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How publicly funded research can drive growth

Media Release

How publicly funded research can drive economic growth

29 October 2009

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, has released a report on improving the translation of publicly funded research for economic benefit.

The report follows a workshop chaired by Sir Peter in September where he sought the views of key representatives from various stakeholders, including government, Crown Research Institutes, universities, business, and the investment and research commercialisation communities.

Issues explored included the settings of the public science funding system, ways to improve technology transfer (the translation of science to business and thence to public utility), and incentives to encourage business to increase expenditure on research.

“A high proportion of New Zealand’s research in science and technology is performed by the public sector,” says Sir Peter. “We need to exploit this knowledge effectively to increase New Zealand’s level of innovation and economic performance.” Sir Peter also noted recent OECD comments on the low uptake of publicly funded research by the private sector in this country. “This is an area that merits urgent attention.”

Key suggestions from the report include:
• The development of measures to encourage staff in public research institutes to engage with the commercialisation of their work.
• Consideration for the development and concentration of research commercialisation expertise into a small number of national centres of technology transfer excellence.
• Initiatives to facilitate access of small and medium-sized firms to the knowledge base of the public research sector.
• Development of a range of funding mechanisms to encourage business investment in research and innovation.

The full report is available on our website: http://www.pmcsa.org.nz

ENDS

Reportfrom14Septworkshop29Oct09.pdf

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