Technology transfer call

Prof Sir Peter Gluckman advocates a key role for science in New Zealand's future. Photo by Jane...
Prof Sir Peter Gluckman advocates a key role for science in New Zealand's future. Photo by Jane Dawber.
New Zealand is still having problems transferring technology from universities and other public research organisations into the private sector, Prof Sir Peter Gluckman says.

Prof Gluckman, chief science adviser to Prime Minister John Key, made his comments in an open lecture attended by more than 300 people at the University of Otago's St David Lecture Theatre.

In a wide-ranging talk titled "Science: A critical investment in New Zealand's future", Prof Gluckman said there was a "lack of genuine expertise in New Zealand in technology transfer".

He acknowledged work that was being done in this field, including at Auckland University, Waikato University and Otago University.

But it was generally "very hard" for private-sector companies to gain access to knowledge held in universities and the Crown research institutes.

It was ultimately "unrealistic" for the country's 30 research institutes, CRIs and universities to all host "centres of expertise in technology transfer".

He did not know the answer, but would be looking into the matter further in the next year or so.

Improvements were needed in many aspects of science, and a more collaborative and multidisciplinary approach was needed to promote national interests, he said.

Researchers also needed to communicate more effectively about their work, but exaggeration and "immodest" claims, such as to have "cured" cancer, did not help.

Scientists could play a valuable role not only by providing answers but also by asking themselves "what the science community could do".

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter