Callaghan Innovation to reveal its scientists’ fate today?

By Peter Kerr 09/07/2013 4


Well, only about a year after a whole process started, the chemists, physicists, mathematicians and engineers of Callaghan Innovation, the old IRL, find out more about their fate today.

Whether, or how, they fit under CI’s as yet undisclosed form and function may hopefully be revealed.

But given the protracted creation of a commercialisation agency that the science minister has more control over than the other Crown Research Institutes under his portfolio, don’t expect too much.

Today apparently it is more of a statement of intent that these scientists learn about, though none of them are allowed to speak to media.

It may not be that science and scientists fit under what CI is to be.

However, given that cabinet’s yet to sign off the business case that senior ministers insisted be drawn up before the end of June, Joe Public’s going to be just as much in the dark as the collective expertise of the former IRL.

Heck, we can just add it to the rest of the collateral damage created when the CI cart was put in front of the horse, and New Zealand witnessed a publicly funded startup, startup, with little idea beyond the word ‘commercialisation’ of what and how it was or is to operate.

Now, it could be that the science resource currently sitting within CI, could fit better under other structures such as universities, or even a new technology institute model.

But the last thing that we need is the old IRL’s science resource withering on the vine as it has over the past year as nothing really happens.

So, today, with luck, a bit of direction from and by CI whose job its website tells us is ‘to accelerate commercialisation of innovation by firms in New Zealand’.


4 Responses to “Callaghan Innovation to reveal its scientists’ fate today?”

  • Well, the Callaghan Innovation statement of corporate intent is now available at…
    http://www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/sites/all/files/sites/all/files/pictures/Callaghan-Innovation-SOI.pdf

    Universities and CRIs will presumably be happy…
    ” The new focus also has implications for Callaghan Innovation’s future involvement in government science funding processes. In particular, Callaghan Innovation will not pursue contestable funding in the future, since that funding is primarily intended for
    scientific research. Callaghan Innovation’s services will be sustained by funding from the government, and commercial revenues (including services provided to other research
    organisations). ”

    Research staff at CI will have differing views of…
    ” Teams whose research is primarily fundamental and early
    stage, may be a better fit with research-focused universities or CRIs. Over the first six months of the 2013/14 year we will be engaging in a process with our research teams and with universities and CRIs to finalise which teams will transfer from Callaghan Innovation creating the best fit for the longer term, and ensuring a smooth transition. ”

    Interesting times…….

  • They seem to have ignored pretty much all of the information and advice that was provided over the past few months by staff of the former IRL.

  • I understand that they were unable to create and sustain a video link from the Lower Hutt presentation to their Auckland staff, so perhaps Avatar should be created and operated by others.

    Most NZ industry is paranoid about security of IP, which already makes it hard to build multi-institutional research and development platforms, and electronic media interactions are very likely to exacerbate the paranoia.