Industry partnership to promote businesses

A major initiative by Massey University is expected to lead towards a sustainable and fruitful partnership with Auckland based businesses, promoting research, business development and exchange of information.

Led by the Auckland Knowledge Exchange (AKE) Hub of the University, the initiative aims to build a stronger link with commercial and industrial entities in North Shore.

An event held on May 1 enabled more than 70 businesses in North Shore to understand the concept and discuss ways and means of moving forward, creating in the process a North Shore Innovation Hub.

Rich potential

Dr Jeffery Stangl, Senior Lecturer at Massey University’s Albany Campus said that the North Shore community was rich in resources with a huge potential that could offer major benefits to the economy.

“We want you to tell us, as your local University, how we can help your business grow. What we envisage is a ‘Hub Club’ that can be part of a community of like-minded individuals interested in working together collectively to grow the local economy,” he said in his opening comments.

He said that the AKE Hub will work with Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Callaghan Innovation (an independent Crown entity) and Massey University e-Centre to host a contingent of Auckland firms and Massey business students.

Professor Shaun Hendy, a Massey Alumni, currently working at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at Victoria University Wellington, shared his research on New Zealand innovation networks and outlined the innovation ecosystem in New Zealand with Auckland at the centre and spoke about the importance of knowledge hubs.

“New Zealand must open up the exchange of information and ideas within its innovation sector and become an exporter of knowledge, rather than nature. When you look at places that can sustain innovation, there is always a university connection,” he said.

Professor Hendy hoped that the AKE Hub would continue to progress and that over the next ten years, such initiatives become important factors in building interaction between businesses and universities.

Partnership Pact

The event also marked the signing of a partnership agreement between the AKE Hub and Toyota Financial Services.

Under the agreement, Massey will become the company’s preferred research partner and the two organisations will collaborate on future projects.

The partnership will also connect Toyota Financial Services (TFS) with Massey’s best business students for internship and employment opportunities.

“The Agreement with TFS is fantastic for the AKE Hub because it reflects our close engagement and collaboration with another major company,” AKE Hub director Professor Christoph Schumacher said.

“We want the Hub initiative to bring the academic and corporate worlds closer so that Massey serves better the needs of our local business community through our research and the future employees we produce,” he added.

TFS Chief Executive Brent Knight said that his company was excited to expand its involvement with Massey by joining the AKE Hub.

“This development not only strengthens our relationship with the University, but it also provides our organisation with access to a wide range of first-class business and research resources that I believe will be enormously valuable to our efforts in driving continuous improvement and innovation,” he said.

The photograph appearing with this report show Professor Christoph Schumacher signing the Partnership agreement with Toyota Financial Services’ Chief Executive and Massey MBA alumni Brent Knight, with Dr Jeff Stangl and Professor Paul Spoonley from the AKE Hub.

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