13 Jul 2011

Network aims to boost innovation earnings

8:34 am on 13 July 2011

Universities and Crown Research Institutes have teamed up to boost the commercialisation of New Zealand's science and technology research.

They have launched the Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) which aims to improve collaboration among members.

Founding members include WaikatoLink, Plant and Food Research, Otago Innovation, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Industrial Research and Viclink.

KiwiNet chairman Ruth Richardson says it's an ambitious endeavour aimed at getting much better economic traction from innovation.

Duncan Mackintosh, chief executive of WaikatoLink - the commercial arm of Waikato University - says Kiwnet members will be meeting regularly to share ideas and review projects, and there's plenty of scope for collaboration.

KiwiNet is largely based on the collaborative network Unicom, which links universities.

AUT Enterprises chief executive Kevin Pyror says that model works very well but it makes sense to add in the expertise of Crown Research Institutes.

The research expenditure among the network's 10 members is worth more than $500 million a year.