KiwiNet News 30 November 2011

KiwiNet workshop for researchers encourages a commercial focus

Hamilton, New Zealand - 30 November 2011

Researchers from around the country are gathering at the University of Waikato today for a workshop designed to increase the commercial potential of their research and technology innovations. The Creating Value from Commercialisation Fundamentals run by KiwiNet, a commercialisation consortium, is uniquely aimed at improving the commercial awareness and skills of researchers.

Workshop facilitator Nigel Slaughter, General Manager Commercial at WaikatoLink says, "The workshop is designed to give researchers a practical understanding of the commercialisation process. We hope these insights will encourage researchers to look at their research projects in a new way so they can more readily identify opportunities for commercialisation."

WaikatoLink, a subsidiary of the University of Waikato, is one of nine founding KiwiNet members from universities and crown research institutes. Others include Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Industrial Research Ltd and Viclink. KiwiNet acts as a hub for commercialisation for its member organisations as well as the wider innovation system.

The ultimate aim of the workshop, as with all KiwiNet activities, is to see more research and technology innovations reach the marketplace says Slaughter.

"All participants will create plans for how, when and where to work with the market as well as developing alternate applications for their ideas and risk management strategies. We also really want to challenge the researchers to improve the communication of their offer. This will help increase value of their ideas in the eyes of the market."

During the workshop researcher's work on their own project, applying best practice commercialisation processes and gradually developing its commercial focus throughout the day. The workshop covers how to how to evaluate the commercial potential of a project and how to make an opportunity commercial; how to align ideas with the market and how to market and communicate ideas; how the commercialisation process works and the role of the technology transfer office; and due diligence including the management of risk and IP strategies.

The importance of collaboration and building relationships with research and industry partners, professionals and customers of new technologies is also reinforced.

Researchers, post-doctoral students and PhD students from AgResearch, University of Waikato, Plant & Food, AUT, Landcare, Lincoln University and Grow Wellington are attending the workshop.

Katja Rosenvold, Science Impact Leader at AgResearch, a participant on the course comments, "We're already gaining some really powerful insights. A key takeaway for me so far is how vitally important communication is. It's not necessarily the research idea you're selling, it's about how it can be applied. An idea might be able to be applied in several different ways and it's not necessarily the original idea that is the one that's going to fly."

KiwiNet will also be running Creating Value from Commercialisation Fundamentalss in Auckland and Canterbury at the end of February.

KiwiNet was launched in July to increase the scale and impact of commercialisation in New Zealand by facilitating a more collaborative and capable commercialisation system. The core organisations in KiwiNet have a research spend of over $500 million and covers 6,300 research staff and 127 commercialisation staff. KiwiNet is also supported by the Ministry of Science and Innovation as part of its commitment to commercialisation.

For more on KiwiNet and its activities see

For further information please contact:

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