Alistair Mowat of ZESPRI explains how New Zealand’s unique location in the world presents significant challenges for industry. Our distance from global markets makes it more difficult to interact with consumers and respond to changing needs and opportunities. Innovation is necessary to be able to create products and services that are globally relevant and sought after.
When we look at the importance of innovation to New Zealand, New Zealand has a unique location in the world, it has a unique diversity of people. They create opportunities. It also has a number of significant challenges. It’s distant from markets, it’s not regularly interacting on a daily basis with people in large global cities who are potential end users of solutions and products and services from New Zealand.
We can’t rely on products which historically have been effective at being exported and sold to consumers, because the world around us is changing. The values of the people in the marketplace are changing, the demographics, the culture, their requirements are changing, and so we can’t stand still. Innovation is as critical just from the point of view of keeping our products and services fresh and relevant to global consumers and the issues that they face. But also, we have unique resources, unique people, unique ways of bringing those various elements together, and innovation allows us to do that in a way which is relevant to people globally.
We desperately need those skills. We can’t afford to be just inventing new products and services in isolation to that, and so innovation gives you the discipline to be able to create products and services which are globally relevant and sought.
Dr Martin Markotsis, SCION
Alistair Mowat, ZESPRI