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Otago University Appoints New Enterprise Director

Otago University Appoints New Enterprise Director

- Move ‘critical milestone in the developing of University’s research effort’ -

The University of Otago has appointed a leading biotechnology sector figure as the new Director (Enterprise) in its Research & Enterprise Office.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Geoff White, says he is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Bret Morris, currently Investment Manager for the Biotechnology Sector at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), to the position.

“Dr Morris’s considerable experience in biotechnology research and commercialisation, and his familiarity with university-based research, place him in an excellent position to facilitate the research effort of the University,” says Professor White.

He will work with the Enterprise team, the Director (Research), and the CEO of Otago Innovation Limited, to support and develop new opportunities for research and commercialisation in the University, he says.

Dr Morris brings to Otago skills and experience with a wide range of funding agencies, CRIs, Ministries, industry, commercialisation, and international agencies, at a time when the University’s talented researchers are attempting to step up their funding success, he says.

After completing his MSc in Microbiology (with First Class Honours) at Massey University and his PhD in plant virology at the University of East Anglia, Dr Morris worked with DSIR on agricultural plant diseases. He returned to the UK for a few years as a Senior Scientific Officer in a biotechnology company where he developed new genetic techniques for plant transformation.

After his return to New Zealand in 1992, Dr Morris worked with HortResearch where he managed scientific programmes on the genetics of plant development. In his work with NZTE over the last five years, he has developed international links to capitalise on opportunities for the development of biotechnology in New Zealand, and has established strong relations with funding agencies and Government Ministries.

Professor White “warmly welcomed” the appointment of Dr Morris, saying that it marks a critical milestone in the development of the University’s research effort.

Dr Morris takes up his appointment at the end of October.

ENDS

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