Brainstorming for NZ's high-tech future

Some of the country’s leading businesspeople and researchers have come together to brainstorm ideas for new technology research projects to help to grow the New Zealand economy.

They’ve taken part in a one-day Industry inspired spearheads workshop organised by SfTI.

Challenge Director Sally Davenport says the workshop, chaired by Rod Oram, was an important step in engaging with industry to hear their ideas for challenging research that will help New Zealand to grow a vibrant, prosperous technology-driven economy, including in the Māori economy.

“We’re looking for truly transformative ideas for science and engineering research that will contribute to the development of innovative products and services for both local and global markets.

“The starting point was canvassing some of the challenges and opportunities for New Zealand businesses, and potential technological investment areas we can invest in where we already have strengths and competitive advantage and that are a good fit for both our current and future industries.

“Working closely with Māori enterprises also provides an internationally unique opportunity.

“We need to make sure our research is focused in areas where we can have the most impact.  We aren’t talking about immediate industry problem-solving, but rather research that in five to 10 years can really give New Zealand a technological boost.

“By bringing together industry and researchers, we not only wanted to draw out their ideas but also to help to foster greater connections and understanding of how we can all work together to shape our high-tech economy.”

The ideas that came out of the workshop will be considered by SfTI Challenge management when deciding on 2-3 new research projects later in the year.