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$1 million R&D comp attracts significant interest

Media Release
31 March 2009

$1 million R&D competition attracts significant interest

What’s your problem New Zealand?, the competition offering up to $1 million in R&D services from Crown Research Institute Industrial Research Ltd, has attracted significant interest say organisers.

Launched earlier this month, it has generated a lot of traffic to the What’s your problem New Zealand? website with phone enquiries keeping the team at IRL busy.

The competition seeks to encourage New Zealand businesses to look to the future, given the present tough business environment. One of the aims of the competition is to increase industry involvement in R&D activities to enable them to develop world-leading, high-value products for offshore markets.

“We have had close to 70 sign up to our e-news service in the first week and have already had several entries. We expect many enquiries and entries before the close-off date on the 24th of May,” says IRL Senior Project Manager, Melissa Yiannoutsos.

IRL Chief Executive Shaun Coffey says the feedback he has received has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Everyone from business leaders to Government representatives and leaders of other R&D providers has endorsed the idea. Given the state of the world economy, it is particularly timely that New Zealand firms re-examine the way that they do business.

“This competition seeks more than simply assisting one firm to meet the R&D challenges in the development of an innovative product. We believe that it will do much to promote the benefits of R&D to all New Zealand businesses,” says Shaun Coffey.

The winning entry will, to the judges’ satisfaction, meet the following criteria:
• Accurately describe their business’ vision and direction, its target markets and market positioning
• Clearly define the technology problem or R&D need of the New Zealand company
• Identify key IRL capabilities required to develop the novel solution
• Describe the impact e.g. financial, spill-over and/or economic benefits the $1m solution will have on the business
• Identify the additional resources within the company to take the novel solution into growing markets.

The competition involves a two-staged process with stage one requiring companies to complete a short two-page application form. IRL will work with the finalists to properly define the scope of the R&D project and establish clear milestones and expectations.

Intellectual property firm, A J Park, is a sponsor of the competition. A J Park will also work with the finalists to ensure that they have a strategy in place to protect their IP.

For more information on the competition, guidelines and rules visit, phone 0508 CALL IRL or email


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