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South Island Scientists Rewarded For Excellence

12 June 2002

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton presented awards to six of the South Island’s leading scientific scholars at a ceremony in Christchurch last night.

The minister commended both the recipients of the awards and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, New Zealand’s biggest investor in this area.

“The winners here are among the most talented and innovative research scientists in New Zealand today.

“I congratulate them on their excellence and on the Foundation for showcasing their talent.”

The FiRST Awards (Fellows in Research, Science and Technology) were initiated in 1999, to highlight the outstanding work being done by New Zealand’s up-and-coming scientists and technologists. The programme also helps forge closer links between the business and science communities.

FiRST’s dedication to building commercial partnerships also impressed Jim Anderton.

“The greatest and most successful achievements come about as a result of partnerships and collaborations. Innovative public-private partnerships are an essential part of revitalising our economy.

“We have to utilise our inexhaustible resources of talent, skills, innovativeness and “can-do” attitude.

“If we do that, New Zealand can outclass the world.”

Dr Margaret Gilpin, a Post-doctoral fellow who works with Crop and Food Research in Christchurch, was honoured for her work in disease-resistant potato research and was awarded the South Island section of the prestigious Awards.

Dr Gilpin says that earlier this year her work was severely hampered when much of her crop was destroyed by protestors, but she’s determined to continue with this important research.

A second ceremony will be held later this month in Auckland, where the national winner will be announced.


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