Daily Archives: October 19, 2011

Idealog: R&D and innovation

“Kids are missing out in New Zealand because there’s no connect between the education system and a vision for where we’re going to grow our economy.” -Sir Paul Callaghan

### idealog.co.nz 18 October 2011 at 3:36 pm
Let’s end the flip-flopping on R&D
By Sarah Robson
What do Rakon, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Tait Electronics, Gallagher Group and Weta Digital have in common? Aside from being successful and enjoying a high profile in business, they’re also the benefactors of the government’s first round of technology development grants, announced late last year. (A second round was awarded in August, with recipients including accounting startup darling Xero.) National pulled no punches in scrapping the Labour government’s all-encompassing R&D tax credit in favour of a targeted, grant-based approach. It’s not a given – businesses have to apply for a slice of the funding pie along with every other man and his dog, and there are no guarantees. But it’s time for government to stop flip-flopping on the issue. Cuts to government spending aren’t going to lift New Zealand out of the economic doldrums. Investment in R&D just might.

Prominent scientist and New Zealander of the Year Sir Paul Callaghan believes New Zealand needs to diversify its economy if its goal is to expand GDP per capita, and start selling ‘brain content’. That means you’re selling products where the manufacturing costs aren’t the main costs of the products – it’s the R&D content.

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Related Posts and Comments:
24.9.11 Idealog: Paul Callaghan’s business plan for New Zealand
21.9.11 John Montgomery: The Economy, Culture and Design of Cities
23.6.11 Kathryn Ryan interviews agribusiness pioneer George Harrison
22.5.11 Audacious idea: New Zealand X-Prize Environmental and Energy

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

33 Comments

Filed under Design, Economics, Innovation, Inspiration, People, Politics, Project management

Octagon protest occupies minds!

Images ©2011 Elizabeth Kerr

### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
Opinion
Campers strike a common chord
By Simon Cunliffe
Brrrrr! Not great weather for camping. It’ll soon be a bog up there in the Octagon – where the good folk of the “Occupy Dunedin” movement have parked their tents. Can’t imagine they’ll want to stay long in this sort of weather but one or two of them seem determined to remain. There’s been a bit of a squabble over statutes governing occupation of the site. It’s been said a 19th-century bylaw allowing immigrants en route to the Central Otago goldfields to squat temporarily in the city centre is still in force. A neat irony that: it’s a gold rush of a different kind this mob have set up shop to condemn. Their focus is corporate greed, social inequality, free-market economics and environmental issues, much of which they would undoubtedly argue arises from the unfettered accumulation of the aforementioned “gold”. And, interestingly, it’s an echo that has been witnessed in large-scale demonstrations across the world.
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• Simon Cunliffe is deputy editor (news) at the Otago Daily Times.

### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
Spirit of protest not dampened by rain
By John Lewis
Anti-capitalism protesters are yet to decide how long they intend to stay in the Octagon, but the Dunedin City Council is going out of its way not to put pressure on the group to respond to its request for a timeline.
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### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
Opinion
Importance of sharing our common wealth forgotten
By Alison MacTavish
The Rugby World Cup has predictably given rise to plenty of discussions about whether rugby is our national religion, or about its importance to our national identity. Election proposals that run counter to the more fundamental values of being a New Zealander, however, have attracted far less discussion.

John Key and his Government have said they will take re-election as a mandate for selling our assets. With most New Zealanders reportedly against asset sales, but with the National Party odds on to form the next government, the danger is that a vote for the National Party will be a vote for asset sales. And, of course, the National Government prefers to focus on how we can divvy up the spoils, rather than discussing the fundamental social justice issue.

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• Alison MacTavish lives near Moeraki.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

50 Comments

Filed under DCC, Economics, Events, Geography, People, Politics