March 9, 2021

Innovation workshop will build technological understanding

Innovation workshop will build technological understanding
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Whanganui & Partners is delivering a workshop designed to make data-driven innovation accessible to local business.

As part of its COVID-19 work, the economic development agency has been putting thought into where Whanganui is headed over the longer-term.

While Whanganui has a strong economic base across a range of sectors, including manufacturing, agri-business, creative industries, technology and public health, Whanganui & Partners has explored how to help these sectors grow and be set up for the future.

The i4 Data Lab Design Workshop, on March 15, introduces users to the Industry 4 Accelerator, which is a data-driven innovation program.

The workshop will be delivered by Malcolm Fraser, a member of not-for-profit organisation The Collaborative. The Collaborative was formed to help industry, government and institutions use science and emerging technologies to improve sustainability and success.

In 2020, Massey University, The Collaborative and Microsoft in partnership with a range of public, private and NGO organisations developed the concept of the Industry 4.0 Accelerator (i4) program and engaged with a wide range of stakeholders across regional New Zealand to refine the overall program design and potential execution model.

Fraser says the core focus of the i4 Accelerator program is to support the development of New Zealand’s “national data economy”.

Whanganui & Partners Business Growth Advisor Tim Easton said Whanganui businesses are perfectly positioned to benefit from the workshop.

“We have wide use of innovation technology by local industry, and a reputation as a city of design, innovation and collaboration,” Easton said.

“This workshop further refines what our innovative businesses are working on, and provides direction for us to grow further in this field.”

Easton said it was important to be at the forefront of innovation technology as Whanganui positions itself as a leader in the sector. “The i4 Accelerator is a sought-after program and a huge win for Whanganui business,” he said.

It does this by empowering regional “innovation ecosystems” through the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Trusted Data Platform technologies.

The workshop uses tools and practices to identify and drive innovation, seeking an end result of collaboration, capacity and capability growth.

Fraser will tailor the workshop to suit the individual needs of the participants and the discussions which arise during the session.

The outcome of the workshop is to help individuals and organisations to transition and thrive in Industry 4.0; the collective name for Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Trusted Data Platform technologies.

This workshop has been met with high demand and its success will lead to further offerings in the innovation technology space.

About Malcolm Fraser

For 30 years, Fraser has used his extensive technology-based experience to build regional innovation ecosystems. He has been involved in a large number of projects in the region, including Rural Innovation Lab pilot design, WelNet financial operating model, New Zealand eScience Infrastructure, Vodafone Partner Competency Programme, and Hamilton City Council’s Authority Replacement Feasibility Study.

Malcolm aims to help public and private stakeholders understand the role of digital and data technologies in organisations, to bring about public good outcomes.

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