NZ Herald: Rick Boven – NZ poor at transforming science into business

Rick Boven, director of the privately funded think-tank the New Zealand Institute, argues that New Zealand must improve its ability to generate, and commercialise, innovative research if it is to prosper in the future.

New Zealand performs poorly compared with other advanced economies in terms of its ‘innovations drivers’, which according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, determine a country’s productivity.  And despite New Zealand’s progress over the last few years, Boven says that the system is not yet functioning to potential.

He discusses the various requirements for success in building ‘go-global’ businesses, including improved resource allocation, policy changes, accelerating progress and, of course, the need for patience.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“If economic prosperity depends on innovation success and we are investing less than other small nations, and falling behind, then we are not going to be able to catch up without increasing our investment.

“Finally, although the need for improvement is urgent, we need to be patient. It takes a long time to grow a scientific innovation into a successful global business and it takes a long time to establish an effective innovation ecosystem. Effective and stable policies can make a valuable contribution but innovation ecosystem performance also needs to be monitored more diligently and managed more actively.”