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Release of Richard Bentley’s book "Innovate!"

Release of Richard Bentley’s book Innovate!

The growth of our technology-based exporters can be accelerated by making changes to the way our science and innovation system operates.

Richard Bentley in his book Innovate! Transforming New Zealand’s technology - based economy, launched yesterday, presents a review of the state of our technology-based exporting sectors, how the science and innovation system supports our exporters, and explores the government’s role in developing an innovative export sector.

He finds:

• that since the deregulation of the 1980s, New Zealand has adopted a passive approach to developing an innovative economy and to the development of the export sector, and that this is in complete contrast to the approach adopted by wealthy OECD countries,

• that our important advanced manufacturing exporters are facing increasingly challenging technology developments and changing markets, and a number of key sectors including advanced food, agritechnology and biotechnology underperform,

• that we invest heavily in science research but not in technology for business,

• that new initiatives by government are required to give manufacturers better access to the science and technology capability in our universities, and

• that in the process, government needs to create environments that encourage more coordination, collaboration and innovation between export businesses.

He proposes that a new Innovation Council be formed, comprising the business community, the universities and NZ Trade and Enterprise, to design and implement the changes needed and to take over the management of the science and innovation system from officials.

Innovate! challenges the government to rethink its approach to the development of a more sophisticated economy, and to provide new leadership and new resources to support the development of our export businesses.

Innovate! asks New Zealanders to recapture Sir Paul Callaghan’s dream of building a sophisticated technology-based export sector that would assure our future standard of living, and enable us to be less reliant on commodity agriculture exports and tourism.

Innovate! Transforming New Zealand’s Technology - Based Economy, published by Steele Roberts, 2017. Innovate! runs to 180 pages and includes 50 photographs. For more information see Richard’s web site where there is a summary of the book. Alternatively contact him at or at phone 0274485900.

Richard Bentley CNZM is Wellington-based management consultant and company director. He has worked in NZ industry for over three decades and been involved in the management and governance of many New Zealand organisations including NZX listed companies, private companies, state owned enterprises, not for profit organisations.


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