KiwiNet News 26 February 2012

KiwiNet boosts team to support research commercialisation

Hamilton, New Zealand, 26 February 2012

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet), a consortium of New Zealand universities and crown research institutes collaborating on research commercialisation, today announced four new appointments to boost bench strength.

Hon Ruth Richardson the Chairman of KiwiNet says, "We're really pleased to announce the appointment of such high calibre talent to help build on our success in 2012. These new appointments will further boost our capability to assist New Zealand research organisations to create commercial potential from their technologies and expertise."

Natalie Ward has been appointed Marketing and Events Manager. Natalie has 12 years experience in marketing and event management and has a passion for bringing brands to life. She was most recently Brand and Online Manager for Gallagher Group's Security business. Natalie earned her MA in English Literature from the University of Auckland.

Dr Seumas McCroskery has been appointed Business Analyst and will work to further advance connections between researchers and Industry. Seumas brings to the role 7 years experience working in both small biotechnology and large research organisations here in New Zealand and in the US. Most recently, Seumas served as Senior Advisor at New Zealand's Environmental Protection Authority. Seumas earned his PhD in Molecular Pathology from the University of Auckland.

Antony Parnell has also joined the team as Analyst. In this role he will assist New Zealand research organisations to assess the commercial potential of their technologies and expertise and will work to grow the pipeline of commercial opportunities from these research organisations. Antony has a background in the Veterinary Pharmaceutical industry. Antony graduated from the University of Waikato with an MSc, majoring in Chemistry.

Glen Beattie also joins the KiwiNet team to provide commercialisation management services. Glen has an extensive background in consulting, M&A and investment services across a range of sectors including bio-tech, food and beverage, aqua-culture and medical devices. He is also the founding director of a consultancy that helps start up and early stage companies develop growth strategies, become investment ready, and raise capital. Glen earned his MSc in Earth Science from the University of Waikato.

Dr Bram Smith the General Manager of KiwiNet says, "KiwiNet's new analysts will provide commercialisation staff within New Zealand's research organisations with additional resource to carry out opportunity assessments, help prepare business plans and support initiatives. Our commercialisation management service will help research organisations to progress opportunities, tap into expert commercial support and secure investment."

KiwiNet's role is to empower those involved in research commercialisation by helping them access the tools, connections, investment and support they need. 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.

Dr Smith says, "We can achieve greater commercial outcomes for New Zealand by working together. Through KiwiNet we've shown we can better leverage the combined capability of New Zealand research organisations to achieve this."

For further information please contact:

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