THOUGHT LEADER : The Quest for Innovation; You Can Make Money and Save the World as Well, Says Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology

New Zealand Management, October 2010 | Go to article overview

THOUGHT LEADER : The Quest for Innovation; You Can Make Money and Save the World as Well, Says Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology


Byline: Wayne Mapp

Clean technology is a genuine Cywin-winCO. It delivers both environmental and economic benefits.

Growing the economy while protecting the environment is a significant challenge. The Government is backing innovative New Zealand companies and research organisations to create successful outcomes in response to that challenge.

As the world moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and find new energy sources, innovation can help New Zealand tap into the large and increasing market for environment-friendly technology.

The Government has made bringing business and science together to drive innovation a high priority, with a major increase in funding in the recent budget.

We have allocated $189.5 million in funding for technology development grants for firms successfully doing a significant amount of research and development, $20 million for technology transfer vouchers that will encourage links between firms and publicly-funded research organisations, and $24.7 million for other technology transfer initiatives.

Many New Zealand firms are already successfully venturing into cleantech, with support from the Government.

Take cleantech company LanzaTech. It was set up in 2005 to develop technology to produce low-cost transport ethanol from industrial waste gases and other resources. In June the company signed a $120-million agreement with Baosteel, ChinaCOs largest steel and iron conglomerate, to commercialise its process in China.

Through TechNZ, the Government has invested more than $12 million in LanzaTechCOs innovative research. Its work is a major step forward in the production of cost-effective sustainable fuels. It is a pathway to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is exactly the kind of project we want to see more of.

Wellington technology design and energy information services company Energy Intellect (Ei) is another TechNZ grant recipient. …

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