Gold Awards to showcase business successes

Last updated 05:00 20/06/2013

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To underscore the "technology gamechangers" theme of this year's Gold Awards, Japanese technology giant NEC will be shifting vast chunks of its Wellington innovation centre to the event.

NEC, best known as a networking firm in the telecommunications space, is hoping the display of its technology in action will introduce it to some of the best and brightest minds the capital has to offer.

The Gold Awards, on tonight, have been running since 1999 as a showcase of Wellington's greatest business successes, celebrating the drive, creativity and innovation required to achieve them.

On show will be a host of devices and applications, including an F1 racing car simulator, a robotic helper for the elderly (albeit one only fluent in Japanese at this stage), and a facial recognition advertising billboard.

Leonard Dench, director and general manager of NEC's New Zealand operations, said the idea was to get local firms thinking about what could be achieved by partnering with the global tech player.

"The idea of collaboration is really important to us, so we want to find out who are the people we should be talking to," he said, explaining why the firm signed up to be the technology partner of the awards.

He said Wellington bore many of the hallmarks of San Francisco, which was why the firm was pushing to re-establish itself here.

"A lot of technology doesn't engage with people, but I think Wellington, with its artistic edge, will help us really push those boundaries," Dench said.

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