Report lifts the bonnet on NZ's research commercialisation landscape

Hamilton NZ, 19 April 2021

'Real Life Practices Report', a first of its kind commissioned by Kiwi Innovation Network and delivered by BioPacific Partners, has canvassed 20 of New Zealand Universities, Crown Research Institutes and independent science research organisations on the challenges and opportunities of nuturing scientific research into marketable products.

The summary report provides a rare and valuable snapshot of the landscape of publicly-funded commercialisation in New Zealand and is hoped to spark conversations between institutions enabling them to learn from each others’ experiences and best practices.

Insights from the report include:

  • the value of close associations between businesses and institutions in developing radically useful products and services
  • the universal desire to attract and build the capability of people who can traverse science and business sectors with ease
  • the importance of well-resourced and empowered commercialisation professionals within research institutions, who can lead the transformation of public research into new products and services that can benefit New Zealand and the planet.

Many commercialisation professionals mention:

  • the importance of maintaining open communication flow between academic, research and tech transfer teams to support a smooth commercialisaton process
  • the challenge of navigating the tight rope between academic publishing versus patenting
  • interestingly researchers, once aware of the value of research commercialisation as a way to create impact from their discoveries, often returned with multiple projects, becoming ‘serial innovators’.

KiwiNet CEO, James Hutchison believes the ‘Real Life Practices’ marks an inflection point as research institutions and the business world increasingly work together to unleash the incredible potential of New Zealand’s deep tech discoveries.

“By sharing these findings, we hope to help New Zealand publicly-funded R&D organisations to build on the excellent practices that exist, enhance their commercialisation outcomes and ultimately help create a more resilient and sustainable economy and future for all New Zealanders.”

KiwiNet manages the distribution of the MBIE PreSeed Accelerator Fund which is contestable funding for early-stage technology commercialisation.