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A Knowledge Economy Needed - New ACRI President

There is an urgent need to develop a strategic path for New Zealand based on a combination of scientific knowledge, technical skills, and marketing, the newly-elected President of the Association of Crown Research Institutes Andrew West said today.

Dr West, the Chief Executive of the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited, said there was everything for New Zealand to gain from Parliament supporting the establishment of this new strategy.

“ For sustained economic growth it is essential that New Zealand adopts a long-run strategy based on a knowledge economy.

“ We need to sell products and services worth twice the value of those we sell now – science and technology can help us do that. We also need to capture three times the share of the value we create – marketing can help us do that.”

Dr West said we need an approach that goes some way beyond the macro and micro economic policies that prevail at present.

Government had a legitimate leadership role in developing and exploiting the skills and knowledge of the population, and a sustained approach from Parliament would strengthen this role.

“ Achieving this will mean revamping a whole suite of policies in the areas of business, education, and science. We cannot afford to do this in an unsystematic way.

“We should begin by agreeing on a strategic path for New Zealand that carves out a sustainably prosperous niche in a highly competitive world. Once the strategy is agreed on, we must revise our policy framework to ensure we achieve the targets we set ourselves.’’

Along with universities, CRIs were a key intellectual resource that would support any knowledge-led, New Zealand-wide strategy.

“ACRI is keen to work with government to enhance the sustainable growth of the New Zealand economy, based on policies that increase prosperity while nurturing and developing the environment and society.

“All CRIs are fully committed to contributing to the development of New Zealand, and welcome increased opportunity to work with the community and government to achieve this.’’

Dr West has been elected for a term of three years. He replaces Dr Ian Warrington.

END

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