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Developing biotech – an investment in the future

Developing biotech – an investment in the future

The Biotechnology Taskforce has delivered a high-quality report with bold recommendations for accelerating the growth of the sector, says Minister of Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson.

The report, "Growing the Biotechnology Sector in New Zealand – A Framework for Action", was released today. It highlights the importance of biotechnology to New Zealand and outlines actions for building the sector and removing barriers to its growth.

"Developing New Zealand’s biotechnology sector is an investment in our future," Mr Hodgson said. "It is critical for the competitiveness and productivity of our primary industries and brings significant advances in health care, forensics and biosecurity.

"This is an industry that is growing rapidly world-wide, with active government support through research and development funding delivering remarkable results. Israel’s biotechnology sector, for example, has grown by 433% between 1990 and 2000 and Scotland has seen growth of 98% between 1999 and 2002."

The Biotechnology Industry Taskforce, established under the Government's Growth and Innovation Framework, was appointed in 2002 with members from business, universities and Crown Research Institutes. It has produced its report in cooperation with the biotechnology sector, Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology. "The Taskforce has delivered some bold recommendations, which will be tested with the wider biotechnology sector in a series of briefings in the next few months," Mr Hodgson said.

"One of the key recommendations is for increased global participation by our biotechnology businesses and action by the Government to increase international awareness of New Zealand’s strengths. We agree and are already acting on this with initiatives including the new biospherenz.com website and ministerial engagement with major international biotech industry conferences."

For the report and further information on the taskforce, visit: http:// http://www.industrytaskforces.govt.nz after 1pm or phone 0800 22 44 80

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