Environment & Engineering

MaramaLabs: Clear potential

MaramaLabs 8 Copy

The Marama Labs team: Prof. Eric Le Ru, Matthias Meyer, Dr Brendan Darby

Conventional absorption spectroscopy works by shining a spectrum of light through a sample, and then monitoring which colours get transmitted, and which are absorbed. However, this technique becomes ineffective when a sample solution is cloudy or opaque and contains large particles that scatter light in all directions, making it difficult and time-consuming (multiple steps are required) to extract information about the sample.

CloudSpec is a next generation spectroscopy instrument that significantly simplifies this process, and enables cloudy or opaque liquids to be analysed more quickly and accurately than traditional methods. Developed by two Victoria University of Wellington physicists, CloudSpec is the first product to be offered by MaramaLabs—the start-up company formed from the scientists' initial research.


Features and benefits


Traditional UV-Vis measurement techniques require samples to be extensively processed via multiple steps. With CloudSpec, these same steps are eliminated, leading to faster measurement times.

More accurate

Because CloudSpec does not require multiple clarification steps—such as centrifugation, filtration or extraction—the sample is left intact, resulting in more accurate measurement results.

Range of applications

CloudSpec can be used across a wide range of applications, including everything from analysing wine, beer or milk—right through to wastewater.

Wellington Gold Awards 2021

Wellington Gold Awards 2021

The Wellington Gold Awards honour the region’s business talent and pays tribute to those who are building the Wellington community. Marama Labs was named as a finalists in the Innovation Gold category.

Watch their entry video here.

Video link

Next steps

Having formed a company and completed a successful $600k capital raise thanks to Callaghan InnovationWNT Ventures and a Booster-Viclink partnership, the MaramaLabs team released the CloudSpec product to market at the end of 2019.

Focusing on the wine industry first—using CloudSpec to help quantify the colour and phenolics of fermenting wines—MaramaLabs is already working with two major wineries in New Zealand and Australia.

However, the new investment means the company is now able to accelerate its development, and shift focus away from the tech itself and onto selling and distributing CloudSpec across the wider food and beverage industriesand further afield to environmental and wastewater testing agencies.

Julie Crisford

Head of Commercialisation

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