Hello, I am Belinda Sleight, and I am the Director of the University of Waikato in Hawke's Bay. My role, along with the establishment of a research office in Napier, began in early 2017 under the auspices of the Regional Economic Development Strategy. It is a collaboration between the University and Napier City Council, although the purpose is improving access to academic expertise and training across Hawke’s Bay.

Stakeholder relationships and business development are a big part of my work. I bridge the gap between local organisations wanting to conduct research and our academic staff located in Hamilton and Tauranga.  Key tasks include scoping research projects, identifying relevant expertise, assisting with funding applications, and keeping everything moving! Currently, we have Waikato researchers contributing to commercial R&D projects and partnering in centrally-funded research programmes.

Having a workforce well qualified for the opportunities in Hawke’s Bay’s growing economy is something that Waikato and EIT are working on together. We are now identifying how the two institutes can work together to broaden the range of courses delivered locally, focusing on those that make sense for our region. Senior students and recent graduates doing projects in your organisation are a great way to inject new thinking, and I am keen to hear from businesses interested in hosting interns, placements, and Summer Research Scholars.

Let’s catch up over coffee.

My office is located on the EIT campus, and you can email me or contact me on 022 049 6346.

To see what’s happening locally, visit www.waikato.ac.nz/hawkes-bay/