Lucrative high-tech contracts vetoed

Published: Wed 7 Aug 2013 12:15 PM
7 August 2013
Lucrative high-tech contracts vetoed
The future of a world-renowned high-tech company hangs in the balance after Steven Joyce’s Callaghan Innovation stopped it securing multi-million contracts, Labour MPs Megan Woods and Trevor Mallard say.
“KiwiStar is a Callaghan Innovation subsidiary making precision telescope lenses and has been described by Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist John Tonry as ‘one of the best companies in the world’,” Megan Woods says.
“KiwiStar was about to sign a $2.4 million contract with the Australian Astronomical Observatory. But Callaghan Innovation’s chief executive Mary Quin vetoed the work because it didn’t fit with the organisation’s new focus.
“There will be job losses and two further deals worth more than $3 million with the California Institute of Technology (Caltec) and Berkeley – which bring important scientific associations – have been lost,” she says.
Callaghan Innovation was set up by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce in February through the amalgamation of Industrial Research Limited, with staff from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
“Its mandate was to accelerate the commercialisation of innovation in Kiwi firms but this is what we always feared; that Callaghan Innovation will be a shop front and not provide the science to drive serious innovation in this country,” Megan Woods says.
MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard said high-value manufacturing was the key to the future of the Hutt Valley.
“It is very sad to see this work lost. For a government agency to abandon the chance to work with Caltec, which is one of the very top US universities, is close to criminal negligence.”

Next in New Zealand politics

Mōuri Whenua, Mōuri Tangata, Mōuri Ora: Parliament’s Grounds Fully Reopened
By: Parliamentary Service
Statement From Minister Chris Hipkins On Charlotte Bellis
By: Minister Chris Hipkins
Prime Minister To Travel To Europe And Australia
By: New Zealand Government
Goodfellow To Retire As National Party President
By: New Zealand National Party
Parliament Occupation Investigators Seek Public Assistance
By: New Zealand Police
New Zealand Urged To Meet Quota As New Report Finds Hunger, Violence, And Death Rates Increase For Refugees
By: World Vision
Trade Minister To Travel To Europe, Canada And Australia To Advance Economic Recovery
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media