KiwiNet Newsletter August 2015
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KiwiNet winners branch into new territory

17th June 2015
New Zealand Research Commercialisation Awards

The third national KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards were very successful with about 297 registrations to the whole event, these represented 95 different organisations.

KiwiNet Awards head judge Helen Robinson, a leading director and executive advisor says, “The judges are increasingly impressed with the value creation for New Zealand by the collaboration between CRIs, Universities and Business.

This years finalists and winners illustrated the sheer diversity of innovation and commercialisation taking place in New Zealand. The finalists showed deep market insight, impressive science, and engagement and relationships built, both locally and internationally. The finalists were made up of clever and disruptive business models designed to deliver maximised return, to the people, the organisations, the customer and our country.

What science powering innovation means to 2015 KiwiNet Awards finalists. See the video here...
Kiwi mathematicians converge to solve tough industry challenges

Around 100 of New Zealand’s sharpest mathematical minds converged on Auckland last month to try and provide solutions for 6 challenges laid down by 6 New Zealand companies. A week-long workshop was held as a way for companies to pitch their problems to people from around the region who then worked collaboratively to generate practical solutions through modelling, statistical analysis or computation. Check out the MINZ website here or read Jonathan Miller's blog post. 

KiwiNet secures 3 year funding from MBIE for research commercialisation.

KiwiNet (The KiwiNet Innovation Network) has received a substantial vote of confidence with a further 3 year funding contract from The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment under The Commercialisation Partner Network (CPN). 

“It’s fantastic to have the Government getting behind research commercialisation in New Zealand,” says Dr Bram Smith, General Manager of KiwiNet. “KiwiNet is about bridging the gap between the Government’s substantial investments into research discovery and business innovation. Our vision is to see kiwi scientists powering business to push the frontiers of high-tech innovation.” Read more...

Upcoming event: NZBIO 24th September

Building on our relationship with Callaghan Innovation and the British High Commission, KiwiNet is hosting a 2 hour session at the forthcoming NZBIO conference in Wellington.  Grow Wellington has also joined this collaboration.  The session encourages quick pace presentations highlighting capabilities and potential areas of collaborations.  We are looking forward to meeting all the researchers, businesses and government representatives in the AgTech and Biotech sector at the end of September.

Event Debrief: Startup Weekend Science & Research - 3/4/5th July

KiwiNet partnered with CreativeHQ, the Incubator in Wellington, to run a start-up weekend specifically targeting scientists. The traditional start-up weekend model typically lends itself to software and Mobile Device App development. This start-up weekend specifically targeted scientists, especially postgraduates. 44 people attended, 22 of those were either scientists or engineers. Read Viclink's event report here. 

Event Debrief: LESANZ 16/17th July

KiwiNet collaborated with LESANZ (the Licencing Executive Society) to run two training workshops on Intellectual Asset Management in Auckland (16th July) and Christchurch (17th July). It was very well attended by commercialisation professionals across the country.

BiMonthly Events Newsletter

The August to September version of the KiwiNet Events Updates newsletter has just been released, register here if you would like to be included in the mailing list for this initiative or click to view the latest version.

If you would like to view a broader range of innovation events in New Zealand, please go to our Innovation Calendar.

Meet and Greet - Phil Stucki,
Commercial Projects Manager

Phil is a mechanical engineer with a background in product design and development. In the past he has worked for F&P, Maxwell Marine and Wipac in the UK. More recently, he has been working in the robotics and automation team at Callaghan Innovation. Phil has always been passionate about growing NZs economy through innovative products, ideas and technology.  Phil has joined us on a 12 month secondment from Callaghan Innovation. He is looking forward to working for KiwiNet and helping to commercialize some of the great ideas coming out of Universities and CRI’s.

Upcoming event: 14th October Wellington

This workshop is for all researchers who need to be able to ‘sell’ the value of their research to industry and funders. Daniel will work with you to develop your key messages and formulate them into a compelling pitch to sell your message to any audience. Register here...

Event Debrief: NZIFST 2nd July

KiwiNet, in collaboration with Callaghan Innovation and the British High Commission hosted a 90 minute session themed ‘International Opportunities’ at the 2015 New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology Conference.  Brief 5 minute ‘elevator pitches’ were presented from 15 speakers, representing five NZ research organisations, MPI, MBIE and two businesses, as well as three coming over from the UK all looking for commercial collaborations to an full audience.  Speakers and their presentations are availibale here.

Event Debrief: Pipeline Committee meeting 24th July

The 4th Pipeline Committee meeting was held on the 24th of July at a sponsor venue, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts in Auckland. The meeting was attended by 11 members of PRO staff, with GNS being the newest PRO to send a representative.

Event Debrief: Biopesticides 15th June
KiwiNet supported an exciting workshop at Lincoln University campus on Biopesticide regulations and commercialisation. A visiting top UK consultant, Roma Gwynn imparted her knowledge to a group of over 35 R&D and commercial staff from 12 organisations. She presented pathways to market and differences between NZ, US and EU in this fast moving area of natural and chemical free pest control.

Meet and Greet - James Hutchinson, Commercialisation Manager

James Hutchinson joined the KiwiNet team in May as our new Commercialisation Manager.  Originally from Auckland and an organic chemist by training, James joins us from the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK where he specialised in science policy, supporting research and innovation.  James is passionate about the important role NZ research and innovation has to play in growing our economy, and looks forward to working with the KiwiNet community to further grow and support research commercialisation.

Meet the People: Commercialisation Professional Antony Parnell

As many of you will know, Antony is taking flight and leaving the KiwiNet nest in early September. We will miss him around the office and no doubt he will be missed at Investment Committee meetings across the country! We thank Antony for all his hard work and wish him all the best with his future. 

How did you get into this area of work and where did you begin your career? 
After completing an MSc I spent a year working in a Quality Control lab at a Veterinary Pharmaceutical manufacturer. I’d always had an interest in how science works from a business perspective, and when I saw the opportunity to be a part of KiwiNet it looked like a great place to explore that interest. And it definitely has been!

Tell us about some exciting projects you have been involved with.
While not directly involved, I’ve been privileged to see a lot of projects coming out of New Zealand’s research organisations. The work coming out of the Chronoptics research group at University of Waikato is cutting edge, with a range of high tech applications. Similarly, the University of Canterbury have a project looking to commercialise technology for use in flat panel electronic displays. Seeing this kind of tech coming out of New Zealand is incredibly motivating.

I love research commercialisation because….  
The process of seeing technology move from early research to a commercial end point is incredibly satisfying. It requires a combination of driven people with varied skillsets, which is an exciting environment to be a part of.

What one thing could be done to improve commercialisation in New Zealand? 
Engage students early so they know that research commercialisation is a pathway that they can follow, and that there is support available for them to do this.

What is your favourite quote? 
 “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky

What technology would you love to have been involved with over the past 10 years? 
It would have been a lot of fun to be involved in the development of drone technology. It will be very interesting to see the variety of applications for drones in the next 10 years.

Where are you off to and what does the future hold for you over the next few years?
I’m going to take some time to go overseas (initially Canada) and have a look around. I don’t know what I’ll do there but that’s fine with me.
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