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Gathering to focus on partnering industry

19 November 2004

International gathering to focus on partnering industry, creativity and research

High-powered scientists in human-computer interface research will gather in Christchurch in February 2005 for the Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand’s (HIT Lab NZ) international Virtual Worlds Consortium at the University of Canterbury.

The Consortium is on 10 and 11 February and themed Industry Creativity Research: Partners in Innovation. Registrations are now open.

The event is expected to attract 200 guests from New Zealand and around the globe who will be exploring how to create partnerships between the essential elements of successful collaboration . . . creativity, research and industry.

HIT Lab NZ Director Mark Billinghurst says innovation is the eureka of discovery partnered with clever commercialisation. It is the successful partnering of creativity and entrepreneurship.

Partnerships between research institutions and industry are essential to promoting a culture of innovation and to taking technology forward. They draw together those who produce new knowledge with those who know how to use it productively, he says. Keynote speakers include MIT’s Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences Hiroshi Ishii, an expert researcher in human-computer interaction who regularly collaborates on projects that blur the boundaries between a variety of arts, design, and scientific disciplines. Professor Ishii is co-director of MIT Media Lab's Things That Think (TTT) consortium, and director the Lab's Tangible Media group.

Also attending will be Professor Tom Furness, Founding Director of the HIT Lab at the University of Washington and the international director of HIT Lab NZ Ltd, as well as representatives from a number of national and international companies.

Day one on 10 February is open to non-consortium members and includes keynote speeches as well as demonstrations of technologies from participating companies, partner universities and the HIT Lab. In the evening there will be a virtual ARt-themed cocktail party in the stunning new Christchurch Art Gallery. Cost to non-consortium members is $200 if registering before early January or $250 thereafter. The cost includes lunch and the cocktail party.

Day two on 11 February is for consortium members-only, and includes workshops and student presentations plus a dinner in the evening.


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