12 Dec 2011
Delegates from the TechnoPolicy Network Tour at AUT's Business Innovation Centre
Around 30 delegates from the Technopolicy Network were in New Zealand recently for their 10th conference: "Science Based Incubators as International Connectors in High-Tech clusters”.
The conference, which was partnered by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and Incubators New Zealand, was attended by leading business innovators from across the world. This is the first time the conference has been held in New Zealand.
As part of the event, delegates were invited to tour AUT’s Business Innovation Centre (BIC), which is based on the University’s Manukau campus. This ‘innovation tour’ also included a trip to SODA (of Waikato University) and Hobbiton.
“We hoped to give delegates a general understanding of New Zealand culture, of the University, and its business innovation centre,” said Director of Commercialisation and Business Development Kevin Pryor, of the visit to the BIC.
After a traditional Maori welcome, delegates were able to tour the BIC premises, where they met and heard elevator pitches from the resident incubator companies.
“Going through business incubation is a long, hard process, but a rewarding one,” said BIC Manager, Mike Aitken. “This was an opportunity for our start up companies to showcase their ground breaking technologies and their achievements to a world renowned group of international delegates, and to see how they measured up on a global scale. I can say that the delegates were suitably impressed and left with a very positive impression of our Centre.”
There is a genuine synergy between the incubator and the university,” continued Pryor. “All aspects of the university support our incubator, including the research groups, who interact closely with many of the incubator companies.”
The Business Innovation Centre was established in Penrose in 2001. The BIC and AUT Enterprises Limited (AUTEL) were then transferred to the University’s Manukau campus upon its launch in 2010.
Since its inception, the BIC has graduated approximately 45 companies, 15 of which are high-growth firms, with a turnover of $30 million per annum, and employing more than 300 people.
The BIC currently has 17 companies in various stages of incubation.