University of Auckland seeks new tech innovation opportunities in Japan

New Zealand entrepreneurs and researchers will benefit from a Memorandum of Understanding between Auckland UniServices, the commercialisation arm of the University of Auckland, and Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), to develop new and innovative technology opportunities.

Professor Rosalind Archer, Head of Department of Engineering Science and Director of the Geothermal Institute, attended the signing.

The signing ceremony took place on 20 September at Conrad Tokyo with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in attendance. The MOU was signed by Dr Andy Shenk, representing the University of Auckland, and President of AIST Dr Chubachi Ryoji.

The agreement will enable the two parties to significantly increase technological cooperation in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), advanced materials and energy. The MOU aims to build a framework to encourage close cooperation between students and researchers, and collaboration through exhanges and joint research projects.

Auckland UniServices chief executive Dr Andy Shenk says the collaboration will bring many more ideas and research to market readiness and beyond.

“We are excited to advance technological innovations with a research institute of the highest calibre and reputation. AIST will provide vital experience and contacts in the local market to give NZ entrepreneurs an edge when trying to leverage opportunities in Japan and other international markets. The exchange of knowledge will undoubtedly develop ground-breaking technology products that will create jobs and multi-million-dollar revenues for both nations,” he says.

“We were particularly keen to partner with AIST as they share a similar vision to UniServices in creating new technologies that not only improve the economy but also build a more sustainable and eco-friendly society.”

The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s leading university, a diverse institute with staff and students from 110 countries. It is strongly research-led and its key faculties include Engineering, Science, and Medical and Health Science.

Each year UniServices works on some 1,200 projects with more than 300 New Zealand and global firms. In 2018, UniServices generated new research contracts worth $169.4 million, executed more than 84 patent licences and created 11 businesses to commercialise university research. Around $148 million was raised by UniServices’ spin-out companies in the last five years.

Media contact

Nibras Kardaman
DDI: 09 373 7522