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As COVID-19 community transmission leaks from managed isolation and quarantine centres, momentarily slamming the brakes on the economy again, automated tracking will soon be adopted. It is pleasing to finally see the Government enhancing the Covid-19 app with Apple and Google’s jointly developed Bluetooth contact tracking system.
Following the last lockdown, the excellent uptake of the app was negated as people stopped scanning QR codes when we returned to Alert Level 1. With the Bluetooth enhancement we will be able to set our phones to keep track of who we’ve been near, even if we forget to scan. It records other smartphone users who come within two metres of you, for more than 10 minutes. Google and Apple have collaborated to create a privacy preserving system to help augment the still needed manual tracing.
Last week, I was part of the final review team of a deep dive report into the New Zealand biotechnology ecosystem. New Zealand’s outstanding science system is well positioned to ensure New Zealand can address the big problems of reducing waste, creating vaccines and new medicines, and developing healthier foods while reducing the impact on the environment. There are many challenges to address to take advantage of our strengths in science including a review of our approach to genetics and better transitions from research to commercialisation. Aotearoa New Zealand Boosted by BioTech – Innovating for a sustainable future is published on 24 November.
Throughout the year, we have seen increasing cybersecurity threats for people and businesses as ‘bad actors’ attempt to take advantage of the pandemic. Our annual Cyber Security Summit, was delayed this year, but returns in February, exploring new trends and the importance of cyber literacy across all levels of business. Operating within an increasingly digital environment, we are constantly under threat of cyber attack. Security should be top of mind for businesses, organisations and Government. Including security as a pillar of your digital strategy is the best way to ensure peak performance while protecting people.
This week in Wellington, I am meeting the Lower Hutt Technology Valley Forum, as well as hosting a Government discussion on how to ensure that New Zealand’s digital transformation includes everyone on the journey. Then, it’s back to Auckland on Thursday to facilitate a session on leveraging our digital advantage at the ReBuilding Nations conference.
PS: Applications for NZTech’s Board Internship close on 20 November.
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