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Govt appoints Callaghan board members

22 Jan 2013

The government have announced appointments to the Callaghan Innovation board, confirming current chair of the establishment board Sue Suckling as chair.

Other notable recruitments include Navman founder Sir Peter Maire and Wynyard CEO Craig Richardson, along with NZ Trade and Enterprise director Robin Hapi and Professor Peter Hunter from Auckland University.

After announcing the renaming of the Advanced Technology Institute as Callaghan Innovation, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce confirmed the new initiative to open for business on February 1.

Callaghan Innovation is one of the government’s key priorities to build a stronger, more competitive economy, and was a major recommendation of the independent Powering Innovation report, which looked at how to boost the growth of firms in the manufacturing and services sector.

The purpose of Callaghan Innovation is to help get New Zealand’s most innovative ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace more quickly, with operations in Auckland, Wellington (including Hutt Valley) and Canterbury regions.

Joyce says it will help high-tech firms become more competitive by better connecting them with the expertise and facilities that exist both within Callaghan Innovation and across New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes, universities, polytechnics, and other research organisations.

Callaghan Innovation will also take over a range of business development functions that currently sit within other agencies, including business R&D grants, subject to working through practical details.

As part of Budget 2012, the Government has allocated $166 million over four years for Callaghan Innovation ($90 million opex and $76.1 million capex).