Abstract: The Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN) was set up by the New Zealand government in 2006 to facilitate collaboration and leading edge e-Research amongst the research, education and innovation sectors, both nationally and internationally. A specific goal is to connect the research and education sector to the broader innovation community for pre-commercial, R&D-based collaboration. Activities that use the speed and capacity of KAREN to deliver innovative education and research outcomes include: improved access to local or overseas partners; access to digital resources from universities or New Zealand Crown Research Institutes; access to local, national and international advanced networks and their digital content; real-time collaboration for teaching and research; video streaming; multi-media services; and remote collaborative teaching and learning.
To encourage broad participation amongst the organisations currently connected to KAREN an Institutional Capability Build Fund has been established by the New Zealand Government to accelerate the capability of these members to exploit KAREN's full value. This paper describes the experience of the New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research Limited, a Crown Research Institute with the vision of leading New Zealand innovation in food and food production, in applying those funds to enhance KAREN uptake amongst its science and business professionals. Prospects for new applications as well as the institutional learning that is taking place are also described.