Knowledge Hubs Without Boundaries

New Zealand has become a synonym for authenticity. Authentic diverse environment, nurtured by the people’s sense of duty towards nature, alternates with unique ultramodern facilities powered by kiwi resourcefulness. This winning combination has brought the country an innovative edge across a number of key sectors, leaving associations no doubt as to why this is an ideal conference destination. The small nation promises and delivers big.

New Zealand offers event planners and international thought leaders the opportunity to tap into the creativity and knowledge the Māori culture has passed down through generations. The kiwi spirit of ingenuity is indisputably present in all the innovation the country lays out for the world. 3rd out of 139 nations for global creativity, 9th globally for Artificial Intelligence, 13th out of 136 nations for safety and security, 1st for the management of sustainable fisheries, the list goes on.

Market segments like Health Sciences, Agribusiness, Tourism, Advanced Manufacturing and Design, High Value Food and Wine, Information and Communications Technology and Earth Sciences are thriving. Collaboration between forward-thinking learning and research centres and a strong focus on education and progress on behalf of the government have led to breakthroughs in these sectors and have taken New Zealand centre stage globally.

A network of innovation

At the foundation of innovation lies New Zealand’s network of universities, research institutions, and Centres of Research Excellence (CoRE). In its biggest city, Auckland (pictured), research in various sectors makes headlines globally and innovative ideas reach the international market. The Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CoRE), for starters, serves as a world-leading research platform in medical technologies.  The University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute is undertaking groundbreaking work in AI, as seen in the digital humans by spinoff Soul Machines.

In the field of manufacturing and design, harnessing the power of the waves abundant around the islands, the University’s Yacht Research Unit carries out more wind tunnel testing of yacht sails than any other laboratory in the world. Combined with innovative manufacturing and materials research and a leading marine industry, New Zealand has launched world-leading racing yacht and superyacht technology.

From the cloud to the ground, the Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland offers leading geothermal expertise along with New Zealand’s lead knowledge hub in earth sciences, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS Science).

Knowledge Spread Out

Taking a closer look outside Auckland, the wealth of knowledge in New Zealand expands all over the nation. The Dodds-Wall Centre in Dunedin, in the South Island, is at the forefront of photonic and quantum technologies, while the Xerra Earth Observation Institute, located in Alexandra, is increasing New Zealand’s work in satellite, earth observation and remote sensing technologies.

Found also in the South Island, Christchurch is home to New Zealand’s Natural Hazard Research Centre, at the University of Canterbury’s Department of Geological Sciences. The city has absorbed all kinds of knowledge the 2011 earthquake left in the area in fields like earthquake engineering, low damage construction, building technology, resilient infrastructure and sustainability.

In the North Island, the University of Waikato in Hamilton is home to the Cyber Researchers of Waikato (CROW), leading proponents in Cloud security research, and tools.

In a land of just 4.9 million people, nature and agriculture have the upper hand and research at Palmerston North’s Massey University in agritech innovation, farming systems and cutting-edge genetics has helped bring New Zealand to the top of dairy, meat and wool production worldwide.

From producing raw materials to producing high-value food and wine, New Zealand excels in food technology through courses offered in most of its universities and research by Crown Research Institutes. Prominent examples with Palmerston North operations include AgResearch, Plant and Food Research, and the Fonterra Research and Development Centre with expertise in dairy.

Trevor Simpson, Deputy Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, sums up New Zealand’s business events mentality: “In terms of Aotearoa, New Zealand, I think we clearly have a lot to offer the world in terms of the way we are as a people. So multidimensional and multicultural.  at the same time having this indigenous Maori aspect to it. New Zealand’s really keen to demonstrate our leadership in health promotion, we’re doing a few things that are really unique at the moment. And that uniqueness revolves around indigenous health promotion and elements of that we think would be of interest to the rest of the world. We think there’s some secrets in there that would be good if we could unlock them and share with the rest of the world in terms of how we could make the planet earth a better place.”

Contact anna.fennessy@tnz.govt.nz/ www.tnz.govt.nz. This article was written by Boardroom editor Vicky KoffaThe right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.

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