This process helped us refine our understanding of physical science and engineering capacity. It helped us to see that research capacity consists of three components:
- Technical capacity (science and engineering)
- Human capacity (people and their skills)
- Relational capacity (the network between researchers and industry)
Industry told us researchers’ technical capacity was good but their contribution to the innovation ecosystem could be improved by human and relational capacity development.
Human capacity development opportunities lie in improving the skills of the research community so they can move seamlessly between academic and non-academic environments, and better understand how and where their research fits into New Zealand’s evolving high-tech economy.
The research undertaken in Portfolio 1, (Building New Zealand’s Research Capacity), which observes research undertaken in other portfolios through multiple, real-time case studies, informs our approach to relational capacity development by evaluating the success of industry engagement.