Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has formally launched the government’s Innovative Partnership programme in a bid to attract future-focused international innovators and firms to undertake R&D and develop their products in New Zealand.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will lead the program and will “engage with innovative companies that are pushing the boundaries of technology and solving the world’s big problems, and promote the compelling advantages of working in New Zealand.” Woods said.
“These companies are then connected with the right people, businesses, agencies, research organisations and universities, as well as supported through navigating central and local governments.”
The “formal launch” of the program is somewhat belated. The information page on the MBIE web site was last updated on 12 April 2017!
The announcement seems to have been precipitated by US startup, Kitty Hawk Corporation — which operates in New Zealand as Zephyr Airworks — gaining great publicity this week with the testing of its autonomous air taxi in Christchurch.
The Government’s statement said: “The official launch of the programme comes after … Kitty Hawk Corporation… credited Innovative Partnerships as part of the reason it is testing its revolutionary air taxi technology in New Zealand.”
Woods said the programme would be run by small team of experts dedicated to helping R&D players connect, collaborate and innovate in New Zealand, and that multiple agencies across local and central governments would work together to support and facilitate the elements that influence a decision to undertake R&D in New Zealand.
According to Woods, “international innovators are finding our unique expertise, resources and talent, together with our size and location, offer surprising advantages when it comes to turning ideas into reality.”
She added: “New Zealand has a long history of innovation and being at the front of change. Our future is still being imagined and we are determined to play an active role in shaping it for the better through new ideas, new innovations, and new ways of looking at the world.”
Woods said the Innovative Partnerships programme would be run by small team of experts and multiple agencies across local and central governments would work together “to support and facilitate the elements that influence a decision to undertake R&D in New Zealand.”