New Zealand is heavily reliant on primary industries for economic prosperity!


Our primary industries are now entering a time of significant disruption due to factors such as emerging digital and biological technologies, rapid increase in the consumer acceptability of plant‐based proteins, global value chain disruption and changes to the international trading environment and rising environmental challenges and concerns.

Accelerating Adoption

These disruptors are impacting New Zealand now, and while our primary production ecosystems are underpinned by a mature set of capabilities in science, infrastructure, strategies, policies and human knowledge/capability, we need to accelerate the adoption of smart digital and bio technologies by our primary sector business models over the next 3 – 5 years to:

  1. improve outputs from New Zealand primary industries

  2. increase international competitiveness and add value to the goods or services we produce

  3. Create new digital products and services for use in primary sector production, processing and distribution

  4. achieve better environmental outcomes and inter-generational sustainability

New Zealand’s regional economies and communities are also heavily reliant on these primary industries, as they are largely responsible for extracting and processing the materials that turn primary sector products into international exports for New Zealand which are now worth over $30 billion (2017).


Regional Innovation in New Zealand: Threat and Opportunity

Digital Inclusion and Skill Development

Achieving a larger proportion of knowledge‐intensive and high‐value activities in our primary industries is critical to making New Zealand regions more resilient to the looming threats created by technological change, globalisation, demographic change and climate change.

However, many of New Zealand’s regional economies and communities currently lack the necessary skills, resources and/or co‐ordination capabilities required to support the smart use of digital and biological technologies in their regional primary sector ecosystems.

These factors requires a collaborative approach to innovation creation and coordination across government, iwi, academia and industry and to drive primary industry transformation and support sustainable social and economic growth in regional New Zealand through digital transformation, inclusion and workforce development.


Working Alone…Doesn’t Work!

Realising these goals is not possible through institutions, organisations and people acting alone.

There is a need for alignment of vision and intent, and cultivation of complex interaction and cooperation, between many parties. Enabling deliberate, collaborative action – particularly ‘collaborative innovation’ – is essential to successfully joining up these parties in the co-creation and execution of new ideas and initiatives.

These Collaborative Innovation efforts are best supported by universal principles of openness, fairness, transparency, trust, mutuality and accountability, and benefit significantly from diversity in thought, experience and cultural contexts.

In the New Zealand context successful collaborative innovation depends, in particular, on recognizing the value of Maori views, knowledge and innovation practices. Where appropriate, it is acknowledged that these should be incorporated into any cooperative venture that seeks to develop the new knowledge and the new ways of working essential to fostering sustainable economic and social development.

Collaborations that Scale

We need well-designed, well-governed, accountable, and impactful collaborations that scale, which is why we are working with local communities across New Zealand to help create collaborative and sustainable social and economic initiatives so everyone can access the benefits technologies provide and the opportunities they create.

Collaborative Innovation


A Collaborative Innovation Network


The Start to a Grand Experiment

With these things in mind, and with an explicit focus on achieving goals associated with the role New Zealand’s primary industries play in regional economic and social development and in the environment, the Primary Industries and Regional Innovation Collaborative (“PIRIC”) was established, in accordance with the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between The Collaborative Limited and Microsoft New Zealand Limited dated 22/08/2018.

Together with our other founding members we have created our Charter which establishes PIRIC governance arrangements, sets out the terms and conditions of PIRIC membership, and articulates principles to guide PIRIC activities. The PIRIC is a voluntary and unincorporated association, the Charter and MoU does not establish any kind of separate legal entity and, other than where stated to the contrary, is not intended to be legally binding. Among other things, this Charter is intended to:

  1. Provide the basis for trust and alignment between PIRIC members.

  2. Engender a collaborative innovation approach between parties.

  3. Help to create a fair and level playing field between parties.

  4. Reduce risk and uncertainty.

  5. Provide a basis for mutual understanding of how issues such as possible creation of intellectual property will be handled.

To join the PIRIC, each member must sign the signatory page at the end of the Charter, confirming that it will comply with and agrees to be bound by the terms of the Charter.

Doing so will give PIRIC members confidence that all members are mutually committed to the success of the PIRIC and have appropriately aligned expectations of the PIRIC and one another.

You can download a copy of the PIRIC Charter here

About The Collaborative Studio

The Collaborative Studio is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2009 and specialising in the design and incubation of Collaborative Networks and Innovation Ecosystems for regional economies.  

Whether Digital Transformation, Regional Innovation, Sustainable Communities, or Data Collaboratives, we act as a "curator" that connects both public and private stakeholders, supports implementation of collaborative governance models and facilitates cooperation that extends throughout innovation ecosystems for the long term benefits of all. https://www.collaborative.studio

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. www.microsoft.com