REANNZ Ltd, the high-performance telecommunications network powering New Zealand’s research, education and innovation communities, announces the appointment of Professor John Bancroft to the role of engagement manager, science & technology collaboration.
Prof Bancroft brings nearly four decades of relevant academic and industrial experience spanning Europe, North America and Asia-Paciﬁc to the new role.
He joins the organisation from AUT University, where he held dual roles as manager of industry engagement, and as director of INTERACT – a $45 million, national initiative designed to create, develop and exploit real-time big data technologies and artiﬁcial intelligence for New Zealand. During his time at the university, Prof Bancroft also worked in an advisory role to MBIE relating to the construction of the Square Kilometre Array project (SKA).
Prof Bancroft’s international experience includes a number of years as part of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) – including as founder and ﬁrst director of the Hartree Centre, where he worked closely with Reannz’ British counterpart JANET, and was responsible for securing investment of over £70 million in big data projects, including the SKA.
He moved to New Zealand in 2013 into the role of head of international project development for STFC Asia-Paciﬁc, which saw him building partnerships and collaborations with a number of local universities, government bodies, and other key Reannz stakeholders.
Reanz chief executive Nicole Ferguson says Prof Bancroft’s level of skill and experience is a welcome addition to the organisation.
“John’s background has given him an immense knowledge and understanding of the needs and goals of a large proportion of our membership base, which will be invaluable, particularly as we double-down on our eﬀorts to ensure we’re providing the best level of service for our members. We’re lucky to be able to draw on that, and truly excited to have him on board,” says Ms Ferguson.
Based predominantly in Auckland, Prof Bancroft’s appointment will enable Reannz to provide a greater level of local support for members in the surrounding regions, working alongside the existing member engagement team in Wellington and Dunedin.