4 Dec 2012

Plea to improve ties between science and business

12:03 am on 4 December 2012

The country's top science communicator says improving ties between science and business across its many fields will help drive the development of innovative new products and services that the world wants.

Professor Shaun Hendy won the 2012 Prime Minister's Science Media Communication Prize for his work in links between science, technology and economic prosperity.

Professor Hendy, a theoretical physicist, says New Zealand is limited by its distance from markets, the size of its market and the lack of a large scale city that can bring firms and people of many disciplines together.

But he says that shouldn't act as a deterrent, as new technology and the Government can play important roles in reducing the cost of link-ups.

He says people are becoming accustomed to working with large data sets and social media to pull knowledge together.

Professor Hendy says he'd like to see people trying to build business tools that help people find each other, "perhaps a bit like LinkedIn, but maybe have a lot more technical information".

He points to overseas network ResearchGate, which helps scientist interact, as an example.

Professor Hendy says it's about ensuring that people working on similar things are connected and aware of others' activities.