KiwiNet News 7 May 2015

KiwiNet welcomes GNS Science as a shareholding partner

GNS Science look to increase research commercialisation with support from KiwiNet

Hamilton, New Zealand - 7 May 2015

KiwiNet and GNS Science logos

GNS Science has become the fifteenth partner of the Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet), a consortium of Universities, Crown Research Institutes and Crown Entities dedicated to taking a collaborative approach to research commercialisation.

KiwiNet’s partner organisations encompass around 70% of New Zealand’s science capability with over 7000 research staff and a collective research spend of almost $1 billion.

Dr Bram Smith, General Manager of KiwiNet says, “We’re delighted to welcome GNS Science as a KiwiNet partner. GNS Science bring a wealth of expertise to the KiwiNet network and they have already presented some clever technologies to the group for seismic monitoring and air quality mapping. Our collective goal is to see more of this important research transferred to the market as GNS Science harnesses the commercialisation capability within KiwiNet.”

GNS Science’s Chief Executive Dr Mike McWilliams says, “We’re really pleased to be a shareholding partner of KiwiNet and look forward to capitalising on more commercialisation opportunities as a result. We have strong science and business development teams, but KiwiNet will add new tools and skills to allow us to better assess market opportunities and progress more commercialisation projects. We also look forward to contributing to KiwiNet’s collaborative approach to commercialisation by sharing our expertise and networks with other members too.”

Dr Chris Kroger, Research Manager and leader of their internal research commercialisation fund, says GNS Science has a number of commercialisation projects that KiwiNet will assist with. “GNS Science has some great capability in air pollution - the ability to assess pollution and its chemical composition. With input we’ve already received from KiwiNet, we are developing models and maps to pinpoint pollution on quite a localised scale, and we’ll take this project forward with their support.”

“KiwiNet’s critical assessment and support will also be invaluable on other potential projects. We also have a strong material sciences team who have some expertise which could be licensed and incorporated into commercial products. Another area where we’ll investigate commercialisation possibilities is in the minerals and petroleum space with applications in commercial software.”

GNS Science joins KiwiNet partner organisations WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Callaghan Innovation, Viclink, Landcare Research, Cawthron Institute, ESR, NIWA and Scion. Principal support is also provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).

KiwiNet’s collective approach to research commercialisation is translating into real returns for the New Zealand economy. Over the 2014 calendar year, KiwiNet invested $3,548,437 of PreSeed investment from MBIE into 108 projects which have a combined potential export earnings to New Zealand of $180 million. In total KiwiNet has now invested $11.4 million of PreSeed into 342 projects worth a potential $680 million to export revenue.

For further information please contact:
Sandra Lukey
Shine Group (PR for KiwiNet)
Cell: +64 21 2262 858

GNS Science
John Callan
Phone: 04 570 4732

About GNS Science

GNS Science is a Crown-owned research and consultancy organisation focused on securing benefits for New Zealand from natural processes occurring in the Earth’s crust. It is known internationally for its work in understanding earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and tsunamis and in advising on measures to mitigate the physical, economic, and social impacts of these hazards. Other specialist areas include providing specialist geoscience input for oil and gas exploration, development of geothermal energy, groundwater management, and management of mineral resources. The organisation also has unrivalled expertise in environmental and industrial isotopes. This includes developing X-ray scanning devices for industry, stable isotope analysis for environmental applications, nanotechnology, and radiocarbon dating. GNS Science employs nearly 400 staff and has offices in Lower Hutt, Taupo, and Dunedin. It has annual revenue of $75 million.