatory has been turned into a virtual time machine called Read More
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