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Bayer, Royal Soc. partnership to benefit students

Bayer NZ and Royal Society partnership to benefit students

Senior secondary school and undergraduate tertiary students can now apply for a financial boost that could result in them being paid to help protect the environment.

Known as BAYERBoost, the scholarship scheme is the result of a partnership between Bayer New Zealand Ltd and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The aim of the scheme is to give students experience in environmental research or restoration during their summer break while at the same time providing financial support for further study.

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs will officially launch BAYERBoost at a combined Ecological and Freshwater Sciences conference in Nelson on Monday (Aug 29).

Royal Society CEO Dr Steve Thompson says students studying environmental sciences or related areas are encouraged to participate in summer work programmes, often voluntarily, to gain experience that will support their future careers.

³Under the BAYERBoost scheme, students in conjunction with an employer or host organisation, will be able to apply for funding that will essentially pay their wages during the summer break. However, their area of work must be involved in the areas of the environment, conservation or sustainable development.

³The aim is for BAYERBoost to reduce students¹ reliance on loans to continue their study, as well as enabling young people to learn skills appropriate to their chosen fields of study through summer work projects.²

Bayer New Zealand Ltd, which has strong local businesses in crop protection, animal health, plastics and health products, is the main financer of the BAYERBoost scheme.

Bayer country spokesman Phil McSweeney says environmental education is a key component of the company¹s corporate social responsibility platform.

³As a research-based enterprise, Bayer places great emphasis upon awakening enthusiasm among young people. Through our global partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme we already support several projects in the region aimed at increasing environmental awareness and improving knowledge of the environment.

³In New Zealand we are delighted to be able to partner with the Royal Society and deliver a scholarship scheme that will help students not only with their studies, but financially too.²

Under the agreement with the Royal Society, Bayer will contribute $120,000 over three years to the BAYERBoost scholarship scheme.

Mr McSweeney says he hopes the fund will grow in future years as like-minded organisations contribute to the scheme.

³The more funds we have in the scheme, the more students we can give scholarships too. This will then translate into more work being done to preserve our environment.²

Currently scholarships are worth between $3000 and $6000 depending upon whether students are secondary or tertiary.

Organisations to date that have agreed to act as host organisations for students include Agresearch, Landcare, Department of Conservation, Dexell and NIWA.

More information about BAYERBoost is available through the website www.bayerboost.co.nz or through contacting the Royal Society.

Applications for 2005 close on October 20.

ENDS

About Bayer

Bayer is an international, research-based group with major businesses in health care, crop science and high tech materials. Employing some 93,000 people worldwide, and almost 900 in Australia/New Zealand, the Bayer Group has a portfolio of over 10,000 products and operations in nearly all countries of the globe. Worldwide operations are managed from Group headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. In New Zealand, Bayer aims to make a positive contribution to the community, not only by providing innovative solutions, but also through our educational partnerships. For example, Bayer supports ongoing clinical research and educational initiatives in the treatment of haemophilia. On a broader scale, we believe social commitment also extends to the environment. We support initiatives to preserve and protect New Zealand¹s native flora and fauna, such as the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre, and have established a unique plant sanctuary at our East Tamaki warehouse where rare native plants are grown.

Bayer has had a presence in Australia and New Zealand for more than 75 years. For more information on Bayer visit www.bayer.co.nz or contact:

About the Royal Society of New Zealand

The Royal Society of New Zealand is an independent, non-government organisation instituted under an Act of Parliament with the objective of advancing and promoting science and technology. We have a membership of over 1500 individual scientists and technologists as well as about 50 constituent organisations, are the Academy of Sciences for New Zealand, and promote science and technology through:

… communication of scientific and technological issues to the public;

… celebration of science and technology;

… education programmes for primary and secondary school students and teachers;

… provision of advice to government to promote evidence-based policy; and

… administration of government research funds (for research of excellence in New Zealand as well as international collaborations).

We manage the National Waterways Project which supports teachers in involving their students in monitoring the quality of their local waterway and taking action to restore it. Many of our NZ Science, Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellows are engaged in environmental work during the term of their Fellowship, and we encourage students to use their environment as the context for their work for CREST Awards or science and technology fairs.

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