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Prime Minister launches Science Advisory Council

Prime Minister launches Science and Innovation Advisory Council

Nine New Zealanders with diverse backgrounds in industry and science have been named as members of a new Science and Innovation Advisory Council (SIAC), launched by Prime Minister Helen Clark in Wellington today.

The SIAC will be chaired by Rick Christie, chief executive of investment company Rangatira Ltd.

Other Council members are John Blackham (XSOL Ltd), former Christchurch Mayor Vicki Buck, Kate Frykberg (The Web), Donna Hiser (Innovus), Dr Michael Matthews (Tatua Dairy Co-op Ltd), Sir Angus Tait (Tait Electronics),
Stephen Tindall (Tindall Foundation and founder of The Warehouse), and leading Maori scientist Dr Michael Walker of University of Auckland.

“The SIAC brings together innovative and independent thinkers from the business and science communities to advise our Government on what New Zealand needs to become a more innovative and knowledge-based economy.”
The purpose of the Science and Innovation Advisory Council, which will meet regularly with the Prime Minister, is to:

 increase the public status and recognition of scientists, science and innovation;
 promote a long-term, strategic direction for research, science and technology;
 build private-sector commitment to new science and technology policy directions; and
 enable co-ordination of Government science and innovation policies and community activities at the highest level.
"Effective research and innovation requires partnership between the Government and the community. This should be a two-way process in which ideas from the community inform Government policies and Government leadership challenges community thinking about its commitment to science and innovation.
"The SIAC will act as an intermediary in this dialogue between the Government and the community," Helen Clark said.

“It will be valuable to receive regular advice from a group with such a wealth of experience at applying science and innovation to a range of areas, from trade, television, and high-tech industry, to infrastructure, sport and culture.

"I am looking forward to working with this talented group," Helen Clark said.

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