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Last week was the eleventh year NZTech has run Techweek, the national tech and innovation festival. This was my eighth Techweek and if you’d told me that during Techweek22 members of parliament would greet the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Parliament, “Happy Techweek Mr Speaker,” I’m not sure I would have believed you!
With over 400 events across New Zealand there was something for everyone. TechweekTV was broadcast throughout the week and if you missed anything you can watch all the TechweekTV sessions on-demand on Play Stuff.
During Techweek22, the AI Forum celebrated the launch of their latest research report, AI for the Environment in Aotearoa New Zealand. The report discusses how environmental AI can process big data and provide near real time information and more accurate predictions to support sustainability decisions. Watch the AI for the Environment TechweekTV session here on-demand and then read the report.
The recent budget announcement had a few investments in tech but it was disappointing to see the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan only receive $5 million. Relative to other sector plans, Digital received $20m, Forestry $27m, Manufacturing $30m and Construction $37m. A further $230m has been put into boosting apprenticeships which is useful as we prioritise digital apprenticeships. It was also encouraging to see a considerable investment in Health, including digital capability uplift, funding for tranche two of the Hira programme and capitalising on COVID-19 initiatives.
The massive investment in climate change via the Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), with an initial $4.5 billion will also require significant investment in technology. NZTech is calling for a Technology Roadmap addendum to the ERP so clear government signalling can provide confidence to researchers and entrepreneurs. Technology and innovation will be critical to managing and reducing our emissions.
Tomorrow we begin preparations for Techweek23! Thanks for your ongoing support as we work together to help create a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous Aotearoa New Zealand underpinned by good tech.