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.