An excellent interview with Oren Gershtein: incubating innovation CEO at Van Leer Ventures Jerusalem, one of Israel’s leading high-technology incubators.
The Government will boost investment in the science sector to transform Industrial Research Limited (IRL) into an advanced technology institute, which will function as the ‘high-tech HQ’ for New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key announced today.
“New Zealand’s world-leading performance in the primary sectors has been off the back of world-class science, much of which is publicly-funded,” says Mr Key.
“The Government’s number one priority, as recommended in the Powering Innovation report released today, is to transform and grow IRL by focusing it on supporting industry development.
“The high-tech manufacturing and services sectors have great potential to achieve the same cutting-edge reputation – but they need the support and expertise of technology-focused research to grow, to increase exports and ramp up productivity.
“High-tech sectors could contribute substantially more to the economy than they currently do. We already have successful companies in this sector, particularly in areas like ICT, biotechnology and medical technology, but we need more of them and we need them to be bigger,” says Mr Key.
“Over the next five years, we will effectively double the size and capability of IRL, transforming it into an advanced technology institute with up to 700 staff and with a far greater reach than at present.”
This is hardly new news for America or New Zealand, and to many of us (scientists and engineers) it is blatantly obvious.
“So the decline of manufacturing in a region sets off a chain reaction. Once manufacturing is outsourced, process-engineering expertise can’t be maintained, since it depends on daily interactions with manufacturing. Without process-engineering capabilities, companies find it increasingly difficult to conduct advanced research on next-generation process technologies. Without the ability to develop such new processes, they find they can no longer develop new products. In the long term, then, an economy that lacks an infrastructure for advanced process engineering and manufacturing will lose its ability to innovate.”
Apparently this is not so obvious to others.
Full article online at Forbes here.
Sir Paul Callaghan, physicist, entrepreneur, Royal Society of London Fellow and New Zealander of the Year; and Shamubeel Eaqub, the NZ Institute of Economic Research senior economist.
Here is the MP3 podcast: http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20110520-0907-analysis_of_the_2011_budget-048.mp3