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The Search is On For Top Technology Companies

Media Statement February 12 2003

The Search is On (to find New Zealand's top technology companies)

A major publicity campaign has been launched today to encourage New Zealand's top technology companies to apply for one of the prestigious Technology Commendation Awards sponsored by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

Advertisements calling for nominations are being placed in the major daily newspapers, brochures are being distributed and the awards feature on the Foundation's web site

The Technology Commendations Awards, which have been running for the last four years, recognise the contribution made by individuals and companies towards growing their business and improving the New Zealand economy through the use of new technology - either by designing it or applying it. The awards are open to any company in New Zealand - large, medium or small, regardless of whether or not they have received funding from the Foundation. The winners receive a trophy, a framed certificate and are also entitled to use the special logo of excellence associated with the awards in any of their marketing or publicity campaigns.

The Technology Commendations were initiated by the Foundation to ensure that successful innovative companies received due public recognition for their successful ventures. The Commendations were also set up to identify some 'role model innovative businesses' that would inspire other companies and individuals to emulate. Since the Commendations were initiated, twelve companies have received the awards and many have utilised the awards to raise the profile of their products and to generate new business opportunities both nationally and internationally.

An independent panel of industry professionals judges the awards. The companies are judged against a strict set of criteria which are set out in detail in the nomination form that is available on the Foundation's web site. These criteria include:
* Details of the product or service nominated - a simple laypersons explanation
* The nature of innovative technology used in the product - is it completely new technology or an upgrade or modification of existing technology
* The impact the application of this technology has had on the business - has it resulted in the creation of new jobs, increased sales, market share productivity and over what period
* Any other benefits that have resulted, directly and indirectly, from the technology
* Future plans - how the company plans to capitalise on this technology in the future.

Once again the Technology Commendation Awards will be presented at the Trade New Zealand Export Awards function in Christchurch in June. The decision to combine the presentation of the awards reflects the seamless approach that government agencies are now taking to provide assistance to business. Past winners of the Technology Commendations have gone on to win Export Awards reflecting the strong linkages between successful innovation and success in the global market.

The Chief Executive of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Gowan Pickering says New Zealand tends to underrate itself as nation and are just a little too humble or self effacing and reluctant to celebrate our success. He says that New Zealand may have something to learn from the Australians in terms of self-belief and self-promotion.

"Every day I am privileged to read about the achievements of New Zealand companies who have either developed new products or services or who have captured new global markets. Most of these firms have received some form of investment in their research and development programme from the Foundation and clearly this has paid off handsomely. The businesses themselves worked hard and the road to success is never easy, but it is rewarding," says Gowan Pickering.

He says the Technology Commendation Awards are an integral part of a wider plan to promote and celebrate success of New Zealand companies and to promote 'role model' businesses that others will emulate. Mr Pickering says that if New Zealand is to succeed it not only has to be a nation of top class innovators, but also has to acquire a culture of marketing and promoting itself. He says the Foundation is proud to be associated with Trade New Zealand in this celebration of kiwi innovation.


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