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Victoria University Funding Coup

Victoria University Funding Coup

Victoria University has scooped more than $15 million in funding from the Foundation of Research, Science and Technology in its main 2007/2008 investment round.

The University secured funding for five of six of its bids—an achievement that Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Neil Quigley says illustrates the exceptional quality of the research being undertaken at the University.

"This outstanding result is indicative of the crucial role Victoria University plays in driving the New Zealand economy forward, to become one that is increasingly based on innovation and technology," Professor Quigley says.

"All five projects involve national and international collaboration of the highest standards, and aim to establish the high-value industries that the University has come to be known for."

The successful Victoria University projects awarded are:

Radiation Detection and Imaging

Key NZ researchers:  Associate Professor Andrew Edgar, (Victoria University); Dr Grant Williams and Dr Andy Kay (IRL); Dr Murray Bartle (GNS Science). 
Project outline: The project aims to design and develop new materials and detector structures for radiation imaging and detection which offer superior performance to those currently available. The programme includes opportunity for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and will maintain New Zealand’s expertise in radiation imaging and detection technologies.
Bigger picture:  The program aims to benefit New Zealand through technology uptake, product development and the licensing of materials or devices to overseas companies, and by the application of the technologies by users of the technology.
Funded: $3.87 million over four years.

Magnetic Nanoparticles

Key NZ  researchers: Dr Richard Tilley and Professor Jeff Tallon (Victoria University); Dr Shaun Hendy, (IRL/MacDiarmid); Associate Professor Thomas Backstrom (Malaghan Institute); Dr Matt MacKay (Wellington Public Hospital).
Project outline: This project aims to produce and commercialise strongly magnetic
            nanoparticles for bionanotechnology applications. The researchers hypothesise that 

            strongly magnetic iron carbide nanoparticles will be superior to the weakly magnetic

            iron oxide particles currently used. They also aim to develop magnetic             nanoparticle/quantum dot composites as future drug delivery systems.

Bigger picture: The study will link medical researchers and physical scientists to
            form a team unique to New Zealand and that will establish a strong,           bionanotechnology platform firmly placing New Zealand as a world leader in bionanotechnology.

Funded: $1.8 million over four years.

Spintronics Technology


Key NZ researchers: Dr Ben Ruck and Emeritus Professor Joe Trodahl (Victoria University); Dr Grant Williams and Bob Buckley (IRL); Associate Professor Uli Zuelicke (Massey University).
Project outline: The programme aims to provide technology that will enable the generation of a high-value “spintronics” industry within New Zealand though the application of a new class of materials, the rare-earth nitrides. Spintronics is the rapidly emerging technology in which electronic devices control not just the flow
            and storage of electrons but also their intrinsic magnetic nature (their spin).

Bigger picture: The programme aims to diversify the New Zealand economy through the production of prototype spintronic devices. The research will serve to maintain a strategic expertise in solidstate physics, and all aspects will involve graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Funded: $3.3 million over six years.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Technologies


Key NZ researchers: Professor Paul Callaghan, Dr Mark Hunter and Dr Robin Dykstra (Victoria University).
Project outline: The researchers will develop new NMR technologies that have direct applications in biotechnology, materials science, and in the food, horticulture and timber industries. NMR has revolutionised chemistry, molecular biology and modern medicine and in the 21st century is poised to make further remarkable advances.
Bigger picture: New Zealand has the capacity to fulfil a niche in an expanding high-technology NMR industry and the team seeks to build a thriving New Zealand-based NMR enterprise; both key researchers have had considerable success with the NMR company Magritek.
Funded: $3.68 million over four years


Community Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change


Key NZ researchers: Professor Martin Manning and Associate Professor Ralph Chapman, Dr Andy Reisinger (Victoria University); Dr Jim Salinger, Dr James Goff, Dr Apanui Skipper, Dr Helen Rouse (NIWA); Dr Simon Hales and  Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman (University of Otago); Dr Alastair Woodward (University of Auckland); Dr Tord Kjellstrom.
Project outline: The research team will develop integrative methods that merge information on climate related changes in risks with socio-economic information. This will be done by taking similar frameworks being developed internationally and adapting those using information from a series of supporting studies that take social and physical change into consideration to develop complementary perspectives.
Bigger picture: The project aims to develop indicators and frameworks that will enable authorities to assess and prioritise adaptation policies and actions in ways that are risk-based, equitable across sectors and communities, and economically efficient. The University’s involvement will also see long-term benefits for New Zealand as a result of capacity building in the tertiary education sector.
Funded: $2.4 million over three years.





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