Our Vision

As a response to the challenges and opportunities outlined below, PiRiC’s vision is to enable and drive digital transformation of New Zealand’s primary industries, support sustainable and inclusive social and economic growth in regional New Zealand, and improve protection of the environment.


PIRIC’s mission (“Mission”) is made up of four core pillars:

  1. Digital Technologies: accelerate the transfer and dissemination of key enabling technologies such as cloud services, Internet-of-Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning and data analytics into primary industries using a “collaborative innovation network “approach.

  2. Digital Value Chains: explore innovative new ways of growing or producing, harvesting, processing and delivering primary industry outputs to both domestic and export markets using digital technologies while ensuring food security, traceability, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity for New Zealand.

  3. Digital Workforce & Communities: help ensure that all people and communities in regional New Zealand have the access, confidence, skills and ability to participate in the digital world through digital inclusion initiatives such as targeted education and workplace-based training programmes.

  4. Environmental sustainability: play a nationally significant role in identifying and implementing successful new ways to collaboratively address environmental challenges associated with the primary industries

Collaborative Innovation and Sustainable Development

The 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in 2015 cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.

In addressing these issues, the UN formally recognized the growing importance of focusing on diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurship and innovation as critical components in addressing the world’s social and economic needs.

Realising the SDGs is not possible through institutions, organisations and people acting alone. There is a need for alignment of vision and intent, and cultivation of complex interaction and cooperation, between many parties. Enabling deliberate, collaborative action – particularly ‘collaborative innovation’ – is essential to successfully joining up these parties in the co-creation and execution of new ideas and initiatives.

Collaborative innovation efforts are best supported by universal principles of openness, fairness, transparency, trust, mutuality and accountability, and benefit significantly from diversity in thought, experience and cultural contexts. In the New Zealand context successful collaborative innovation depends, in particular, on recognizing the value of Maori views, knowledge and innovation practices. Where appropriate, it is acknowledged that these should be incorporated into any cooperative venture that seeks to develop the new knowledge and the new ways of working essential to fostering sustainable economic and social development.

Purpose of the Primary Industries and Regional Innovation Collaborative (PiRiC) Charter

With these things in mind, and with an explicit focus on achieving goals associated with the role New Zealand’s primary industries play in regional economic and social development and in the environment, the Primary Industries and Regional Innovation Collaborative (“PiRiC”) was established, in accordance with the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between The Collaborative Limited and Microsoft New Zealand Limited dated 22/08/2018 (“MoU”).

The Charter (“the Charter”) was established pursuant to the terms of the MoU and will govern the PiRiC and any of its members that wish to engage in activities aligned to the UN SDG’s and the Vision, Mission and Goals stated under paragraphs (see below) below.

The Charter establishes PiRiC governance arrangements, sets out the terms and conditions of PiRiC membership, and articulates principles to guide PiRiC activities. The PiRiC is a voluntary and unincorporated association, the Charter and MoU does not establish any kind of separate legal entity and, other than where stated to the contrary, is not intended to be legally binding. Among other things, this Charter is intended to:

  1. Provide the basis for trust and alignment between PiRiC members.

  2. Engender a collaborative innovation approach between parties.

  3. Help to create a fair and level playing field between parties.

  4. Reduce risk and uncertainty.

  5. Provide a basis for mutual understanding of how issues such as possible creation of intellectual property will be handled.

To join the PiRiC, each member must sign the signatory page at the end of the Charter, confirming that it will comply with and agrees to be bound by the terms of the Charter. Doing so will give PIRIC members confidence that all members are mutually committed to the success of the PiRiC and have appropriately aligned expectations of the PiRiC and one another.

Download a copy of the PiRiC Charter here

New Zealand Primary Industries

New Zealand’s reliance on its primary industries for its economic prosperity is unique amongst other OECD countries.

Our primary industries are now entering a time of significant disruption due to factors such as emerging digital and biological technologies, rapid increase in the consumer acceptability of plant‐based proteins, global value chain disruption and changes to the international trading environment and rising environmental challenges and concerns.

These disruptors are impacting New Zealand now, and while our primary production ecosystem is underpinned by a mature set of capabilities in science, infrastructure, strategies, policies and regulatory settings, human knowledge and capability, we need to accelerate the use of smart digital and bio technologies by our primary sector businesses over the next 3 – 5 years to:

  1. improve outputs from New Zealand primary industries

  2. increase international competitiveness

  3. add value to the goods or services they produce, including the creation of new digital products and services for use in primary sector production, processing and distribution

  4. achieve better environmental outcomes.

Regional Innovation in New Zealand: Threat and Opportunity

New Zealand’s regional economies and communities are heavily reliant on these primary industries, as they are largely responsible for extracting and processing the materials that turn primary sector products into international exports for New Zealand which are now worth over $30 billion (2017).

Achieving a larger proportion of knowledge‐intensive and high‐value activities in our primary industries is critical to making New Zealand regions more resilient to the looming threats created by technological change, globalisation, demographic change and climate change. However, many of New Zealand’s regional economies and communities currently lack the necessary skills, resources and/or co‐ordination capabilities required to support the smart use of digital and biological technologies in their regional primary sector ecosystems.

There is also a need to enable a collaborative approach to innovation creation and coordination across government, iwi, academia and industry and to drive primary industry transformation and support sustainable social and economic growth in regional New Zealand through digital transformation, inclusion and workforce development.



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