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Massey Ventures head a finalist in KiwiNet awards


Massey Ventures chief executive Mark Cleaver

Massey Ventures chief executive Mark Cleaver is a finalist in the Commercialisation Professional category of the annual Kiwi Innovation Network Research Commercialisation Awards.

Mr Cleaver is one of 12 finalists in the four awards categories. The other categories are Breakthrough Innovator, Researcher Entrepreneur and Commercial Impact.

The Kiwi Innovation Network, known as KiwiNet, is a consortium of universities, crown research institutes and other organisations. It was established to boost commercial from publicly-funded research by helping to transform scientific discoveries into new products and services.

The awards finalists’ citation says Mr Cleaver says he believes in a “good to great” approach – taking what New Zealanders are already very good at and applying science, technology and commercialisation excellence to make it great.

“He has led teams of commercialisation professionals, researchers, and industry to produce a consistent track record of deal-making and outstanding examples of commercialisation impact.” In doing so he has generated a strong portfolio of commercialisation success in the food, agritech and animal health areas, reflecting the historical strengths of Massey University. “His achievements include the trade sale of NZ Veterinary Pathology Ltd in 2015 and the acquisition by Nestle in 2019 of a formulation to address iron deficiency.

The ability to harness the passion of diverse groups for a common goal is what Mr Cleaver sees as the key to unlocking the potential of New Zealand’s research and development capability. “Our skilled team are experienced at working with a range of stakeholders to ensure that inventions make it to the market to benefit industry and society,” Mr Cleaver says.

An important part of his role has been to help to develop the next generation of commercialisation professionals who work at the interface of science and business. “New Zealand has outstanding research capability and I want to make sure this is matched with excellence in commercialisation, through day-to-day investment in people and teams, as it will serve the country well in the decades to come.”

Other finalists in the same category are Geoff Todd from Victoria University and VicLink and Will Charles from the University of Auckland and UniServices. For the full list of finalists.

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