KiwiNet News 28 February 2012

KiwiNet and CSIRO sign commercialisation agreement

Hamilton, New Zealand – 28 February 2012

Trans Tasman collaboration on innovation research and technology transfer is set to increase with the signing of a cooperation agreement between The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) and CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. KiwiNet, a consortium of New Zealand research organisations collaborating on research commercialisation, will work with the CSIRO, Australia's national science agency to uncover synergies and opportunities for technology collaboration.

The memorandum of understanding will see parties regularly exchange project and research information in a wide range of areas from precision agriculture to high tech manufacturing to cleantech. KiwiNet and CSIRO will also access each other's specialist expertise and capabilities, as well as industry and investor networks to assist technology transfer activities and provide more opportunities for those groups.

Jan Bingley, General Manager IP and Licensing at CSIRO says, "It makes good sense to take a collaborative approach to research commercialisation. By working collaboratively we can identify opportunities to combine complementary technologies to create more investable propositions."

Dr Nigel Johnson, Director of Research & Innovation, University of Canterbury, a KiwiNet member says, "Encouraging a transparent flow of information on the research and technologies each country is working on will give us the visibility and understanding we need to uncover mutually beneficial commercial opportunities. This approach will also allow us to develop a valuable learning partnership which will help improve our commercialisation capability."

KiwiNet and CSIRO will initially exchange project portfolio information four times a year to identify collaboration opportunities. Internships and staff exchanges between the two organisations are also likely.Jan Bingley adds, "By leveraging our combined capability we can create new opportunities. We may only have part of the answer in an area and this partnership will allow us to take a collective approach to solving problems and developing innovative technologies. Sharing networks and knowledge will also help us take research and innovations to the marketplace."

CSIRO is the single largest employer of scientists in Australia, with more than 6,500 people conducting and assisting with scientific research in Australia and around the world. The core KiwiNet organisations Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Industrial Research Ltd, Viclink and WaikatoLink have 6,300 research staff and 127 commercialisation staff; with a research spend of over $500 million.

The agreement builds on KiwiNet's recent commercialisation agreement with the Texas A&M University System.

"We know that a collective approach to scientific and technology based innovation, a global network and easy access for funders increases the chance of success for technologies and ventures. We will all benefit from collaboration," says Dr Johnson.

For further information please contact:

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