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Massey University Electronic Newsletter


Massey University Electronic Newsletter

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Issue: 7. 19 May, 2003 News Briefs

Vice-Chancellor Professor Judith Kinnear has welcomed the Government's decision to increase its support for education and industry training, including increased funding rates for higher education. She says the Budget provisions represent a much-needed further investment in New Zealand and especially its young people. A further important element is a strategic approach to supporting research and innovation to better further the national interest.

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton has announced a $2million commitment to the development of a Massey-based biotechnology industry in the Manawatu. The Industry New Zealand funding will go towards a Biocommerce Centre which will will facilitate the commercialisation of scientific research by the University and the Crown Research Institutes and will be a 'one-stop shop' for new business development.

Two new pieces of equipment worth $2million will further pioneering research into x-ray crystallography and DNA sequencing. The investment, including a DNA sequencer, has been made possible through funding for the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, who will be the main users. Co-director Professor David Penny, says the equipment will eventually be used by people throughout the country.

A $3million, high-tech, computerised home is being developed by mechatronics, robotics and computing experts at Massey Auckland as a showcase for world-leading research. The home will be the smartest house in the world - smarter even than Bill Gates multi-million dollar pad. The initial focus will be the frail and elderly, with automated health monitoring systems that monitor vital signs and call emergency services, and a toilet that monitors weight, sugar levels and emails results to the doctor.

A much-anticipated examination of consumer opinion regarding Direct to Consumer Advertising reveals a public majority in favour of the system. Associate Professor Janet Hoek and Professor Philip Gendall from the Department of Marketing conducted a study of 632 New Zealanders.

Higher awareness of the importance of mathematics to industry is expected to evolve from the New Zealand hosting of two Mathematics-in-Industry Study Groups for the first time. Professor Graeme Wake, from the Albany Centre for Mathematics in Industry, will direct the events, to be held in 2004 and 2005, with wide industry participation.

Teaching fellow, Weta Digital chief executive and Massey alumnus Richard Taylor will speak at the Wellington graduation ceremonies this week. Creativity will also be the focus for Mayor Kerry Prendergast, who has her own 'Creative Capital' initiatives under way. The third speaker will be Te Ohu Kai Moana Chief Executive Robin Hape.

Events

Collaborative agreements between tertiary institutions can benefit the organisations involved but universities need to retain some level of contestability, says Chancellor Nigel Gould. In his graduation speech, he said the University aspires to collaborate with other tertiary institutions but a level of contestability needs to be retained to ensure students have choices.

Manawatu businessman Tim Mordaunt was the inaugural recipient of a special award from the University, at the annual Palmerston North Graduation Business Link event. Mr Mordaunt chairs the Manawatu Promotional Trust and is Principal of Property Brokers. The award recognises a unique contribution to the well being of the Manawatu region.

The University is to establish a charitable trust called the Massey University Foundation to receive and administer donations to the University. The Trust will be launched at an evening event in Wellington next Monday.

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