Who keeps a real eye on the ‘space’ beyond R&D


Nothing keeps an oversight of the New Zealand innovation ecosystem.

Science and R&D gets a good looking to, but beyond this engine of ideas and discoverer of knowledge, the next parts are not as connected as they could be.

What other parts?

  • The part that allows someone to scale up and test a process – be it food, energy, or an innovative product.
  • The part that develops and encourages best routes to market.
  • The part that helps facilitate distribution of high-value NZ products – often requiring finance assistance at crucial parts.
  • The part that enables entrepreneurs to improve on areas of weakness, or for NZ Inc to train up specialists in particular areas of internationalisation practice.
  • The part that sees us look at technological solutions as a way to move up the value chain.
  • The part that says there is no failure, only experience.

New Zealand’s hands off style of economic management has tended to the view that market forces would be enough to drive prosperity.

But there’s nothing, no body that’s charged with identifying gaps and opportunities, directing efforts and allocating resources to take high-value goods and services to market.

Partly because there’s no oversight body, the statistics and data on differentiated goods exporters is limited – which is not the case for other export sectors in NZ.

Other small successful countries have aggressively intervened in their economies by driving from an innovation perspective.

If it’s good enough for Denmark, Singapore et al to have a high level overview that makes sure all the ducks are flying in formation; surely it is good enough for us?

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About sticknz

sticK is by Peter Kerr, a writer for hire. I have a broad science and technology background and interest, with an original degree in agricultural science. My writing speciality is making the complex understandable. I am available for outside consultancy work, and for general discussions of converting a good idea into something positive
This entry was posted in Entrepreneur, high tech, Innovation, SciBlogs, Science, Science policy, value-added food. processed food and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Who keeps a real eye on the ‘space’ beyond R&D

  1. Bart Janssen says:

    Huh? All the oversight now present in science funding is about the path to market. The funding agencies (except for Marsden) have pretty much abandoned the hard task of assessing science quality and now simply focus on making sure the science has lots of businessmen lined up to commercialize the amazing discoveries we make. Of course funding for those businessmen comes straight from the science pool, but apparently that’s OK because it means we will take better advantage of our discoveries. Twenty years of this kind of focus would suggest otherwise but I’m sure that data can be explained away.

    If you’re asking for oversight of the businessmen themselves I think you’d be dreaming.

  2. Paul Spence says:

    Countries like Denmark and Singapore also have a much more unified aspirational vision for their societies. That seems to be something we struggle with here in New Zealand. Visions rarely extend beyond the electoral cycle. I’ve said it before but – we need a long term national innovation strategy!

    The really worrying feature of the current landscape is that it’s not yet clear at all how MSI or their political masters are going to address this important issue. In the meantime a lot of resources will no doubt be expended on change management consultants, redundancy packages and rebranding in yet another government agency “restructure” with the merger of FRST and MORST. Feels like movng the deck chairs around on the Titanic.

    • sticknz says:

      Yes, there is no clear path to decide what NZ Inc should be concentrating on from a innovation point of view.

      Absolutely an innovation strategy is required. Shared.

      But correct, no hint of how to get there.

  3. Pingback: Who keeps a real eye on the 'space' beyond R&D | sticK – science … | Today Headlines

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