Viewing posts categorised under: NZTech Newsletter

NZTech Update – Urgent call for tech advisory!

Jackie Clark
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NZTech Newsletter

Why does something that should be so simple turn out to be so hard?  Four years is a long time to wait for a New Zealand Government to establish a high level technology advisory role.  A lot happens in the tech world in four years; New Zealand firms have sent rockets to space, developed autonomous vehicles and put faces to artificial intelligence.  The pace of technology change presents enormous opportunities for New Zealand’s future, yet the Government lacks a trusted advisor to help them navigate the path.

During NZTech’s 2017 AGM panel discussion with MP’s, the idea of a CTO or tech advisor for the Government was first mooted by Rod Drury.   NZTech’s then CEO, Candace Kinser, picked up the idea and developed it into a core pillar of NZTech’s 2014 Technology Policy Platforms.  The recommendation was for, ‘the creation of a Chief Technology Advisor reporting directly to the Prime Minister to provide advice on the strategic use of technology across government and throughout society’.  Unfortunately, no party backed the concept in 2014.

However, great ideas don’t just roll over and disappear.  During the early months of 2017 NZTech, IT Professionals and InternetNZ brought together a collective of 20 leading technology groups to develop the Tech Manifesto for the 2017 election.  The call was put out for a Ministry of the Future, a pseudo-agency bringing Government and the private sector together, led by a Chief Technology Advisor.  The proposed focus, positioning New Zealand and all Government agencies and society to take the best advantage of a technologically enabled future.

Both parties eventually indicated support for some form of CTO role.  Labour’s ICT manifesto stated that they ‘recognise the strategic importance of digitisation and will appoint a CTO to ensure that digital development is planned to achieve the best national outcomes’.  It looked like things would rocket along as the Cabinet approved the role by early December 2017.  The two aborted recruitment processes have been well blogged about by tech leaders who all have something to contribute to helping define New Zealand’s digital strategy.  Check out the personal experiences of Vaughan Rowsell and Dan Khan.

Last week, the speculation was finally over when we found out what was happening with the New Zealand Chief Technology Officer role when Derek Handley shared an update on LinkedIn.  Having been offered the role, signed the contract and relocated his family from the US, he arrived back in New Zealand to find out that the role had been canned.  What a shocker!  My sympathy goes out to Derek, who is the victim of an incredibly poor process.

Now, I don’t think we should wait for the Government anymore.  Let’s just get on with it!  In the past three years, NZTech has managed to bring together a national Tech Alliance and support 21 tech communities without any Government funding to do so.  Now representing over 800 organisations throughout New Zealand, from tech firms, startups and high tech manufacturers to universities, Government agencies and large corporations like banks, insurance companies, agri-businesses and an airline.   Across these 21 tech associations many are already starting work on national strategies.  The AI Forum has over 100 people voluntarily helping drive working groups, including the development of a national AI strategy.

So guess what I am pitching at the NZTech strategy and planning day this Thursday?  Let’s bring together the people who cared enough to apply to be New Zealand’s CTO.  Let’s develop our own Ministry of the Future and collectively start developing a national digital/tech strategy for New Zealand.

Let me know what you think and are you up for it?

Nga mihi
Graeme Muller
CEO
NZTech

CONNECT

Join Tech Marketers in Auckland and Christchurch on 19 September.  Tech Marketers next meet in Wellington on 27 September.  Please register to attend.

Attend SIBA’s AGM on 27 September and the 2018 New Zealand Spatial Awards on 17 October in Wellington.
Attend the New Zealand FinTech Summit on 29 November in Auckland.

The American Chamber of Commerce presents Networking Global Ambition with Sunny Bates on 16 October in Auckland.  Join the IoT Waikato Meetup on 23 October, featuring Agritech New Zealand.

PROMOTE

Make the most of Expo 2020 Dubai, with NZTE’s Gulf Opportunities Showcase in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch in October.

The New Zealand Transport Authority’s All Access Hackathon is 21-23 September in Auckland.  Join NeSI on 25 September for Machine Learning and Supercomputing in Science in Auckland.

ADVANCE

Callaghan are leading a Kiwi delegation to SaaStr Annual 2019 in San Jose.  Register by 8 October.  Applications for NASA internships and New Zealand Space Agency scholarships close 12 October.  Early bird tickets are available for evokeAG , 19-20 February, 2019 in Melbourne.

Is your company ready to scale up with international growth? Enter the inaugural #TechRocketshipANZ Awards.  Entries close 23 November.  CERT’s Cyber Smart Week is 8-12 October.  Check out the new resources and be involved as an official partner.

Complete BusinessNZ’s Mood of the Boardroom survey.  Save these 2019 event dates; Tech Marketers conference on 28 February, AI-Day on 28 March and Techweek 20-26 May.

Want to know more?  Sign up for the NZTech weekly update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!

NZTech Update – R&D tax credits and Te Reo

Jackie Clark
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NZTech Newsletter

Last week, I caught up with Minister Woods about the R&D tax credits.   It looks like they have taken on board everyone’s feedback and things are progressing positively.  The Minister acknowledged the challenges of establishing a rules based system that included some ‘development’ and not just ‘research’ and how software development can be better included.  This and the challenge of pre-profit firms are being addressed and a formal announcement is expected soon.

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NZTech Update – Creating AgriTech Connections

Chantal Thomas
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NZTech Newsletter

At 5.30am this morning, my flight from San Francisco landed in Auckland, but the travel has been well worth the effort!  After spending time in California, I now have a better understanding of how alternative protein companies are tracking towards commercialisation.  Market entry won’t happen overnight, as many companies still need to scale manufacturing and I expect regulations will soon follow.  What is important to note is that there are numerous companies and many of them are backed by serious funding.  For example, Merck recently purchased a big chunk of Moss Meats.  Merck has vast experience with large scale biotech production and associated regulatory regimes.  My prediction is that one, or two of the cultured meat firms will have first generation products in the market by 2025.  Conservatively, even if this was delayed until 2030, it’s still not too far into the future!

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NZTech Update – Creating AgriTech Connections

Chantal Thomas
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NZTech Newsletter

Good morning from Silicon Valley!  This week, I am in San Jose, California with the Agritech New Zealand and Callaghan Innovation agritech immersion programme.  Our delegation includes 30 delegates from throughout New Zealand and we have a full schedule.  We are visiting several cutting edge farming facilities, meeting investors and forming connections with the US market.  On Friday, we are joined by the New Zealand Ambassador for a major international agritech announcement.  Sounds exciting, I can’t wait.

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NZTech Update – Supercharging small business

Chantal Thomas
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NZTech Newsletter

Hi Readers

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending time with Minister Nash, the Minister of Small Business, Revenues and Police.  We discussed many issues, but the focus of our meeting was the relationship between tech and small business.

I highlighted that most tech firms are also small businesses.  For example, the recent announcement by the New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA) that Game Studio revenues are growing at 43% and exceed $143m hides the fact that approximately $130m is coming from 10 large studios.  There are hordes of small game studios, that with better access to support might also become multi-million-dollar exporters.  Currently, NZTech, MBIE and the NZGDA are researching the local market and comparing it to international successes to identify ways to supercharge this sector.  The research report is due for release later this year.

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NZTech Update – A new era in digital procurement


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NZTech Newsletter

Hi Readers

This week looks to be a busy one.  Today, we start interviewing for the Techweek partnership manager.  It’s not too late to throw your hat into the ring if you’re looking for a change.

On Tuesday we will be working with NZTE to integrate the UpStarters and Tech Story work with the Techweek team.  I am delighted we can bring together these two exciting initiatives.  It means the Techweek team can promote NZ tech and innovation all year round, not just during Techweek!

On Wednesday, following catch ups with members, I look forward to the relaunch of the NZ Story by the Prime Minister at Park Road Post Production.  We simply do not spend enough money marketing New Zealand exports overseas. The NZ Story budget is a mere $3.5 million, while our . international competitors invest significantly more. For example, the Irish Government spends over $70 million a year promoting their primary sector exports.

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NZTech Update – Showcasing the local tech ecosystem


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NZTech Newsletter

Hi Readers

For the past four years we have been working on three major projects with various government agencies to help grow tech exports.

When I started this job I looked into how other countries got famous for being good at tech. What did Israel do? What about Ireland?  One of the common features of successful tech countries is that they have a shared story.  Israel has been showcasing the Start-Up Nation story for over a decade.

Then I discovered that we now invest more than $100 million a year into promoting tourism so it’s no wonder we are known as a beautiful place to visit.  Yet, at the same time, we only invest $3.5 million a year into a shared New Zealand Story for exporters.  Until recently, this was mainly focused on traditional exports.  In saying that, the latest marketing video for the New Zealand Story is awesome!

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NZTech Update – GovTech export potential for New Zealand

Georgia Taylor
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NZTech Newsletter

Kia Ora

At Thursday’s NZTech AGM, it was a pleasure to host several members of the Digital Economy Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Board who provided an update on their work.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn of their strong focus on the role of Government procurement. Not only the $1.3 billion a year the Government spends on ICT, but how a more agile approach to most procurement may be the solution to a more adaptable country.  While this Ministerial Advisory Group is very passionate about the potential, anyone who has been involved in trying to encourage the Government to change its approach to procurement knows this is an incredibly difficult thing to do.  It’s not for lack of desire within the Government, it is a system wide cultural challenge.

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NZTech Update – Measuring the impact of tech

Georgia Taylor
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NZTech Newsletter

Kia Ora

This Thursday, we host NZTech’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).  What is NZTech trying to achieve and how do we know if it is working?  I was recently asked how I know if we’ve been successful?  Given that much of the work we do is long term and often intangible, sometimes it is hard to be sure we are making a difference.  However, when its collated in one place, you can certainly see the impact.

As I prepared our annual report I was amazed to see how much has been accomplished in the past few years.  Eight years ago, the tech ecosystem was very fragmented.  Now, NZTech supports and coordinates a network of 20 tech associations that represent over 800 organisations and about 10% of the workforce.  This Alliance shares resources and experience to improve its efficiency and impact.  During the last 12 months we have delivered more than 120 events, helping various tech communities connect and share experience.  Together, we also produced six major summits, three detailed research reports and half a dozen briefing papers to help identify technology that can help improve New Zealand’s prosperity.

NZTech also partnered with Government on multiple initiatives in the past year including:

  • supporting the introduction of the digital technology curricula in schools,
  • developing the Upstarters campaign, an international positioning for New Zealand as a hi-tech nation,
  • helping populate a digital platform to help our tech firms scale up and access capital,
  • coordinating 540 tech and innovation events during Techweek, a week long festival throughout New Zealand to help inspire the next generation into tech and help our tech firms grow and export,
  • analysing the countries current and future digital skills needs,
  • and feeding into work on the trade agenda.

Ultimately, the measure of success is the contribution of technology to New Zealand’s prosperity.  While the tech sector continues to grow, the real opportunity is the digital transformation of our traditional economy.  Personally, I am confident that a tipping point has been reached as major agri-firms such as Fonterra, Farmlands and Gallagher Group recently combined with other agribusinesses and tech firms to create AgriTech New Zealand.  I have always believed that our country’s future success lies in the beautiful blending of our traditional strengths of agriculture and technological innovation.  All we needed was a bit of coordination to help agri meet tech.  Let’s see what they can come up with.

Come along to this Thursday’s AGM to chat more about this, and meet the Minister’s Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion advisory team.

Ng? mihi
Graeme Muller
CEO
NZTech

CONNECT

Join the Tech Marketers Converse and Connect events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on 25 July.  Save the date for Tech Marketers conference, 28 February 2019.

Join CanterburyTech on 7 August in Christchurch.  Join NZSA on 14 August in Auckland for their annual An Angel at my Table pitch competition.

Attend The Impact of AI on Governance on 23 July in Christchurch.  Join the AI Forum Connect Events on 24 July in Wellington, 7 August in Auckland and 8 August in Christchurch.

PROMOTE

Join TechWomen’s Edwina Mistry at the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Forum New Zealand, 27-29 August in Auckland.  For a 10% discount use promo code: TW10.

FinTechNZ welcomes opportunities for free trade with the UK post-Brexit. Join FinTechNZ for their winter Connect Event series on 1 August in Auckland and 2 August Wellington.

Join EdTechNZ on 25 July in Wellington for The Future of Education is Now panel discussion.  Christchurch based? Contact EdTechNZ if you would like to be invited to the next meetup.

ADVANCE

Applications for the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) four cohort close on 2 September, apply before 1 August for early bird pricing. The Flux Accelerator is also accepting applications.

Support New Zealand’s digital transformation by adopting TechLeaders Digital Principles.  Read our Meet the TechLeader series, profiling Craig Columbus, David Godfrey, David Kennedy and Angela Nash.

Entries for the 2018 New Zealand Spatial Awards (NZSEA) close on Friday.  Attend NZGDC18  in Auckland 1-3 August.  Save the date for the New Zealand FinTech Summit 2018 on 29 November in Auckland.

Want to know more?  Sign up for the NZTech weekly update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!

NZTech Update – Growing the tech sector

Georgia Taylor
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NZTech Newsletter

Kia Ora

I hear the pending decision of New Zealand’s CTO is close, so all things going well, I expect we should learn of the appointment soon, as the Minister did promise to appoint by the beginning of August.  Regardless of who is appointed, I’m looking forward to working with the new CTO, as the focus areas for the role – reducing the growing digital divide and growing the tech sector – are both highly important for NZTech and our members.  Neither of these can be solved by just one person, so hopefully we find ourselves with an engaging and inclusive CTO to help lead the charge.

Tomorrow, I am in Wellington attending the Digital Skills Forum as we continue to gain momentum on the challenges of placing interns and preparing more work ready graduates for tech roles.  The survey about internships closes tomorrow so please help us help you and share your thoughts about internships here. It’s quick and is taking on average, only three minutes to complete.

I’m looking forward to meeting our newly elected NZTech board members next week at our AGM.  The AGM is always a great time to pause and reflect on the past years work.  This morning, as I was finalising my presentation slides it was encouraging to see over 90 percent growth rate in representation.  Please don’t forget to register to attend the AGM on 26 July in Auckland.  Come along and meet the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Group.

Ng? mihi
Graeme Muller
CEO
NZTech

CONNECT

Join FinTechNZ for their winter Connect Event series on 1 August in Auckland and 2 August Wellington.  In the wake of global banking issues FinTechNZ’s  James Brown calls for more transparency locally.

Join CanterburyTech on 7 August in Christchurch.
Join EdTechNZ on 25 July in Wellington for The Future of Education is Now panel discussion and a tour of Te Papa’s H?n?tore Learning Lab.

How should board directors be preparing for AI driven change? Attend The Impact of AI on Governance on 23 July in Christchurch.  Join the AI Forum Connect Events on 24 July in Wellington, 7 August in Auckland and 8 August in Christchurch.

PROMOTE

NZSA is seeking expressions of interest for their annual An Angel at my Table five minute angel investor pitch competition.   Entries close 20 July.  The pitching event is 14 August in Auckland.

Did you miss the headline events at Techweek’18? Watch the presentations from the Fourth Revolution, Creative Realities, 10 Billion Mouths and more from Techweek TV here.

Meet the next wave of startups at Massey’s ecentre Innovation Showcase on 18 July in Auckland.  Attend the ChristchurchNZ 2018 Hi-Growth Launch Programme on 24 July.

ADVANCE

Applications are open for the fourth cohort  to join Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF). Applications close on 2 September, apply before 1 August for early bird pricing. The Flux Accelerator is also accepting applications for its third cohort.

Entries for the 2018 New Zealand Spatial Awards (NZSEA) close 27 July.  Attend NZGDC18  in Auckland 1-3 August.  Save the date for the New Zealand FinTech Summit 2018 on 29 November in Auckland.

Want to know more?  Sign up for the NZTech weekly update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!