Research network spreads to largest R&D centre

The government is getting closer to its goal of a country-wide network of innovation centres to foster economic growth and get value for money out of millions spent on applied research.

The latest development is a partnership between Auckland UniServices, the country’s largest university-linked research and development centre, and Callaghan Innovation, a Crown research agency that was originally IRL (Industrial Research).

UniServices has a turnover of more than of $132m, based on last year’s revenue, and has successfully commercialised wireless technologies such as Halo IPT wireless vehicles and PowerbyProxi.

It is also engaged in many medical, pharmaceutical, biotech innovations research activities from artificial muscles to intelligent lighting, nano-materials, food structure and agricultural systems.

UniServices has partnered with many large New Zealand companies such as including Fisher & Paykel, Comvita and Fonterra.

UniServices and Callaghan Innovation say the collaboration will speed up the process of turning ideas from New Zealand businesses into new products and services.

“In particular, this new and ‘joined-up’ innovation system will provide business with greater access to research partners, business and funding support,” says UniServices’ general manager of research and consulting, Mark Burgess.

“It will also help business achieve greater visibility to attract venture capital to maximise both research and development and return on investment in New Zealand.”

Callaghan Innovation has also signed strategic partnerships with KiwiNet, Lincoln Agritech and Scion, the Crown research institute specialising in forestry.