The Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (IIB) works in close association with the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) at the University of Auckland, and focuses on industry partnerships to accelerate innovation and develop new models of bioscience enterprise training. The IIB was launched in June 2006 and operates under a Partnership-for-Excellence funded agreement between the University of Auckland and Government to support the growth of the bio-industry in four ways:
- Through a bio-incubator and shared facilities for the co-location of industry and academic researchers to increase collaboration, share infrastructure and expertise, shorten innovation pathways from discovery to market, and create opportunities for graduate research and employment.
- Through the Masters in Bioscience Enterprise programme to train dual skilled business-savvy scientists who are employable widely across the bio-industry sector nationally and internationally.
- Through community engagement including entering partnerships with bio-industry relevant companies and organizations, and running networking functions and workshops to help develop a well-connected bio-industry ecosystem and provide up-skilling opportunities for industry staff where and when needed.
- Through an international consulting service to provide advice on best practice solutions in the general area of academic-industry partnerships.
Industry’s engagement in the IIB programmes has been extremely positive in all areas. The co-location of companies in the IIB has created New Zealand’s largest biotech cluster in the heart of the University of Auckland which is ranked very highly in the life sciences among universities internationally. Contributions to lectures and the generous provision of 6-month company internships for the Masters in Bioscience Enterprise students has helped create a world leading enterprise training programme to benefit the bio-industry. A new building and facilities opened by the Prime Minister of New Zealand in April 2011 ensure that the Institute’s goals are well supported into the future.