A new government initiative, billed at $35 million, is set to encourage world-renowned researchers and entrepreneurs to New Zealand.
Entrepreneurial Universities—as the endeavour has been titled—will encourage all of New Zealand’s universities to enter into 50:50 partnerships to acquire the expertise of highly sought-after entrepreneurial academics and their teams.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Steven Joyce, describes it as an “unashamedly elite fund,” saying innovators will need to be highly qualified and to be involved they must have history in innovation and entrepreneurship in a valuable sector, such as biotech or computer science.
It is hoped that over the next three to five years 15 to 20 entrepreneurs will travel to New Zealand accompanied by their teams.
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At $1 million per team per year, the initiative is expected to be worthwhile for start-up companies, commercialisation of intellectual property, and scientific training for young people.
The initiative began as a start-up at the University of Auckland but is by no means a new business model—many currently exist throughout the world, particularly in the US and the UK.