KiwiNet forum focuses on igniting innovation from science to start-up and beyond
Christchurch, October 22, 2014 – Commercialisation professionals from Universities and Crown Research Institutes around
New Zealand are in Christchurch today for a forum on turning clever science and technology into commercial value. The
forum titled Igniting Innovation: From Science to Start-up and Beyond is being run by the Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet
), a consortium of 13 Universities, Crown Research Institutes and Crown Entities dedicated to taking a collaborative
approach to research commercialisation to boost commercial outcomes.
Dr Bram Smith, General Manager of KiwiNet says, “A wealth of discoveries are generated by our public research based
organisations. By sharing the hard won knowledge on how to bridge this gap from research discovery to market, sharing
contacts and encouraging a more collaborative approach we can help research organisations create the next wave of clever
The forum opens with a keynote presentation from entrepreneur Mitchell Pham the Co-Founder of Augen Software Group.
Other sessions include a workshop on getting creative with industry relationships with Simon Rowell the Founder of
Innovation Liberation Front, a workshop on science to start-up with Stephen Hampson the CEO of powerHouse Ventures
Limited and Suse Reynolds the Executive Director of the Angel Association of New Zealand, and a workshop on connecting
to international markets with a focus on Asia facilitated by Alan Koziarski, Customer Director at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.
The forum finishes with a panel discussion on taking technology to market facilitated by Hal Josephson from MediaSense.
Speakers Mitchell Pham and Alan Koziarski will be joined by Duncan Mackintosh the Chief Executive of WaikatoLink Limited
and Geoff Brash the CEO of GBJ on the panel.
Smith says research commercialisation professionals need to be skilled in everything from creating new business models
and taking technology to market, to technology development and IP protection. “Combining clever research with a sharp
commercial focus has been the secret to success for many of our KiwiNet success stories,” says Smith.
As at March this year, 244 KiwiNet projects have received $8.4 million of PreSeed investment funding from MBIE allocated
through the KiwiNet Investment Committee. This has resulted in $11.1 million of external investment into completed
projects, 47 commercial deals and $500 million combined potential return to New Zealand.
The KiwiNet commercialisation forums are part of a programme of KiwiNet initiatives designed to to increase the scale
and impact of scientific and technology based innovation in New Zealand by empowering those involved in research
commercialisation by helping them access the knowledge, tools, connections, investment and support they need.
KiwiNet partner organisations include WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury,
Callaghan Innovation, Viclink, Landcare Research, Cawthron Institute, ESR and NIWA; representing 6000 researchers or two
thirds of the researchers in New Zealand’s public research organisations. Principal support is also provided by the
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).
The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) comprises universities and crown research institutes and agencies working together
to increase the scale and impact of scientific and technology based innovation in New Zealand. KiwiNet’s role is to
empower those involved in research commercialisation by helping them access the tools, connections, investment and
support they need. By working together, KiwiNet aims to better leverage the combined capability of NZ research
organisations and help each other to achieve greater commercial outcomes for New Zealand. KiwiNet partner organisations
include WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury,
Callaghan Innovation, Viclink, Landcare Research, Cawthron Institute, ESR and NIWA. Principal support is also provided
by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).
For more on KiwiNet visit www.kiwinet.org.nz