New think tank to work on business IP

A new think tank will be launched this week to use long-ignored intellectual property compiled by the country's best brains over the past decades.The University of Waikato set up the Institute for Business Research (IBR) to offer local companies research, advisory and consultancy services to help add further value to their business.IBR Director Dr Stuart Locke told the National Business Review the institute will act as a “conduit” for getting academic research expertise out to industry, business and government.

A new think tank will be launched this week to use long-ignored intellectual property compiled by the country’s best brains over the past decades.

The University of Waikato set up the Institute for Business Research (IBR) to offer local companies research, advisory and consultancy services to help add further value to their business.

IBR Director Dr Stuart Locke told the National Business Review the institute will act as a “conduit” for getting academic research expertise out to industry, business and government.

“Within our management school we have a lot of academic researches and a lot of intellectual property that has been built up and it’s not disseminated into the commercial world or governmental policy organisations readily.”

Dr Locke said the university’s academic staff on average spends 40% of their time teaching, 40% - on research and 20% - on administration.

“The teaching gets the ideas out to the undergraduate and graduate students and they go off and find jobs, but how do we get our research more directly into commercial organisations?

“We have people that spend 40% of their time researching and we need to find a way in which we can release a good proportion of that back into the business community so that we do better [as a country].

“We really do want the nation to do better and we have a lot of material and a lot of knowledge that people can apply to commercial problems and commercial projects.”

The IBR will work with a range of clients, from industry groups and government agencies to some of New Zealand’s biggest companies, in areas ranging from innovation to economic impact analysis.

“The key challenge facing New Zealand today is how we are going to increase productivity and provide sustainable profitability into the future,” Dr Locke said.

“The IBR offers a significant and internationally recognised depth of research expertise that can make a valuable contribution in this context.”

The institute’s four main areas of interest are business performance and leadership, agribusiness and innovation, business in the service sector, and business in society.

Its recent and current projects include supply chain integration, the uptake of sustainability practices by New Zealand businesses, the impact of cultural support in the workplace, and adding value to businesses through improved technology investment.