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.”
STEM = science, technology, engineering and math
If you’re trying to figure out what to study in college, a new report suggests you would do well choosing a major in science, technology, engineering or math.
The report, based on Census and National Science Foundation data analyzed by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, shows that professions that depend heavily on skills learned in these fields are the second-fastest growing occupational group in the United States, after health care.
While traditional fields like computer engineering and laboratory research make up about 5 percent of the work force, demand for science, technology, engineering and math skills is spreading far beyond, to occupations in manufacturing, utilities, transportation and mining, as well as to sales and management. As a result, the study, by Anthony P. Carnevale, Nicole Smith and Michelle Melton, argues that there is a shortage of so-called STEM workers.
The scientific and technological disciplines have “become the common currency in the labor market,” Mr. Carnevale said. With more companies concentrating on technology, “if you’re going to sell in a technical world you’ve got to be credible,” even to be in sales, he said. “You can’t sell to an engineer unless an engineer thinks you’re also an engineer.”
With a shortage of people trained in such fields, many technology and scientific companies in the United States are forced to recruit from abroad, the study’s authors say.
My CV is here :-)
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.
New $1m Fund Opens to Applications from Startups
PALMERSTON NORTH, July 5, 2011 – MIG Angels, an early stage angel investment group associated with commercialisation centre the Bio Commerce Centre, has opened itself to applications for funding from seed and startup companies after raising $1 million for its new angel investment fund, MIG Angels Fund 1.