Dr George Slim

George’s strength is applying innovative thinking and creativity to the technology innovation conundrum most businesses face. He can connect researchers with business, unravel policy perspectives and align strategies for success.

George has over 25 years experience in the science system in New Zealand and offshore. He has worked in academia, the CRI sector and government. After 6 years in the UK, at the University of Cambridge and the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, he returned to New Zealand as a researcher at CRI Industrial Research Ltd. At IRL he led a large group working in bioactive natural products. Wanting to make further use of the commercialization skills developed at IRL he moved to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) as IP Commercialisation Specialist. In 2004 he moved to the Ministry of Research Science and Technology (MoRST) where he implemented the government’s Biotechnology Strategy.  As Director, Emerging Technologies he led a team working to ensure the funding system underpinned the developing broader high technology economy and that the right science was there to support the sector.

George has broad experience at the interface of business, research and government, with particular expertise in managing collaborative research to deliver commercial results as well as in strategy setting, relationship management and policy development.

Relevant knowledge and experience:

  • Director Emerging Technologies for MoRST and MSI.
  • Deep knowledge of the New Zealand innovation system and its participants including intensive work on the recent CRI reforms.
  • Leading the research policy agency involvement in the Health Innovation Hubs, Food Innovation Network of New Zealand, Primary Growth Partnership, Fast Forward and other cross agency innovation schemes.
  • Leading government policy on emerging areas such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, including development of the Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, and Food Research Roadmaps to guide the future of the relevant areas of research in New Zealand.
  • Improving health research policy.
  • Developing the concept and organising the Capitalising on Research commercialisation summit to bring businesses, researchers and policy makers together.
  • Coordinating Government response to the Biotechnology Taskforce Report and Food and Beverage Taskforce.
  • Oversight of Futurewatch and Navigator Network projects across Government to identify and consider the policy implications of new technologies.
  • Co-ordination of biotechnology capability data gathering and generation of the Biotechnology Industry Growth Reports in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
  • Sitting on stakeholder and scientific advisory groups for the Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, Meat Biologics Consortium and a variety of funding panels.
  • Formerly Intellectual Property Commercialisation Specialist with NZTE. Providing firms with IP advice and support.
  • Enabling investment of $US50m in New Zealand fund BioPacific Ventures by Swiss venture capital funders inventages.
  • Production and editing of ‘An Intellectual Property Guide for the Life Sciences in New Zealand’ with the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys.
  • Assisted in initial set-up of NZBIO.
  • Formerly team leader Bioprocessing at IRL. Successful commercialization of a number of bioactive natural products and processes; holding several patents.
  • Good research publication record, and collaborated widely with other CRIs, universities and commercial firms both on- and offshore.

He has a BSc (Hons, 1st class) and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Otago.