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Many NZ tech companies which are relatively small, nimble and highly innovative are forecast to rapidly expand in 2020 and over the next decade on areas of the economy, ecology and industry, NZTech chair Mitchell Pham says.
Technology is New Zealand’s third biggest and fastest growing sector and traditional institutions and enterprise businesses will benefit from partnering with such tech companies who bring fresh thinking and approaches to the table, he says.
“These Kiwi tech businesses are showing the ability and drive to solve problems and make a positive impact on the world.
“Our smart tech companies can mobilise business to respond to the risks of climate change and ensure that measures to protect biodiversity reach forest floors and ocean beds.
“Ecological advances can benefit from a broad range of innovation, including the development of biotechnology, telemetric instrumentation, satellite tracking and location systems, and remote sensing technology. Kiwi tech companies who innovate in these areas are well positioned to participate and make their impact.
“The economy is benefitting from NZ fintech businesses who are working in collaboration with financial institutions and regulators as well as policy makers.
“From banking to insurance, finance, investment and wealth management, Kiwi fintech businesses are well positioned to make their impact on financial inclusion.
“Furthermore, fourth industrial revolution technologies (4IR) are at the cutting-edge of change in the way we do business.
“They include emerging and rapidly advancing technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, cyber security, artificial intelligence, internet of things, cloud computing, digital identity, voice-activated personal assistants, virtual/augmented reality, 5G, chat bots and digital humans, among others.
“Our tech industry actively brings businesses together to engage with government and community, to discuss the impact of 4IR tech and establish collaborative initiatives to develop consensus and standards for both deployment and utilisation.
“Globally, the process of reskilling and upskilling a billion people in the next decade has begun. The New Zealand Digital Skills Forum is a focused coalition of industry associations and government organisations that work together to identify key skills issues and opportunities across the ICT, high-tech and digital sectors.
“The forum uses their insights, resources and influence to help address the ever-present digital technology skills shortages. By taking a practical, information and evidence-based approach, the forum focuses on harnessing collaborative efforts to address significant issues in re-skilling and up-skilling New Zealanders.
“Telecommunication infrastructure and communication tools and platforms are providing the ability for people to instantly reach and connect with each other across the globe.
“Social media platforms are a force of democratisation that previously didn’t exist. Some of the latest virtual/augmented reality technologies even enable people to transport themselves into places of conflict to better understand the other side and what’s going on. All of these kinds of technology innovation help make connections to resolve conflict.
“However, such technologies have also been abused by states and individuals to incite and maintain conflict.”
Kiwi tech businesses who innovate in this space need to be aware of these dynamics and take responsibility for how their technologies are utilised and how that impacts on society.
Pham says Kiwi tech businesses have a golden opportunity for innovation that can be consumed by the global market and to build new products and services that are good for the world.