Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: On Science

69 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Act's policy here reminds me of McGillicuddy Serious Party policy. I asked a friend who was standing for them where he got all his ideas from, and he said that if it's outside their basic great leap backwards policy, just make it up, make sure it's funny and stupid, and the 'head office' such as it was will back you.

    Act seems to be the same. We don't have a policy, but we'll happily fall back on free market theory in the absence of one. Guaranteed to be stupid.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    now all that NZ gets to keep is the patent licensing revenue.

    I'd argue that this is precisely the sort of business model that NZ needs to be aiming for in many situations.

    We're a pair of small islands, containing very few people, sitting miles from anywhere. Tech is easily and cheaply exported. Hardware is not.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    We're a pair of small islands, containing very few people, sitting miles from anywhere. Tech is easily and cheaply exported. Hardware is not.

    I see your point but New Zealand has an established track record in exporting the bi-products of interactions between sun, water and biomass.

    I suspect there is also a point at which our ability to create tech is limited by our ability to make stuff or indeed the exposure to making stuff.

    My experiences have lead me to believe that situations where the exporting of tech is the best answer are fewer than we imagine.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Rich:

    So Buckley Systems is not a goer? They send tonnes of "value added" metal overseas. Tonnes of some of the biggest magnets around!

    We consume over 500 tons of steel, 20 tons of aluminium and 65 tons of copper per month.

    On the contrary, I would argue strongly that what we want is 100 more Buckley Systems within the country to just begin with.

    Selling out IP - even for a licence - is shortsighted if we want to get this high value manufacturing sector up and running.

    This is the sort of technology that gets bought off and canned in a couple of years and wasted until the 18 year patent period lapses.

    We can do better that that. We must.

    Make sure you read the post on Public Broadcasting here on PAS. What is scary is that what has happened to broadcasting is relevant to what has happened to NZ science and NZ manufacturing.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    I see your point but New Zealand has an established track record in exporting the bi-products of interactions between sun, water and biomass.

    That does rather limit the options, though. To put it crudely: farm or fuck off :)

    I'm sure there's a few coders, filmtechs, and from Matthew's link, electrical engineers who might not be too happy with that message.

    I suspect there is also a point at which our ability to create tech is limited by our ability to make stuff or indeed the exposure to making stuff

    Yes, true. But more true for some industries than others. Concentrating on the ones that are less capital intensive, and which require less in the way of imported heavy items, and which can be exported or licensed easily, might pay big dividends.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Anybody here applied for the first round of HRC funding and heard this week that they've got into the second round? My research centre had 13 applications and 2 have got through to the second round. The whole university only got 3 into the second round. Even those initial applications take weeks of work.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Ross: the word I deliberately used was 'many'. Not 'all'. I don't see why the two are mutually exclusive.

    I personally think it's an often overlooked and extremely underutilised option.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    We can of course do both. There are times when it is possible to establish the industry in NZ and times when that simply doesn't make sense but you make money from a discovery that someone else can use.

    In the plant science field, some of our discoveries are best applied to crops that we just don't grow. In that situation it make perfect sense to license the discovery to someone who can use it. Other projects can create or improve NZ farmers/growers directly.

    Both models can work and both models can generate earnings for NZ. It's worth noting that improving rice production or yield by a fraction of a percentage could make NZ more money than producing a new apple that is only grown in NZ.

    "Selling out" is simply not a helpful term nor is "benefit to NZ" or "industry alignment".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Anyone know their shit?
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/5939399/Costly-hi-tech-systems-vital-to-sewer-rebuild

    Residential Red lost to the Earth Quake and CERA are one thing. We have not looked at the loss of residential areas due to sea level rise.

    I have seen the EQ as an oppitunity to step out of this looming disaster, but the Council seems sure to recreate New Orleans.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie, in reply to Just thinking,

    I know some things about shit. Down side of putting a pressure sewer system in is that each property needs to have a small tank with a macerator pump in it to chop up the chunky bits and pump the wastewater into a pressurised main. The good thing is that sewer main might be 50mm diameter rather than gravity sewers where you might have to bury larger pipes, ie 100mm or 300mm and larger. If you are starting from scratch a pressured system is likely to be cheaper (I would have thought). However the homeowner will have to fix their own pump if it breaks and if the power goes off - no pumping..... Gravity systems still have big pump stations which collect all the wastewater from the gravity sewers but when the power goes off you can stick a generator on those (if you have one handy).
    If you have the right topography you can use a vacuum system instead they then you don't need pumps on each property. You have to bury those pipes at specify grades so in that respect is a bit like a gravity system.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Several councillors, including Mayor Bob Parker, spoke against community board delegation.
    "This is not an easy decision. There will be some people unhappy, but this is your job. Delegate to the community boards at your peril."
    The motion did not pass.

    Oh no, not acceptable, http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/5947202/Lips-zipped-on-Cera-land-proposal
    Mayor Bob Parker said he could not provide information about what had been discussed as councillors unanimously agreed to discuss the item in private.
    Further information would be made available once all of the "concerned parties" had seen a council report about the memorandum, Parker said.
    A Cera spokeswoman said the authority would not comment on anything the council chose to discuss in private. "If they want to keep it secret, that's for their own reasons ... it's not our place to interfere in the process," she said.

    Bucks passed.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking, in reply to Rosie,

    Thanks

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich Lock,

    now all that NZ gets to keep is the patent licensing revenue.

    I’d argue that this is precisely the sort of business model that NZ needs to be aiming for in many situations.

    Except that we could've kept the entire company in NZ ownership and just licensed the manufacturing elsewhere. That way we'd get both the licence revenue and the patent revenue. We don't have to manufacture locally (though goodness knows we need some more high-tech manufacturing within the NZ economy) in order to get more money than just patent licensing revenue.

    Ultimately I'm against any sale of NZ companies that develop high-tech, because it's a continuation of the the race-to-the-bottom that's defined our monocular focus on primary industry uber alles. This example is just a confirmation that we're selling stuff to foreign companies that could've been kept in NZ hands for the long-term benefit of our scientific and manufacturing industries.

    But, hey, at least we've got a metric fuckload of bovines.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Yes, a good point I overlooked in my reading of the article.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Rich Lock,

    We’re a pair of small islands, containing very few people, sitting miles from anywhere.

    We are an archipelago, and the largest grouping of peoples in the South Pacific.
    That's where we are, where we belong, and the first arrivals didnt find the place "sitting miles from anywhere." Days of sailing, yes, BUT we knew where we were, and where we'd come from - and how to return - or venture further forth-

    It isnt all farming, forestry, fishing: it is the attitudes, ideas, and the conviction that *we* can actually do a sufficient - or better than others - job of living in these many many islands.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    But, hey, at least we’ve got a metric fuckload of bovines.

    Which, regrettably, are prone to extremely contagious & easily spread diseases.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The other problem with farming as a long term business is that huge areas of Africa and Asia are farmed using pre-modern techniques. When the people in those countries get it together to farm effectively, it'll be a lot harder for us to sell our produce.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Islander,

    But, hey, at least we’ve got a metric fuckload of bovines.

    Which, regrettably, are prone to extremely contagious & easily spread diseases.

    Choir. Preaching. etc.
    I've said several times that we're one foot-and-mouth outbreak away from economic catastrophe. It'd make Christchurch look like a minor blip on a very large financial radar by comparison.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    As aforesaid-
    and I'd suggest that *all* pollies really really dont want us to start thinking about it...
    because then the emphasis would immediately turn to sci-research (instead of phuqueing tourism or filming stuff or goopy gloopy feel-good antics and stadia
    and other bread&circuses shit.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.