The KiwiNet Commercialisation Forum was held on November 9th, 2011 at the Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland. Aligned with the KCA Conference held on November 10th & 11th, the forum attracted commercialisation staff from over 30 organisations across NZ and Australia. With approximately 60 attendees throughout the day, this forum was the biggest held to date.
For those that aren’t already aware of the Commercialisation Forum; its day-long event held twice a year by KiwiNet to bring together research commercialisation staff with the aim of building and sharing networks, knowledge and capability. This Commercialisation Forum was the third such event held for commercialisation staff across public research organisations. The forum has continued to grow with 28 delegates attending the first event in October 2010 through to over 40 in the second forum held in May 2011.
This time round KiwiNet collaborated with KCA to hold their pre-conference workshop during the afternoon session of the Forum, where the theme was Trans-Tasman collaboration. By aligning the forum with the KCA Conference, KiwiNet welcomed attendees from Australian organisations to the forum for the first time.
The day was split into two parts; the morning session was directed at enhancing key skills and capabilities to give projects the best chance of success. The activities used during this session included break-out groups, networking and a two hour workshop focused on the effective pitching of emerging technologies.
The afternoon session had a Trans-Tasman collaboration feel using speed networking, break-out groups and a panel discussion to encourage participants to consider how we can strengthen the Australasian Innovation Eco-system.
Honourable Ruth Richardson (Chair of the KiwiNet Board) kindly provided MC services for the day. The guest speakers included David Brebner, CTO and Co-founder of Unlimited Realities, and Sir Ray Avery, CEO of Medicine Mondiale. The two hour pitching workshop held in the morning session was conducted by Mark Robotham from Growth Management.
The panel for the Trans-Tasman Collaboration Panel Discussion was made up of representatives from some of the key players in the innovation space across both NZ and Australia. This included Duncan Mackintosh (WaikatoLink), Peter Bradley (NZBIO), Joseph Stuart (MSI), Jan Bingley (CSIRO) and Andy Sierakowski (KCA).
The level of engagement from attendees was fantastic and the atmosphere in the room was buzzing which really made the whole day. The feedback provided from attendees was very positive. Participants at the forum enjoyed the interactive activities, particularly the speed networking and the pitching workshop, and the valuable insights offered by Sir Ray Avery.
KiwiNet was lucky enough to receive support for the forum from two organisations. The Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI) was the primary sponsor for the day and James and Wells (JAWS), a NZ based Intellectual Property law firm, provided sponsorship for the pitching workshop by Mark Robotham.
Following on from this successful event, KiwiNet are now looking forward to the fourth Commercialisation Forum to be held in early May 2012. Watch this space!
If you are interested in viewing the outcomes from the breakout groups and panel discussion, and photos of the forum please click here.