UC joins collaboration set to advance NZ sci & tech commercialisation

14 July 2011

The University of Canterbury is a founding member of a new collaboration set to boost this country's science and technology commercialisation.

The University of Canterbury is a founding member of a new collaboration set to boost this country’s science and technology commercialisation.

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) was launched this week to increase the scale and economic impact of science and technology commercialisation in New Zealand through an unprecedented level of national collaboration between universities and crown research institutes. 

KiwiNet will act as a hub for commercialisation activities for its member organisations, as well as participants in the wider innovation system, as they work to create commercial outcomes from science and technology research.  Founding members also include WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, Industrial Research Ltd and Viclink.

Hon Ruth Richardson, Chairman of KiwiNet, said: “We live in an era where discovery is the new currency and the success with which nations can foster the climate for innovation will determine their future prosperity.  Much rests on our capacity to commercialise the ideas, schemes and dreams of our brightest and best as a small but competitive nation. Ambition to succeed in forging an innovative economy is one thing, but the acid is now on to lift our ability to execute that goal.”

KiwiNet members, with a total combined research expenditure of more than $500 million, encompass the large proportion of NZ’s science capability.  Members have already demonstrated the ability to execute at the early stage of commercialisation but KiwiNet is a bold advancement on this.  As a national network with strong institutional and regional presence KiwiNet will reach deeply into the innovation systems and into NZ’s major industry sectors.  KiwiNet’s collaborative commercialisation model enables members to share resources, networks, best practise, IP and experience to create more commercially viable IP and start-ups from research based ventures.

KiwiNet expect members’ strong track record to attract fresh interest from two important quarters; the investors who are on the hunt for propositions of commercial promise, and other entities with ideas who will want to test them through KiwiNet.  

“KiwiNet provides the essential ingredients of success; strong governance, rigorous investment screening and decision making, well-structured project guidance and monitoring, and the ability to excite and harness investor appetite,” said Tim Balmer, Industrial Research Ltd’s Investments & Commercialisation Manager.

Ms Richardson said KiwiNet members are committed to collectively pushing the boundaries in the search for better and smarter ways to commercially leverage the substantial, but latent and untapped pool of NZ’s intellectual property. 

“As a country we really need to get moving to create the positive economic shifts we need.  One way we can do this is to get really bold about executing on an agenda of commercialisation and innovation.  KiwiNet is a very practical and crucial push for smart commercialisation.”


For more information:
Dr Nigel Johnson
Research and Innovation Director
Phone: +64 3 364 3488
Ext: 3488
Mobile: +64 027 332 2510

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