Our Industry Development team have recently returned from a very busy three days in Nelson to attend the New Zealand Aquaculture conference from the 27 to 29 September – a key step in our goal to drive business opportunities for our members in the ocean engineering space.
Attended by a number of key players and potential end users for us in the aquaculture scene – it was a reflection on how important this industry is for the primary sector of New Zealand, and was a feeling cemented with the attendance of Prime Minister the Right Honourable John Key.
Speaking on the industries future and importance to our economy, one of his key messages that resonated was that we need to stop being commodity players and focus on adding value if we want to remain competitive.
For our members, this is a message we’ve been sending for some time – and as more influential parties start beating the same drum, it’s an opportune time to consider the prospects of openly moving from a contractor model to a more high value manufacturer if we’re to avoid the inevitable boom-bust cycle or suppliers becoming price takers rather than price makers.
This path is certainly marred with challenges, but if we have something unique to produce, or better or cheaper than a competitor – we’re well on the way to success. That’s why driving research and development to create intellectual property our members can own, and allowing them to bring cleverness and innovation to the table ensures our industry will have an edge in a global market of opportunity.
And, as we work to open up prospects in wave energy powered offshore fish farms, we’re confident that we’ll be able to help align our project partners and key members in a sector that certainly is actively seeking a way to expand their businesses outside of the constraints of tight inshore resource management policies.
Our Industry Development General Manager Nick Inskip also had the opportunity to speak on day two of the conference to establish our presence in this space which resulted in a lot of positive support, interest, and funding avenues – and is not surprising given the potential our technology could bring in order to boost New Zealand’s salmon exports tenfold.
Interested to know more about the work we’re doing in this space?
We’re actively seeking to connect with members who have an existing track record in any marine related projects as we move to position ourselves strongly. If you haven’t already made yourself known, and think you might hold the right capability to showcase – please contact our Marketing and Communications Kim Nugent.