Red Alert

Archive for the ‘Research & Development’ Category

Ten ideas for the Government

Posted by on June 26th, 2012

Yesterday the Government released a list of ten “ambitious targets”, and despite ballooning debt, declining exports and slow job growth, there were no new ideas.

In question time today, Bill English confirmed they have no targets for making superannuation affordable, no targets for wage growth, no targets to grow the economy and no targets to reduce overseas debt.

It is just the latest laundry list of vague ideas with no meaningful milestones or policies to achieve real outcomes. It is simply a stunt designed to take the attention off the unpopular asset sales plan and the Government’s botched attempt to increase class sizes.

This list exposes National for once again tinkering around the edges instead of making the tough decisions needed to create a long-term, prosperous future for New Zealand.

While the Government is wishing for rainbows at the end of every street, it has little credibility when it is not dealing with the big issues we are facing as a country.

Here is an example of 10 key issues that National is not addressing:

·         Job creation

·         Economic growth

·         Reducing overseas debt

·         Securing superannuation for the future

·         Reforming our tax system

·         Investing in research and development

·         Supporting our exporters

·         Cleaning up the environment

·         Being tougher on foreign ownership of our land

·         Giving Kiwis a reason to stay in New Zealand

Those are just my first ideas at some “ambitious targets” the Government isn’t trying to address. I’m sure the erudite readers of this blog will have plenty of ideas of their own, please leave them in the comments. I’d love to hear them!

There’s money in being green

Posted by on July 8th, 2011

I was at the very cool and slick launch of Pure Advantage last night. There’s been a bit of media around it, but the message is simple – NZ is clean and green and it’s not only a great thing but we can leverage it to make money out of it. Check out their facebook and website.

A line from last night:
China has committed a trillion dollars to alternative energy. And it’s not because they care about trees.

There’s money to be made in being green.

Sir Paul Callaghan – Mapping our Future – here is a plan

Posted by on July 6th, 2011

Sir Paul Callaghan – StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future – March 2011 Mapping our Future

This is a great presentation. Watch it all. Or just skip to 7.47 to look at why we go backwards if the focus of the leader of the national party is all on tourism.

Immigration for innovation, lessons from NY

Posted by on July 5th, 2011

Here’s some smart thinking by the Mayor Bloomberg of New York City. Something I think we should copy.

…”The Mayor proposed green cards for graduates with advanced degrees in essential fields; a new visa for entrepreneurs with investors ready to invest capital in their job-creating idea; more temporary and permanent visas for highly skilled workers…The Mayor also announced the results of a study conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy – a bipartisan group of business leaders and mayors from across the country – that found more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants and those companies employ more than 10 million people worldwide and have combined revenues of $4.2 trillion.”

A resident permit for every foreign graduate with qualifications that we value and need, especially those who complete studies here. Not only smart, educated immigrants with skills we want who have also gotten to know NZ while here, but those with valuable links back to their home countries. A no brainer?

Opportunity or cost

Posted by on July 4th, 2011

I met the German Foreign Minister,  Guido Westerwelle, a few weeks ago with Phil Goff. I asked him about the extraordinarily bold move the German government had made to phase out nuclear power over the next 10 years after the events at Fukushima. His reply was interesting. He said that it wasn’t such a surprising move to anyone who understood the feeling towards nuclear power in Germany. But then he said he thought the move would be an opportunity for innovation particularly for German manufacturing. Looking forward, he felt it would stimulate Germany to become a world leader in clean technology and power generation. 

 It made me think whether NZ could contemplate the opportunities that might come with joining the ETS, rather than the usual focus on cost.

R&D is worth banging on about

Posted by on June 30th, 2011

I keep banging on about the importance of R&D in our economy. But here’s an interesting graph on R&D.

R and D graph

 It shows the number of patents filed per dollar spent on R&D. We come out about fourth best, in other words, we’re really efficient at converting our R&D money to patents.

 Before we start congratulating ourselves, imagine spending more. We spend less on business R&D than almost all those other countries. Yet if we use this graph as a guide, each $1 million we spend in addition would likely provide us more patents than just about any other country (up to a limit of course).

 Then look at Korea. Where will it be in 20 years – exceed our GDP – it currently comes in just behind NZ?  You bet.

 Patents are not everything. We are NOT good at commercialising our ideas, often in the form of patents. There are other reasons for that. But it’s the starting point for commericalisation.

 R&D is worth banging on about.