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Cooperative Research Clusters and Technology Parks

Cooperative Research Clusters and Technology Parks

A proposed Auckland Innovation Park will be the focus of a workshop to be held at The University of Auckland's Tamaki Campus this week.

Entitled "Cooperative Research Clusters and Technology Parks", the workshop is being jointly hosted by The University of Auckland's Tamaki Campus and Auckland City Council on July 16. It will explore the advantages of cooperative research and development centres, technology parks and business parks.

Speakers include:

* Dr Geoffrey Vaughan, Chair of the Australian Cooperative Research Centres Council; * Ian Maxwell, Group Manager, Implementation Planning, Auckland City;
* Dr Chris Kirk, Commercialisation and Innovation Policy Director, Ministry of Research, Science and Technology;
* Professor Ralph Cooney, The University of Auckland's Pro Vice-Chancellor Tamaki; and
* Dr Ian Maxwell, Auckland UniServices Ltd.

The proposed Auckland Innovation Park has the University's Tamaki Campus as its catalyst. The campus is unique in New Zealand in terms of its university-private sector-public sector integration and in terms of its research-led, interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial culture.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Tamaki Professor Ralph Cooney says the University has already established a number of partnerships based at the Tamaki Campus and looks forward to Auckland City's Innovation Park proposal.

"The public-private model is popular overseas as an integral part of a knowledge economy and the Tamaki Campus aims to utilise that model to promote the sharing of knowledge and resources across sectors in New Zealand," says Professor Cooney.

Professor Cooney says the highly successful Australian Co-operative Research Centres (CRCs) are an extremely valuable model for the Auckland Innovation Park. The integration of universities, Government labs and private and public partners in the Australian CRCs has led to more cost effective research with optimal use of shared resources.

Auckland City Council has approved a plan change, which enables research institutes and businesses to move onto university land so the campus can further develop as an integrated educational and research centre. Auckland City's Group Manager Implementation Planning, Ian Maxwell says the Council believes the city could be taking better advantage of the area surrounding The University of Auckland's Tamaki Campus.

"By working with other stakeholders, the Council would like to develop a new business district fostering the development of young, growing firms," says Mr Maxwell.

The concept is still in development stage but is regarded as an integral part of the Council's growth management strategy, which aims to foster the economic development of Tamaki Edge and the revitalisation of areas like Panmure, Glen Innes, Mt Wellington and Sylvia Park.

The benefits of University-Industry partnership will be highlighted in a special session at the workshop, which will look at success stories in the manufacturing, IT, sustainability and high technology areas.

The workshop is part of NZ Innovation 2004, a national festival of events showcasing and promoting New Zealand innovation and entrepreneurship and demonstrating the essential role of research, development and commercialisation in achieving sustainable growth.

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