Support from the Paul Kelly Faculty Enhancement Fund is boosting research at the University’s Business School aimed at better understanding New Zealand’s traditional industries and how they can create value through innovation.
The Innovation in Traditional Industries Project is led by Professor of Innovation and Research Management Kenneth Husted and philanthropic funding has enabled the appointment of a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Paul Woodfield. The project is addressing issues of value creation and growth in fundamental economic sectors, such as the primary, manufacturing, engineering and service industries.
Traditional industries constitute a substantial part of employment and production in many developed countries, including New Zealand, and are widely recognised as the backbone of our economy. Many firms in the traditional industries are very innovative both in relation to the products/ services and the processes they use to create the products and services, Kenneth says. “However, we also have many firms in the traditional sector which have not yet realised how to create value through systematic innovation.”
“Traditional industries often gain a real competitive advantage when they adopt technology supplied by New Zealand manufacturers. We believe New Zealand could create significant economic momentum through cultivating technologies in and around our traditional industries.”
It is intended that the project will help to build capability through postgraduate, Māori management and tailored executive programmes. The more long-term ambition is to lift the innovation-management capacity in and around traditional industries in New Zealand and thereby enable these to increase their investment in research and development.