Innovation – will science be key to economic growth?

innovation - lightONLINE MEDIA BRIEFING: Tues 29 Jun 11 am (NZT)

Statistics New Zealand will release its latest biennial report on Innovation in New Zealand — which gives a snapshot of “business innovation and performance in New Zealand” — this Wednesday, 30 June.

Innovation has become a hot topic in the science sector, reinforced by the announcement of a new Ministry of Science and Innovation, and the launch of a major strategy document. Scientists are under unprecedented pressure to show how their work will spur economic growth.

What is our track record in innovation like? How do we measure innovation? How does it translate to gains in productivity and wealth?

The Science Media Centre has assembled a panel of experts to discuss these questions, the latest statistics, and broader implications for innovation in the NZ economy ahead of the new report’s release.


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Click on the audio players above to hear a recording of the briefing. Registered journalists may log in to the SMC Resource Library to download presenters’ slides.


Dr Les Oxley – Professor in Economics, University of Canterbury

Les Oxley is a Professor in the School of Economics and Finance at University of Canterbury, as well as Adjunct Professor at both Curtin University of Technology, Perth and Chiang Mai University, Thailand. He is also Associate Researcher, BRCSS-Network, New Zealand and Affiliate, MOTU, Wellington, New Zealand. His current research interests include: defining and measuring the ‘knowledge economy’ in New Zealand and measuring the effects of innovation on the New Zealand economy.

Dr Shaun Hendy – Deputy Director, MacDiarmid Institute; IRL / VUW

Shaun Hendy is a theoretical physicist, who works at Industrial Research Ltd and Victoria University of Wellington where he leads a research team in nanotechnology and materials science. In 2010 he was awarded Massey University’s inaugural Distinguished Young Alumni Award for his research in nanotechnology. He is currently Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a role which involves him in both science policy and outreach. His ‘A Measure of Science’ blog on discusses innovation in New Zealand and around the world.

Dr Simona Fabrizi – Senior Lecturer in Economics, Massey University

Dr. Simona Fabrizi is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Massey University, School of Economics & Finance (Albany). She obtained a PhD from both the Toulouse School of Economics and the University of Bologna for research on competition in the telecommunications industry. At present, she is involved in a research project on venture capital, innovation, and intellectual property rights, which has recently been awarded a Fast Start Marsden Grant.

For more information contact the SMC on 04 499-5476 or