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It is a remarkable alliance between the best expertise that academia can offer and a globally recognized name in the field of research. A new partnership between Massey University and NZ Product Accelerator should pave the way in technology and innovation, support for businesses and research.
Specifically, the university’s AgriFood Digital Lab is partnering with NZ Product Accelerator to form a new center in Palmerston North. The collaboration is expected to advance technological advances to benefit the private sector and New Zealand as a whole. The new research center will be led by Professor Johan Potgieter of Massey University.
We see this hub as a natural extension of the [lab’s] ability and opportunity for Massey to lead the way in areas such as sensing and automation, for which Johan is so well known.
– Professor Andrew East, Director, Massey’s AgriFood Digital Lab
To date, Massey’s agriculture program is the highest ranked in New Zealand; its veterinary school is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and recognized by Canada, Australia and Great Britain. In short, its level of academic excellence is well above average.
NZ Product Accelerator, on the other hand, is a government-funded program that uses New Zealand’s own corporate brand to help companies accelerate product development. It is essentially an incubator program staffed by top tech experts to equip startups and businesses in their drive to succeed.
The two institutions have been working hand in hand in the field of research for some time now. Since the Product Accelerator was established in 2013 with $12.8 million in funding under the Department of Construction, Innovation and Jobs Enabling Technology Platform, he has worked with Massey University in various programs.
Massey’s AgriFood Digital Lab is an industry-focused research facility, with work that includes horticulture, precision agriculture, robotics, advanced materials, sports analytics and biotechnology. Its objective is to develop agrotechnological solutions to solve the challenges of the industry.
Indeed, a common interest in advanced technologies unites the new research group. Including:
- Computer science
- Data Science
- 3D printing
- Industrial design
Such developments are welcomed by industry experts. For example, the lab director, Professor Andrew East, was delighted that the university was partnering with the product accelerator.
For his part, Potgieter, the head of the research center who is a professor of robotics at the university, said he has created a center for some of the most notable innovations (for example, robotics and 3D printing) supporting the new hub agritech Product Accelerator.
The emphasis on research and development (R&D) is expected to trickle down to the industry. The new research center, located within “The Engine” on the AgResearch campus in Palmerston North, will support business and research to accelerate business opportunities in local and international markets.
The sentiment was echoed by Associate Professor Mark Jones, co-director of Product Accelerator. He detailed that they are maximizing on a pull science model to help New Zealand businesses with technology solutions. They do this by leveraging the collective capabilities of their network and the New Zealand R&D community.
There is no doubt that NZ Product Accelerator is state of the art. Through this new research center, it should be able to provide the “missing science” in the field of agricultural technology. He had done this before in new product development, problem solving and integrating technological innovation for countless New Zealand companies.
Collaboration has always been at the heart of New Zealand’s approach to technology and innovation. Its roadmap towards digital transformation leaves such a collaborative imprint. As reported on OpenGov Asia, Wellington lets all stakeholders participate in creating its technology roadmap.
This must be the secret sauce to Aoteroa’s digital success. Its FinTech industry, for example, is very successful — grow like never before.