IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

KiwiNet fosters innovation with two new appointments

By Catherine Knowles
Fri 16 Apr 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

KiwiNet has announced significant director and board observer appointments.

The company has appointed deep-tech champion Vignesh Kumar to its board of directors as an additional independent board member.

KiwiNet has also appointed Zoe Murphy as a board observer, a newly implemented role designed to foster capability and diversity within New Zealand’s research commercialisation governance and leadership.

The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) is a group of 18 universities, Crown Research Institutes, an Independent Research Organisation and a Crown Entity.

They are working together to transform scientific discoveries into new products and services.

KiwiNet members represent a total combined research expenditure of more than $800 million and 80% of the publicly funded researchers in New Zealand.

Engineering and technology professional Vignesh Kumar has more than 12 years of experience in global technology design, manufacturing, and operations strategy across North America, East Asia, and the Asia Pacific.

Before returning to New Zealand in mid-2018, he worked for Apple Inc. at its US headquarters as one of its lead enclosure hardware managers.

In this role he was tasked with actively sourcing and scaling science and engineering anchored innovations centred on improving the engineering and manufacturability of Apple’s consumer products.

Prior experiences included business development at BHL Group in Papua New Guinea, and product design in neonatal respiratory support at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

Kumar earned an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, as a Wharton and Kaiser Fellow and a Fulbright Science and Innovation Scholar, and a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Master of Engineering Studies (Hons) in Medical Device Design and Technologies from the University of Auckland.

On the appointment Kumar says, “KiwiNet has been central to fuelling the science innovation pipeline in New Zealand. Joining the KiwiNet Board is a unique opportunity to contribute to the venture landscape’s growth at a challenging yet exciting time.

"New Zealand is the most desirable place right now, and there is a confluence of opportunity for deep-tech companies.

"We’re seeing start-ups anchored in science and technology gain velocity and entrepreneurs grow high impact global companies supported by a vibrant innovation ecosystem - which KiwiNet has hugely impacted."

He says, “Over the past decade, KiwiNet has championed scientific discoveries and the researchers and commercialisation professionals behind them and deployed significant PreSeed investment into promising Kiwi technologies.

"This has helped create numerous new ventures and encouraged a broader range of early-stage investors in science and technology companies. The opportunity from here is to scale up this success for the benefit of all New Zealanders.”

Kumar is very involved in the local early-stage ecosystem. He also sits on the Return on Science investment committees and is an active venture investor in hardware-enabled software, deep tech, and health technology companies, via his role as a partner at venture capital firm Global from Day 1 (GD1).

KiwiNet has also appointed its inaugural board observer, Zoe Murphy, strategic relationships manager at the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Murphy earned a Bachelor of Technology in Biomedical Sciences (Hons) from the University of Auckland and has 20 years of experience in research and innovation across public and commercial environments.

This includes biomedical research laboratories, research management organisations, and research and innovation strategy and policy.

Murphy says, “I’m honoured to be KiwiNet’s first board observer. I’m passionate about research and innovation and its potential to create positive and transformative change for Aotearoa New Zealand.

"KiwiNet plays a key role to help realise this potential, so I feel privileged to be actively contributing to their mahi. It is also a unique opportunity for me to learn from extremely experienced directors and participate in Board discussion and processes without the usual barriers to entering governance positions.

"Bringing different perspectives to the table matters to the conversation and the outcome - I look forward to adding a social lens to research innovations and the broader impact they create in the world.”

On the appointments, KiwiNet chair Ngaio Merrick says, “Now more than ever, we need to accelerate emerging deep-tech start-up companies and research discoveries that offer new solutions to big global challenges.

"This is KiwiNet’s core purpose and focus – and will help New Zealand build a more diverse and prosperous post-COVID economy."

He says, "We’re delighted Vignesh is joining the KiwiNet Board at this critical time.

"He has spent the entirety of his career focused on commercialising and scaling science anchored innovations and brings unique global business experience, a rich engineering and technology background and a passion for deep-tech and commercialisation.”

Merrick says, “To help create lasting economic, environmental, community and social value from publicly funded science innovation, we need to prioritise and foster diversity of thought and perspective at all levels, including on boards.

"We’re delighted to have Zoe around the KiwiNet board table, not just to observe and gain insights but to participate actively and voice her opinions. We’ll benefit from the broad perspective Zoe brings, and she’ll develop valuable governance skills that will fast-track her for future roles.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft backing Māori and Pacific wāhine in tech industry
A new initiative focused on getting Māori and Pacific wāhine into the tech industry and backed by Microsoft, NZTech and the government is calling for tech companies to get involved.
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Power / Energy
Keysight Technologies introduces new next-gen DPT solution
Keysight Technologies has announced its new next-generation Double-Pulse Tester (DPT) with the PD1550A Advanced Dynamic Power Device Analyser.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
Ransomware
Zerto unveils updates to ransomware recovery capabilities
"Organisations face increased risks from the volume and sophistication of ransomware attacks prevalent today."
Story image
Wireless
SmartCIC, BICS partner to expand wireless service options
SmarCIC has partnered with BICS to increase choice for organisations using fixed wireless services, expanding existing carrier relationships for its CELLSMART division.
Story image
IT budget
$20m boost for digital technologies announced
The government is spending an extra $20m over four years on its plan to transform the digital technologies industry.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Cybersecurity
CyberArk launches $30M investment fund to advance security
CyberArk has announced the launch of CyberArk Ventures, a $30 million global investment fund dedicated to advancing the next generation of security disruptors.
Story image
Employee Experience
Zendesk launches customer service and employee experience offering
"Zendesk is helping businesses embrace this new generation of conversational customer relationship management and turn customer service into growth.”
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Power / Energy
SmartCIC report reveals top five 5G carriers in the world
The Global Cellular Performance Survey also found that 5G networks are delivering high download speeds but lagging in upload speeds.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Jabra
Jabra investigates what makes an ideal hybrid work model
“The way we work has changed forever and the current state of knowledge work requires access to digital platforms and technologies to be successful."
Story image
Microsoft
Avaya expands Microsoft partnership to deliver OneCloud on Azure
The joint technology and go to market agreement will help customers accelerate their digital transformation initiatives in the cloud.
Story image
Cybersecurity
ThoughtLab reveals 10 best practices for cybersecurity in 2022
The benchmarking study reveals best practices that can reduce the probability of a material breach and the time it takes to find and respond to those that happen.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
BitTitan
Why tenant consolidation is critical to cloud success
Consolidating tenants can improve cost management, security and engagement after a flurry of reactive activity following the widespread shift to remote operations.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Unlocking the next digital frontier for educational institutions
Understanding where to invest in technology can be challenging for education institutions, especially after the COVID-19 disruptions.
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
VPN
Palo Alto Networks says ZTNA 1.0 not secure enough
Palo Alto Networks is urging the industry to move to Zero Trust Network Access 2.0 because previous versions have major gaps in security protection.
Story image
MongoDB
Tech innovation crucial to growth, but barriers remain
Businesses in the A/NZ region believe tech innovation is crucial to drive future growth, but 76% say they’re being held back by complex data architecture.
Story image
Ransomware
Ingram Micro Cloud adds Bitdefender solutions to marketplace
Ingram Micro Cloud has announced the expanded availability of Bitdefender solutions on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.
Story image
Adyen
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Employee Retention
Company values increasingly important in post-pandemic world
New research released today reveals that company values are the new currency when it comes to employee retention in a post-covid economy.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Databricks strengthens AWS partnership with new Lakehouse offering
Customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration to make building a Databricks Lakehouse on AWS easier.
Story image
Cybersecurity
HackerOne launches Attack Resistance Management solution
HackerOne has launched Attack Resistance Management - a new category of security solution that targets the root causes of the attack resistance gap. 
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.