Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


National Science Challenges are the new black

2 May 2013

National Science Challenges are the new black

Federated Farmers is delighted that New Zealand’s primary industries are well represented in New Zealand’s fiscally upsized National Science Challenges, announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key and the Minister for Science and Innovation, the Hon Steven Joyce.

“This is significant because we hear talk of creating a technological future and the National Science Challenges are about inspiring this to happen,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Vice-President.

“Significantly, the Government has increased its funding by $73.5 million taking the investment to $133.5 million. In an age of constrained spending this deserves praise for its foresight.

“When taken in conjunction with AgResearch’s major investment announcement earlier this week, the National Science Challenges are another tool to break down institutional barriers and foster scientific collaboration and endeavour.

“The most important challenge for our society is to transform the mind-set of students when it comes to scientific courses and careers. I count the primary industries among the sciences too.

“This challenge has been recognised by the panel. So if school students are mapping their future for a fulsome and rewarding career, here it is.

“It is also a space where companies and organisations need to step up.

“Speaking personally, this is what my brother John and I did earlier this year in launching the Woodhouse Scholars Programme for students in the biosciences. A programme we launched in the presence of the Governor-General, His Excellency, Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae.

“Companies involved with biotechnology and farming, like ours, must inspire excellence and enterprise among young people. We need to show younger New Zealanders what is possible to fire their imagination.

“To Federated Farmers, science and farming are the most creative areas we have because it is about the present and a boundless future.

“Of the ten National Science Challenges, the primary industries feature in the following:
High value nutrition – developing high value foods with validated health benefits. These unlock value-add and multiply returns manifold over products as raw commodities.
New Zealand’s biological heritage – protecting and managing our biodiversity, improving our biosecurity, and enhancing our resilience to harmful organisms. Vital as a shield against damage from invasive pests.
Our land and water – Research to enhance primary sector production and productivity while maintaining and improving our land and water quality for future generations. This is a major breakthrough for the primary industries as it is about resource use efficiency that will greatly aid in increasing production but off a smaller environmental footprint. We are proud of the fact that Federated Farmers was one of the key supporters for this challenge.
Life in a changing ocean – understanding how we can exploit our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints. We imagine that for our colleagues in fisheries and aquaculture this will be significant.
The deep south – understanding the role of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean in determining our climate and our future environment. Given the effect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean has upon our climate this is significant for the primary industries. The 2013 drought being an obvious example.
Science for technological innovation – enhancing the capacity of New Zealand to use physical and engineering sciences for economic growth. This is again pertinent to the primary industries as it will help us to maintain our growth in labour productivity. Elements such as robotics will be the next significant breakthrough with many applications in the primary industries.
Resilience to nature’s challenges – research into enhancing our resilience to natural disasters. This is something farmers are all-too aware of given New Zealand’s location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The more tools we have, which enable us to regain production or keep producing, will be important in ensuring economic and social stability.

“Given the Primary Industries also boast the collaborative Primary Growth Partnership as well as the Sustainable Farming Fund, there is a sense we are finally lining up our policy ducks to accomplish something remarkable,” Dr Rolleston concluded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news