Thursday 12th July 2012
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Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced the structure of the government's flagship innovation body, the Advanced Technology Institute, designed to help get innovative ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace.
Based in Auckland, the Hutt Valley and Christchurch the ATI will help connect high-tech firms' with New Zealand's Crown Research Institute, universities and polytechnics, Joyce said in his statement.
"We expect the ATI to focus on industries with significant growth potential such as food and beverage manufacturing, agri-technologies, digital technologies, health technologies and therapeutics manufacturing, and high-value wood products," Joyce said in a statement. "The ATI will take over some business development functions that currently sit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment."
"That will include the administration of some business research and development grants," he said.
The ATI was allocated $166 million over four year as part of the government's Budget 2012.
The ATI has been criticised for not involving the Crown-owned advanced materials research institute, Industrial Research Ltd (IRL) in its final decision process. That has seen a long-running battle waged between ATI and the Ministry of Science and Innovation, which became part of the new super-ministry for business, innovation and employment this month.
Joyce said, IRL will remain part of the ATI but its focus will be broader in scope operating as a Crown agent.
Staff and facilities from IRL will be transferred to ATI's establishment board responsible for having the institute up and running by Dec.1. The board will work alongside IRL to oversee the process.
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