KiwiNet News 2 October 2012

Commercialisation forum to focus on innovation through networks

Christchurch, New Zealand, 2 October 2012

Commercialisation professionals from around the country are meeting at a one day forum focusing on innovation through networks in Christchurch next week. International experts Dr Craig Belcher from UniQuest, one of Australia's leading research commercialisation companies, and US intellectual property (IP) and technology transfer expert Laura A. Schoppe will share their experiences alongside a strong line up of local experts.

"We can increase the impact of New Zealand's investment in research and innovation by making the most of the wealth of discoveries generated by research based organisations, says David Hughes, Group General Manager Commercial, Plant & Food Research, a KiwiNet member.

"The forum is a really valuable opportunity to lift our national performance at technology commercialisation by building networks and sharing that hard won knowledge between research organisations."

Craig Belcher, Business Development Manager at UniQuest will run a break out workshop at the forum on sustainable models for technology transfer with Laura A. Schoppe, president of Fuentek, LLC, and Nicola Jackson, Business Development Manager at Plant and Food. Mr Belcher has more than 18 years of experience in commercialising technology within the biotechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials industries. Ms Schoppe has been a lead negotiator for major licensing agreements, strategic relationships and collaboration agreements, and significant equity-financing deals at top universities, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies.

Dr Belcher says, "The theme of the innovation event is "it's not what you know, it's who you know" but technology transfer success is not determined simply by the size of your rolodex; it's how you effectively build and purposefully use your network. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and observations as a technology transfer practioner and to beginning a conversation on the topic with my New Zealand colleagues."

Dr Belcher will also spend time visiting local research organisations prior to the forum to build networks and look at collaborative commercialisation project opportunities.

Other workshop options at the forum include: developing strategies for building and maintaining relationships with researchers with Peter John, Director Research and Commercialisation at Lincoln University and Alison Stewart, Distinguished Professor at Lincoln University; building connections and doing business in Asia with David Hughes, Group GM Commercial at Plant & Food, Mark Wynne, Previous President Asia/Pacific for Kimberly Clarke, and Tony Nowell, former CEO of Zespri International and current Chair of SCION; and an Intellectual Property (IP) and legal workshop on collaboration.

Kjesten Wiig, National Commercialisation Manager, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Science & Innovation Group will talk on the future of innovation in New Zealand and making the most of private and public sector networks. Professional facilitator and connector Sue Sinclair will run a session on organised serendipity. Mr Belcher, will run a group debate on innovation to close out the forum.

KiwiNet partner organisations include WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Industrial Research Ltd, Viclink and Landcare Research. Support is also provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Science & Innovation Group.

The KiwiNet commercialisation forum, supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Science & Innovation Group, is being held on Tuesday 9 October at Peppers Clearwater Resort in Christchurch. The event is open to commercialisation staff from all universities, Crown Research Institutes, incubators and other similar organisations and others with an interest in innovation and technology transfer.

An associated event, the KiwiNet term sheet and deal negotiation workshop, is being held the following day, Wednesday 10 October. The event will cover the basics of using term sheets and key considerations for deal negotiations.

The events are part of a programme of initiatives from the Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) designed to boost commercial outcomes from research.

For further information please contact:

Sandra Lukey
Shine Group
Phone: (03) 374 6753; Cell: +64 21 2262 858