Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ready, SET, Go...

A new FRST contract has started within the Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit at Lincoln University. Under the rubric of Innovation Governance, the research team will be investigating the conditions under which socio-technical networks best foster technology development, adoption and commercialisation. The aim is to substantially improve innovation outcomes and innovation governance by providing this critical knowledge to enhance policy decision-making by key sector organisations and government, leading to increased development and uptake of innovative technologies within New Zealand.

The research addresses Theme 2, Priority 2 of the Foundations SET portfolio – Enabling sustainable technology development through understanding technologies in context. The three year study will undertake an international comparison, examine three sectorts (energy, building and Maori agribusiness) and also closely investigate selected innovations.

On a personal note i have been engaged as a fulltime Research Officer for this project, and hope to contribute a greater understanding of the technological context for Maori development. At a recent workshop on New Maori Ventures hosted by FOMANA Capital Ltd., the arena of innovation governance was fleshed out by Professors' Mark Ahn and Michael Meeks. The worksshop outlined the broader commercial context of innovation - Angel investors, Venture Capital - and presented case studies of successful and unsuccessful commercial innovation. This context is the important front-end of innovation. What we in the SET project are wanting to describe and analyse is the all-important end-user, the farm labourer who has to dress the pastures with nitrogen-inhibitors, check stock health, or the builder who chooses the insulation method (or not).

Anyways, the workshop was great fun, a good group, and everything to play for! Nga mihi nui ki a koutou!

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Simon Lambert

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