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Ready To Take Up The Challenge

12 February 2002

Crown research institutes welcome the Prime Minister’s statement today on innovation, says Dr John Hay, President of the Association of Crown Research Institutes and chief executive of ESR Limited. The nine CRIs are collectively the largest providers of science research in New Zealand.

“CRIs are ready and willing to take on the challenge to play a more active role across the innovation system set down by the Prime Minister in today’s innovation statement. (Growing an Innovative New Zealand, page 35)

“Our staff are working right at the edge of science and application. That is where New Zealand stands to gain from new processes, products and thinking.

“But the Prime Minister is also signalling that we have much more to offer; that CRIs are not solely the back-room developers of new ideas but are key partners right across areas such as education and business.

“In fact, we have been taking an increasing role in these areas and welcome the Government’s endorsement of this. Partnering with others within NZ Inc is a key strategy for CRIs, as businesses charged with delivering benefit to New Zealand.

“Our staff have tremendous experience, in anything from education to business development and export. It is wasteful if we do not share that experience with others in NZ Inc. We are too small a country to work in silos.

“Obviously, that input can sometimes come at a cost to immediate financial returns. Even so, CRIs have done very well financially for successive governments.

“We look forward to discussing with the Government how CRIs might be further encouraged and incentivised in this vital role, as indicated in the statement.

ENDS

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