The government has recruited Navman founder Sir Peter Maire and Wynyard Group chief executive Craig Richardson to the board of its new high tech “one-stop-shop”, and put a woman in charge.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise director Robin Hapi and Professor Peter Hunter from Auckland University are also new appointments to the board of Callaghan Innovation ahead of its opening for business of February 1.
Sue Suckling, who is currently chairing the establishment board to set up the new Crown entity, will chair the board. However, foundation board member and a key influence on the reforms, entrepreneur Neville Jordan, has not been appointed.
The only director reappointed from the Crown Research Institute, Industrial Research Ltd, to be retained is Richard Janes, who joined the IRL board in 2011.
IRL proposed an alternative approach to the restructuring, suggesting creation of an Advanced Technology Institute, with Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch campuses.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce went instead for a wider amalgamation of innovation assets, including a role for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, with whom the new entity shares a head office in central Wellington.
Callaghan Innovation, named after the late scientist Sir Paul Callaghan, brings together the current operations of IRL, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s business investments team and the Auckland Foodbowl.
The government has set aside $166 million of funding over four years for the organisation charged with converting great ideas into successful businesses.
Auckland Transport director Paul Lockey and Australian company director Dr Michele Allan are moving from the establishment board to the new board.
“I am confident this board will successfully set up Callaghan Innovation as an organisation that is fully in tune with businesses’ needs and will help them grow through science and innovation,” Joyce said in a statement.
“It will deliver fresh thinking and offer a diversity of perspective and experience that Callaghan Innovation will benefit from.”
IRL chief executive Shaun Coffey did not move to the new organisation and a new chief executive appointment is imminent.
The new institute has been described as a “one stop shop” for high value, innovative businesses with high growth potential.