In Innovate! Richard Bentley reviews our technology-based business sectors and finds that they are fragmented and that key sectors are threatened by emerging technologies and innovative competitors who are smarter, faster and cheaper. He also finds that our science and innovation system is biased to science research and provides insufficient support to exporters.
To address these issues, New Zealand needs to urgently build a new network of university-based technology hubs. They would become the centres of sector research, focused on technology development that builds competitive advantage and assists exporters. These hubs would energise innovative environments, catalyse collaborations between businesses, co-ordinate the development of sector-focused export strategies, and direct research toward economically relevant outcomes.
In a further radical step, Richard Bentley proposes that the management of the science and innovation system, including the new hubs, move from within government to a new Innovation Council led by business, the universities and NZ Trade and Enterprise.