Saturday, December 2, 2023

Global science park leader eyes NZ opportunity

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China’s Tus-Holdings signs memorandum of understanding.
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The world’s largest science park owner is exploring opportunities in New Zealand that could boost the country’s scientific research infrastructure.

The arrival of China-owned Tus-Holdings is set to support business growth through the commercialisation of innovations in the bioscience, agritech and healthcare sectors.

Tus-Holdings has been involved in the planning, construction and operation management of international assets worth $48 billion, operating 300 start-up incubators in 70 science parks in 100 cities around the world, including China, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Egypt, Brazil and the United States.  

The organisation has also partnered with more than 200 tertiary education providers, including Cambridge University, to support the growth of thousands of companies over the past 30 years.

A memorandum of understanding signed by the company and NZ’s former ambassador to China in his current role as chair of the council of NEXT Federation, Tony Browne, has the potential to lead to the establishment of a multimillion-dollar local incubation facility to help Kiwi food, health and other technology businesses access the Chinese market.

As part of the agreement, Tus-Holdings will explore the joint construction of science and technology industrial parks in NZ, Australia and China to promote and commercialise innovation.

Browne said if established, a new technology park in NZ could represent a significant opportunity for the expansion of the country’s science and tech sectors.

“Through its incubation and funding ecosystem, Tus-Holdings has helped thousands of fledgling tech companies, including 94 listed companies, develop from start-up phase to reach their full potential,” Browne said. 

“The TusPark Cambridge facility has successfully helped British companies enter and grow within the Chinese market and it is hoped that this model could yield similar outcomes if introduced here.”

TusPark Cambridge is a 40,000m2 facility that is the largest development project and the first science park partnership in the 472-year history of the British university.

A delegation from Tus-Holdings, led by executive vice-president Chen Hongbo, who is also president of the Spanish-headquartered International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation, will arrive in NZ later this month as part of an upcoming global trade summit in Auckland.

A number of the country’s healthcare organisations and large  food exporters, including principal partners Fonterra, Rockit and Keraplast,  will use the event, High 5 New Zealand International Health Industry Summit, to promote their products.

International agencies sending delegations include Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency, which facilitates access for the country’s 270 million residents to new tech products; China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, including the departments of Energy-Saving Equipment and Consumer Goods Industry, which cover many of NZ’s bulk raw material suppliers such as milk powder, butter and dairy.

The former chief executive of Yashili Dairy in Waikato and current Next Federation executive chair William Zhao said the event will offer Kiwi exporters the opportunity to connect with key international decision makers on their home soil.

“Accessing offshore markets, particularly those that are highly regulated and complex can be challenging for NZ businesses.

“One of the key benefits of the upcoming event will be the ability for Kiwi exporters to showcase their brands in their native environment and interact with government decision makers who are keen to learn more about what the country has to offer,” Zhao said. 

The High 5 New Zealand International Health Industry Summit and Trade Event will be held in Auckland on November 24 at the Due Drop Event Centre. 

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