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Storehouse of Expertise to Benefit Manufacturers

Media release 16 August 2011

Storehouse of Expertise to Benefit Manufacturers

The University of Auckland is making it easier for the manufacturing and materials sector to tap into its expertise with the creation of a one-stop shop.

The Innovative Manufacturing and Materials Programme is being launched by the University Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon at the City Campus on 18 August. Manufacturing Chair Professor Xun Xu says the programme, which has three strands – idea generation and discovery, technology development and innovation implementation – will bring together expert researchers from science, technology, engineering, management and other parts of the University.

“Our specialists and cross-disciplinary teams can help manufacturers in a number of ways, from innovation in new materials, to new product development, renewal of manufacturing systems, enhancement of supply-chain processes, through to business growth strategies and the redesign of work systems.”

Professor Xu says the University wants to make it easier for manufacturers to access its research and development capabilities and specialist management advice as well as ensuring it is meeting the needs of the manufacturing businesses.

“We want industry to come to us and tell us what they need. In the past we have been more inclined to push our ideas onto industry rather than invite them to come to us.”

The manufacturing sector is important for New Zealand’s economic well-being as one in every nine workers is employed by the sector and it is responsible for 14 percent of the country’s GDP and 65 percent of all exported goods.

High-tech niche-based manufacturing was an area the University was most likely to have the greatest impact, he says.

The programme’s launch is being held at 6pm at the Faculty of Engineering, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland. It will include a research showcase event sponsored by UniServices.

Speaking at the event are Business New Zealand Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly, Employers and Manufacturers Association Acting Chief Executive Bruce Goldsworthy, and Professor Xun Xu from the Faculty of Engineering.


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