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Long on ‘should’, short on ‘how’, ‘Running Hot 2010’ managed to throw out some interesting observations and comments.

The Wellington conference about realising the value of research for NZ struggled to answer its own premise. Among some points made were:

• Relatively speaking, our prosperity has fallen in the past 20 years, while environmental damage has increased. The worst thing is, NZ doesn’t have a plan to get out of our dilemma – there’s no economic strategy, no environmental strategy. (Andy West, Seales Ltd and former AgResearch CEO)
• We’re in danger of becoming a farming theme park with an extremely hollow economy. “We need to be careful we don’t idealise ourselves into the third world”. (Peter Shepherd, Professor of Cell Signaling, Auckland University, part-owner of Symansis)
• The lone inventor concept is dangerous. Edison may have hundreds of patents to his name, but he never worked alone. Always he worked in a team of 14 people. (Phillip Capper, WEB Research)
• The most patents come from big cities, where researchers and scientists tend to have more opportunity for corridor conversations. We must learn to act like a city of four million, using networks to connect ourselves. (Shaun Hendy, Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology)

What’s NZ’s economic and environmental strategy?

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