KiwiNet News 31 January 2012

KiwiNet launches innovation database to promote new technologies and research internationally

Hamilton, New Zealand - 31 January 2012

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) launched its online innovation database today, enabling businesses, entrepreneurs and investors worldwide to view a diverse range of technologies and expertise in New Zealand's research organisations. The KiwiNet Innovation Database aims to facilitate collaborations between complementary technologies and increase investor and industry connections by showcasing the commercialisation capability and distinctive portfolio of innovations New Zealand has to offer.

KiwiNet, a consortium of New Zealand research organisations dedicated to taking a collaborative approach to research commercialisation, designed the database to act as a shop window to view up-to-date research projects, inventions and patents from across New Zealand.

Andrew Turnbull, a KiwiNet director says, "The KiwiNet Innovation Database is designed to jumpstart the transfer of research technology to the marketplace by bringing together science and business. We have a wealth of innovations in our universities and research institutes and by opening up access and working together we can unlock great value."

Examples of projects seeking investors or industry involvement range from biopesticides and biologically based growth promotants, to artificial muscle materials which can allow users to power and wear devices, to unique electrochemical cells which allow cheap and effective removal of contaminants to provide clean drinking water for cattle.

Neville Jordan, Executive Chairman of Endeavour Capital, one of New Zealand's leading private equity and venture capital companies says, "We applaud KiwiNet's approach through the innovation database to bring together IP and institutions to encourage a collective wisdom that is hugely more powerful than just providing exposure to IP from individual institutions."

Endeavour Capital has already made several investments through KiwiNet members WaikatoLink, University of Canterbury and Otago Innovation and IRL is spearheading a major export initiative with several other institutions from KiwiNet. Mr Jordan says this collective approach to innovation, a global network and easy access for funders increases the chance of success for ventures.

KiwiNet, which receives support from the Ministry of Science and Innovation as part of its commitment to commercialisation, will leverage the database through international portals to provide heightened exposure and visibility for New Zealand research.

Dr Gavin Ross, General Manager Business Development, Plant & Food Research, a KiwiNet member says, "Visibility and connectedness are vital to successful technology transfer. KiwiNet's national innovation portfolio approach creates greater scale and credibility which will help us promote our technologies on the international stage. By working collaboratively we can also identify opportunities to combine complementary technologies to create more investable propositions."

The first release of the database contains innovations from many of New Zealand's research organisations including KiwiNet members, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd the commercial arm of the University of Otago, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises the commercial arm of AUT University of Technology, WaikatoLink the commercial arm of the University of Waikato, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Industrial Research Ltd and Viclink the commercial arm of the University of Victoria along with projects from, Scion, UniServices and Landcare.

Peter Lee, CEO, UniServices says, "It makes good sense for us to form a national portfolio of innovation, opening up the research network in New Zealand in order to boost commercialisation. By showcasing our technologies and capabilities in an easy to access portal like this we can have a greater impact internationally."

KiwiNet will be working with users of the database to continuously refine the structure and content to best meet personal needs and preferences. The KiwiNet Innovation Database currently hosts over 70 innovations as well as profiles on the organisations, commercial and research groups, and experts who can provide valuable expert advice on technical, commercial and market issues relating to the technology. KiwiNet aims to further develop the database into a more comprehensive national innovation database

Access the KiwiNet Innovation Database

For further information please contact:

Sandra Lukey
Shine Group
Phone: (03) 374 6753; Cell: +64 21 2262 858