bizEDGE New Zealand logo
Story image

Scion joins KiwiNet consortium to boost forestry commercialisation

Crown Research Institute Scion is the latest organisation to join the Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet), a consortium aimed at increasing the scale and impact of scientific and technology based innovation in New Zealand.

KiwiNet's 14 shareholding partners now account for around 70 percent of New Zealand's science capability with over 7000 research staff and a collective research spend of almost $1 billion. The others include WaikatoLink, Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Callaghan Innovation, Viclink, Landcare Research, Cawthron Institute, ESR and NIWA.

KiwiNet general manager Bram Smith said Scion will benefit from the collective capability KiwiNet has built up and, in turn, will further strengthen the network by bringing in valuable new IP, knowledge and contacts that will benefit other partners.

Rotorua-based Scion specialises in research, science and technology development for the forestry industry and the manufacturing industries that use forest-derived and other bio-materials.

Scion's commercialisations include improved tree genetics, a decision support forecasting model now used to manage half of New Zealand and Australian softwood plantations, new materials and products from wood fibre such as wood plastics, and environmental technologies such as TERAX™, which converts municipal sewage or wastewater into energy and useful products.

It has other new products in the pipeline that it is hoping KiwiNet will help commercialise to maximum benefit to the industry and Scion's customers, the CRI's chief executive, Warren Parker, said.

Since it was formed three years ago, KiwiNet has invested $11.4 million of pre-seed money from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment into 342 projects.

BusinessDesk receives funding from Callaghan Innovation to assist coverage of the commercialisation of innovation.