How Does the National Innovation System in New Zealand Support the Growth of Business and New Ventures


Michael Wade, San Ly, Edmond Teoh, Zeus Engineer

          New Zealand has generally had a labour and capital based strategy to stimulate economic and production growth. Its innovation system has been shaped by the country’s geographic location, its business structure and its focus on exploiting natural resources [8]. More recently though, it has moved towards a knowledge based economy [1] where the diffusion of knowledge, innovative thinking and the commercialisation of creative and marketable ideas are more important. A problem encountered in New Zealand is that there are many innovative and creative ideas which are not being utilised to start up new ventures [11]. The government introduced organisations helping entrepreneurs to establish new companies and assisting small ventures to grow and pursue research and development. These organisations are referred to as incubators. The purpose of incubators is to aid this transfer of knowledge, from those who possess experience in the field, to those attempting to make use of their creative ideas. They seek to maximise the potential of entrepreneurial actors with services and support that complement their existing talents and resources, which in turn is meant to enable them to expand their potential [2]. They are the link between a potentially marketable idea and the commercialisation of this idea. In this paper, we will discuss how incubators work, the effect they are having on the National System of Innovation in New Zealand, and the role that incubators play in supporting private firms to pursue innovation and research commercialisation.

          Incubators originated in Batavia, New York in 1959[7]. One of its first clients was said to be a poultry producer - hence the term ‘incubators’ [7]. They protect and facilitate business development in the earliest, most critical stages [10]. The National Business Incubator Association believes their purpose is to help the development and...