Ian Taylor

Founder, Animation Research Ltd (New Zealand)

Described as an ”exemplar of innovation in New Zealand”, entrepreneur Ian Taylor was awarded the 2019 New Zealand Innovator of the Year at the annual New Zealander of the Year Awards, which recognises inspiring Kiwis whose game-changing discoveries, research or inventions are driving society forward.

He is the founder of Animation Research Ltd (ARL), a computer graphics production facility, and multimedia production company Taylormade Productions. ARL has built and continues to service a Formula 1 (F1) racing simulator for one of the world’s leading F1 race teams and has produced 3D animated graphics and simulators for a range of sports including aerobatics, hot air ballooning, para-gliding, extreme sports, cricket, golf, sailing and more.

Ian was brought up in a small East Coast village on the North Island of New Zealand. Ian founded ARL in 1990 on nothing more than a handshake with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago. Today, working from their base in Dunedin, ARL covers sports events all over the world. They are said to have transformed the America’s Cup with the first ever real-time 3D graphics package that allowed races to be tracked and displayed on screen using global positioning.

Ian holds an LLB from the University of Otago and was inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2010, he was named North & South magazine’s New Zealander of the Year. In the same year, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the New Zealand Computer Society, the top honour of the ICT sector in New Zealand. He was named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 New Year Honours, for services to television and business, and won the Creative sector of the World Class New Zealander Awards. In 2013, he was named Outstanding Maori Business Leader of the Year.