We are delighted to announce that Sir Ian Taylor is to be the new Chair of the Product Accelerator Advisory Board. Sir Ian is founder and managing director of Animation Research Ltd, a world-leading computer graphics company whose Virtual Eye technology provides real time sports graphics for online streaming services, television and large-screen broadcast, including live to air golf coverage, Major League Baseball, cricket, motorsport and sailing.
Sir Ian has a distinguished list of honours including being appointed Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to television and business in the 2012 New Year Honours, and promotion to Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2021 New Year Honours. Sir Ian was named Outstanding Maori Business Leader of the Year in 2013, awarded a prestigious Sports Emmy in 2014 for the development of an innovative mobile application for the 34th America’s Cup, and named Innovator of the Year at the 2019 New Zealander of the Year Awards.
Current Chair Steve Wilson (MNZM), said “The Advisory Board thought Sir Ian would be an ideal person to replace me as Chair”. He added “Sir Ian has been an innovator and entrepreneur for over 30 years, pioneering high tech solutions and businesses, a lot of it working with the University of Otago, who are a valued partner in the Product Accelerator. All of this from his background growing up in a rural area of Hawkes Bay with no electricity. Sir Ian is also driving a new education initiative for Māori and Pacific youth, rooted deeply in the culture of Mātauranga Māori, which has critical importance to innovation and the whole future of Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Co-Director of the Product Accelerator, Associate Professor Mark Jones paid tribute to Steve Wilson who has been Chair of the Advisory Board since its inception. “Steve has played a major role in the success of the Product Accelerator and we are delighted that Steve will stay on as Co-Chair and member of the advisory board and support Sir Ian in his new role.”
In accepting the role as Chair, Sir Ian said “The Product Accelerator was yet another example of an organisation working quietly beneath the radar, bringing real value to New Zealand businesses with a focus on science, engineering and technology and the role that it can play in our future.” He added “I had never heard of the Product Accelerator before I was approached for this role. My day is divided into five-minute segments for each of my existing projects so why would I take it on?” He went on to say “But when I looked at how they were helping NZ companies, it took only 10 minutes for me me to say How do I get involved?”
Professor Mark Taylor Co-Director of The Product Accelerator added “we look forward to working closely with Sir Ian and the Board to deliver the mission of supporting NZ industry with technology and innovation”
The Product Accelerator is a Government funded programme that helps connect industry with research expertise, to solve industry problems, increase productivity, and support economic growth.