Symposium: Growing more innovative and productive Kiwi firms

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Intercontinental Hotel, Wellington

Time:  09.00 to 17.00

Kiwis like to think they are an innovative bunch, but just how innovative are our firms? And how can they lift their game? Innovation has a key role to play in lifting New Zealand’s productivity and ultimately our wellbeing. What are the latest policy insights which can help us get there?

The Productivity Hub hosted a major symposium on innovation and productivity with keynote speeches by leading international and domestic experts. It showcased the analysis of firm innovation being undertaken using the Longitudinal Business Dataset and the ways in which economic research can help inform policy choices.

18 April: Thanks to all who attended for contributing to such a lively discussion. The full transcript (PDF, 5.45MB), is now available or see by session below. The presentation slides are also available below.

Blog by Paul Conway: Benefiting from innovation - what’s the secret sauce?


Summary of the key themes and selected presentations (PDF, 186Kb)



Gary Dunnet, Statistics New Zealand (PDF, 123Kb)

Session 1:   How government and business can work together to encourage innovation, the importance of looking at markets in new ways, and the importance of getting researchers to work across networks (PDF, 330Kb)  


Sarah Holden, Callaghan Innovation

Holden slides, PDF, 1.3Mb 


Professor Kaj Storbacka, University of Auckland

Storbacka slides, PDF, 439Kb

Professor Shaun Hendy, Auckland University

Hendy slides, PDF, 2.8Mb 
Session 2:

Linking innovation and productivity back to a broader economic narrative (PDF, 324Kb)


Keynote address:

Gabriel Makhlouf, New Zealand Treasury

Makhlouf slides, PDF, 111.Kb

Keynote address:  

Sir David Ramsden, HM Treasury

Ramsden slides, PDF, 553Kb

Session 3:

The design of R&D support schemes (PDF, 311Kb)


Keynote address: 

Professor Beth Webster, Swinburne University of Technology

Webster slides, PDF, 3.9Mb


Professor Adam Jaffe, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Jaffe slides, PDF, 124Kb

Session 4:

The relationship between innovation and productivity in New Zealand and overseas firms (PDF, 178Kb)


Keynote address:  

Professor Bronwyn Hall, University of California at Berkeley

Hall slides, PDF, 311Kb


Dr Simon Wakeman, New Zealand Productivity Commission

Wakeman slides, PDF, 247Kb

Session 5:

ICT, innovation and productivity (PDF, 319Kb)


Keynote address:

Professor Eric Bartelsman, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Bartelsman slides, PDF, 3.4Mb


Dr Peter Crabtree, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Crabtree slides, PDF, 936Kb

Closing remarks:

Murray Sherwin, New Zealand Productivity Commission Closing remarks (PDF, 108Kb)


Speaker presentations (PDF, 2.64Mb)


See the Storify about the event or the tweets from the event: #InnovateNZ.

The conference was kindly sponsored by:

  • Callaghan Innovation
  • The Centre for Transformative Innovation (Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Productivity Commission
  • Statistics New Zealand
  • Te Punaha Matatini (Centre of Research Excellence)
  • The Treasury

For information about the Productivity Hub and future events, please contact the Secretariat on

The productivity symposium was held in conjunction with the 2015 Government Economics Network conference on 30 November 2015.