13 September, 2012
ATI Bill passes first reading
A bill to establish the new Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) – a new high-tech HQ for innovative New Zealand businesses – today passed its first reading in Parliament.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says the purpose of the ATI is to help get New Zealand’s best ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace faster.
“New Zealanders are great at coming up with smart ideas but we need to become more successful at translating those ideas into commercially successful products,” Mr Joyce says.
“The ATI will be a one-stop shop to help high-tech firms become more competitive by better connecting them with innovation and business development expertise within the institute, around New Zealand and overseas.
“It will focus on industries with high growth potential such as food and beverage manufacturing, agri-technologies, digital technologies, health technologies, therapeutics, and high-value wood products.
“The Advanced Technology Institute Bill establishes the ATI as a Crown Agent recognising its mix of commercial and non-commercial objectives; its role in facilitation, and as a gateway through which businesses can access funding for research and development.”
The Government has committed $166 million over the next four years to create the ATI, which will be named after the late Sir Paul Callaghan. It will be located in Auckland, the Hutt Valley and Christchurch. Industrial Research Limited (IRL) will be an integral part of the ATI but the ATI’s focus will be broader in scope than the current IRL.
Last month the Government appointed a seven-member Establishment Board, charged with making the necessary decisions to get the institute operational once the bill is passed.
The bill now goes to the Education and Science Committee for consideration.