10:00 AM, 26 September 2017

HERA shares innovation experiences at the University of Auckland Business School

Recently, HERA was invited to speak at the University of Auckland School of Business on innovation and entrepreneurship experiences in the heavy engineering industry.

On invitation from Professor Kenneth Husted at School of Business in the University of Auckland, Industry Development Manager Dr Boaz Habib presented on practicalities of creating an innovation culture in the industrial reality of heavy engineering particularly through insights from our recent flagship research and development AGGAT programme.

The role of HERA as catalyst for innovation in heavy engineering companies and barriers to knowledge sharing and commitment between stakeholders were discussed at length. It was agreed that a shift in mindset and attitude of industry partners was necessary to see a transformational change in the industry.

For this, HERA’s role as a ‘coach’ for industry players was seen to be pivotal however the challenges and risks facing small to medium enterprises were also acknowledged.

If anything, this exercise brought to the fore clarity on HERA’s role confirming the need to continue with our message of innovation and our efforts within our industry. Through this review process, many HERA initiatives and strategies were also commended in bridging social communication gaps with stakeholders.

However, several ideas were also put forward to develop a greater initiative, such as starting a new era HERA 2.0 of knowledge sharing sessions on new technologies, e.g. virtual reality, sharing success stories showcasing membership benefit potential, embracing the notion of ‘open innovation’ i.e. leaving research to experts and not in the least opening it up to members to also come up with ideas on how and what they would like HERA to do.

A ‘HACKATHON’ was proposed where participants would be encouraged to share innovative solutions to problems for all to gain new insights into how things can be done differently.

A similar ‘HEAR’ process was proposed as a more formal engagement initiative with industry feedback where all issues from industry players for not accepting more futuristic processes would be addressed through formal conference or workshops.

Ultimately this would seek to align industry with the HERA vision for a more innovative heavy engineering group. Who knows, we might just take to some of these ideas!

Readers are invited to make comments and share your thoughts on these suggestions and what could we do collaboratively. If any of these have caught your interest and you would like to discuss them further, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Boaz in the Industry Development division at HERA.