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Biotechnology Taskforce Named

Friday, 10 May 2002

Ten top biotechnology entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders have been appointed to the Government’s new Biotechnology Taskforce.

The taskforce, established under the Government’s Growth and Innovation Framework, will be looking at practical ways of stimulating the growth and international competitiveness of New Zealand’s biotechnology sector.

“This is a highly talented group of people, selected because of their knowledge and practical experience of the biotechnology industry,” said Research, Science and Technology Minister Pete Hodgson, who will be co-chair. “The taskforce will pick international trends on which New Zealand’s biotechnology sector might capitalise, develop strategies for building high-value technologies, and identify areas where Government action might enhance the sector’s development.”

The taskforce will meet regularly over 12 months, after which it will be reviewed. It will be supported by biotechnology sector specialists from Industry New Zealand and officials from the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

The work of the taskforce will coordinate with the work on a national biotechnology strategy being led by the Ministry. The strategy is designed to ensure New Zealand keeps abreast of developments in biotechnology, while preserving essential social, cultural and environmental values.

The Innovation Framework announced by the Prime Minister in February identified biotechnology, ICT and creative industries as key sectors in which the government will focus efforts to lift New Zealand’s international competitiveness. Taskforces for ICT, screen production and design have been announced.

The members of the Biotechnology Taskforce (biographies attached) are:

- Bill Falconer, co-chair (Biotenz)

- Garth Cooper (Protemix Ltd)

- Diana Hill (Global Technologies Ltd)

- Elizabeth Hopkins (Neuronz Ltd)

- Claire McGowan (Northington Partners Ltd)

- Jim McLean (Genesis Research and Development Ltd)

- Bruce Munro (New Zealand Wool Board)

- Ray Potroz (Council of Trade Unions)

- Max Shepherd (Zenith Technology Ltd)

- Paul Tocker (Crop and Food Research Ltd)

Ends

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