Call for papers: Wellington Workshop on Science & Technology Policy Wellington, New Zealand, 16 - 22 February 1997

Nachrichten: Seminare/Kongresse/Veranstaltungen

Wellington Workshop on Science & Technology Policy

Wellington, New Zealand, 16 - 22 February 1997


Many countries are implementing changes to their domestic economies in response to the emerging global economy and the need to compete successfully within it. New Zealand is no exception to this trend but for historical reasons is already further down the track to economic reform than many other countries. New Zealand's economy has been re-engineered over the last ten years in three key areas:

In the economic environment the New Zealand dollar was floated, the country's financial markets were deregulated, subsidies were removed, inflation was reduced and taxation reforms were introduced with the emphasis of taxation on consumption instead of income.

In the industrial sector protection from international competition was removed, the labour market was deregulated, and attention was focused on quality, customer service and fostering neutrality between sectors.

In the large public sector the key changes were the corporatisation and privatisation of Government trading activities, financial management reform, the devolution of managerial responsibility, improved incentives for performance, sound human resource management, and better financial performance.

Radical changes to Science and Technology Policy

New Zealand's public science and technology policy has been radically changed as part of this re-engineering process through the development of strategic priorities for science and technology and the allocation of public funds to meet those priorities on a competitive basis. New methodologies have been devised to assess these priorities - in itself a unique development - and new organisations established to manage the 'purchase' of science and technology. Government funded research and development institutions were restructured into a series of Crown owned companies with sharp emphasis on customer focus and business ethics. Special provision was made for the basic sciences, scholarship and training and to encourage participation in science and technology and the protection of the special knowledge base and mana of New Zealand's indigenous Maori people. Funds previously 'ring fenced' by departmental votes were centralised and made available through contestability and tendering to all research providers.

These changes have led to improvements in efficiency, stronger links between the public and private sectors and many other benefits, attracting widespread interest from the international community.

The Workshop

The Wellington Workshop on Science and Technology Policy, hosted by Victoria Link Ltd in association with the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (London), and key New Zealand Science & Technology organisations, will enable senior science managers, fund allocators and policy makers to examine these reforms for themselves. Delegates can contribute their own experiences with colleagues from around the world and discuss the opportunities and hazards that policy reform may present with local managers and scientists. The emphasis of the Workshop will be on interactivity, and the exchange of participants' own perspectives will be an important part of the event.

The Workshop will open in Wellington with presentations on the background of the reforms over the last ten years. Participants will then have the opportunity to discuss fundamental parts of the New Zealand reforms at a series of general sessions preceded by short presentations from key proponents of the changes. A critical analysis of the results in New Zealand, involving Workshop participants, and the experiences of other countries will also be presented.

Workshop participants will examine a broad range of issues of relevance to science and technology policy development and management, through the programme's discussions and general sessions.

These will include

Setting the scene - New Zealand's Vision

The new science and technology system

How the government funds science

The provision of science and technology

Partnerships with the business sector

The role of the Universities

Monitoring, evaluation and review

The institutional response

International experiences

Site visit options*

Review and conclusions.

Site Visits*

In addition to discussing the thinking behind the re-organisation of New Zealand and other countries' science and technology policies and the resulting changes that have been made, an important part of the Workshop will be the opportunity presented for participants to see how the reforms in New Zealand have been implemented in practice at the operational level through site visits. A choice of three itineraries has been arranged for participants in the second half of the Workshop, during which they will visit a number of sites to discuss policy management, funding and other issues with local managers and scientists. Visits to Research Institutes will concentrate not on the science activity but on management systems and interrelationships.

Each group will be accompanied by a Workshop host familiar with science and technology in New Zealand. At the conclusion of the visits all three groups will travel to Auckland, New Zealand's largest city and principal manufacturing and trading centre, for the final session of the Workshop.

Applications for the Wellington Workshop on Science and Technology Policy close with Victoria Link Ltd in Wellington on Friday December 13, 1996.

A detailed daily programme of events can be obtained from:

Wellington Workshop on Science & Technology Policy
Victoria Link Ltd
P.O. Box 1762
Wellington, New Zealand
Tel.: + 64 4 495 5135 (NZ Standard Time is GMT + 12 hours)
Fax: + 64 4 495 5199
E-mail: stworkshopLkt9∂vuw ac nz