Launch Of Peace Software Scholarship

  • Max Bradford
Enterprise and Commerce

Peace Software is a living example of a business embracing the knowledge-age.

Peace invests in its own people, its own intellectual capital, by offering employees a share in the company. It is also thinking and pushing ahead into the future by investing in up and coming young talent through its scholarship programme.

This is not a time to stand still, but a lot of businesses don't seem to be in touch with the future direction of business in New Zealand, or the world.

Peace Software is obviously the exception.

New Zealand needs to move away from being a commodity-based economy and into the knowledge-based economy, the basis of which is people and intellectual capital.

This shift needs to happen holistically to include business, research and tertiary institutions. Business can play an important part in creating a more commercial focus to research and study.

By having a closer relationship institutions will provide courses and skills students need to get the job that they want in the growing industries.

This one of the issues being canvassed as part of the 5 Steps Ahead programme.

The 5 Steps Ahead are:

* lifting New Zealanders' skills and New Zealand's intellectual knowledge base;
* better focusing the direction of the Government's effort in research and development;
* improving access to risk and investment capital;
* ensuring regulations and laws support, not frustrate, innovation; and
* promoting success, and building a supportive culture for creative and innovative New Zealanders.
Currently, I am formulating policy documents around the concepts of the 5 Steps Ahead programme.

These reforms will result in changes in government policy and a major work programme. I will make an announcement in August at the 5 Steps Ahead conference.

About the Scholarship programme

* Up to $100,000 available in scholarships for talented tertiary students studying computer science and related fields.

* Twenty scholarships are worth $5000 each.

* The graduates get salaried work with Peace for a year.

* The scholarship programme was piloted last year and was successful.

* The programme is run over the web - using the internet to its potential

* The largest scholarship programme offered in the technology and energy sector.

About the company

* Peace Software develops and manufactures customer information and billing software for utilities in deregulated markets.
* Its Energy system is installed at 20 sites in 4 countries.
* It was cited in the 5 Steps Ahead forum brochures as having secured a venture capital injection of $20 million.
* 150 staff, 65% of these are software developers. Its goal is to have 300 developers by 2001.
* Staff are rewarded for their contribution by being able to have a stake in the company.
* Majority of staff are under 30.
* Peace Software's success in the US utility market has taken the company into the finals in two categories of Trade New Zealand's 1999 New Zealand Export Awards, (announced last Monday). Peace is a finalist in the category of DHL Medium Exporter Award and in the category of the Ministry for International Trade's Export Scholarship.