The spirit of innovation that underpins numerous New Zealand successes – from the agri-food industry to Avatar movie special effects – must become a national characteristic if the country is to advance, Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says.
Speaking in Shanghai today at a New Zealand-China Higher Education Forum, Mr Maharey told the conference that New Zealand and China both identified innovation as the key to their countries' future success.
"We know that the tradition of individual creativity and innovation is not enough for the challenges we face today," he said. "We need to build a nation that is innovative and creative in all areas.
"The Chinese government has shown it understands this by placing innovation at the centre of its 2006 five-year plan and aiming to become an innovation country by cultivating a rich talent base to drive economic and social development.
"I come from a nation that prides itself on being creative and innovative. Our heritage is built on individuals tinkering about and coming up with something different. This spirit of innovation underpinned the huge success of the agri-food industry in New Zealand.
"Today it can be found in the ideas as diverse as ANZODE nickel-Zinc battery, the Yike Bike, the Martin Jetpack, the Aquada sport amphibian, Navman, Terrasaw. And that is without mentioning the technology that made the film Avatar possible, which comes from Wellington, New Zealand."
To read the full speech, click here: http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/fms//Massey%20News/2010/06/docs/Cultivating-Innovative-Talent.pdf