Tuesday, August 06, 2013

CPIT research month - DAY 1

CPIT research month takes place across this month starting today with presentations and running most lunch times from Tuesdays to Fridays. I will summarise presentations as they take place, dependent on whether I can get to them.

The event opens with a welcome from CPIT research and knowledge  transfer manager, Dr. Margaret Leonard and a summary of the many innovative inventions and processes New Zealanders have contributed to. Using informed curiosity, lateral thinking and 'giving it a go'.

Dr. Peter John provides the opening keynote on 'securing external research income' with a presentation on 'research, development and commercialisation'. Peter provided background on his previous role at Lincoln University. How did Lincoln build a research culture with focus on industry relationships and practical timely collaborative projects. Eventually generating the highest amount of contract research of any of the other universities. Peter provided overview on challenges and issues. Need for research office to assist with brokering relationships and potential projects. Universities not good at design and development to help the process of bringing application and commercialisation of  research projects. Therefore important to identify where best opportunities lie. Focus on staff who want to be involved. Find leaders and support them. Tag team between research office, stakeholders and staff. No loss leaders. Focus on enabling process. Reward good performance. Not all research returns. Possible reasons are no IP of value produced.  Partner could no resource conversion of IP. Product did not have commercial advantage. Target market could have shifted. Encouraged relationships to be formed with Canterbury development corporation to encourage research (CRIS) to assist.

Presentations focus for this first session on enterprise and innovation with staff from the  Business Department. A key government focus.

First up, Dr. Juan Pellegrino on 'supporting the international expansion of small local and medium enterprises'. A TEC funded project, objective to understand the internationalisation process for SMEs and assist SMEs to move into international arena. Method to build case through interview of SME CEO. Then focus group with CPIT academics and literature review to garner ideas. Synthesis of ideas reported back to SME CEO and evaluation follows. Issues identified were 'breaking through the novelty barrier' and 'supply drift' or 'quality creep' due to outsourcing. Good example of problem solving using focus group of 'experts' and literature.

Dr. John O'Sullivan then presents on 'Maori entrepreneurship'. Reported on 13 narratives in Maori tourism operators. Explored issues of identity and ''capital' and their contributions to how entrepreneurs think about themselves. Went through a series of narratives as examples of how themes were identified including characters, plot and settings. Then how themes identified through the narratives and how findings on identity and capital extended. Also example of how to makesense of themes through a sense making approach.

Dr. Eldrede Kahiya into stage 2 with possibility of continuing into next year.   with 'qualitative insights on the strategic drivers of export performance 'the open secrets to export success'.Export performance most researched by least understood!
Drivers of export performance various but are internal / operational or external. Strategy factors can be at high, medium or low levels of abstraction. Weaknesses of qualitative approaches can be partly obviated by careful selection of exemplar firms, re'liable data collection, triangulation of data and robust data analysis.

I end the afternoon with a wrap up on the 3D printer project 'innovating with industry: a case study bringing industry and ITP expertise together'.main finding is need for 'partners' to work together through initial set up stage, have one knowledgeable partner assist to smooth the way and institution to work towards systems and logistical issues.